Hoppipola is a song by the band Sigur Ros from their 2005 album Takk… It means “jumping into puddles” in Icelandic.
This is how Urban Dictionary defines the latest bar to hit Mumbai’s nightlife scene – Hoppipola. No there are no real life puddles here, only the intention to bring out the child in you. Hoppipola aims to evoke nostalgia with childhood games and memories, all with a grown up twist. I was lucky to get a preview of this bar which has traveled all the way from Pune and Bangalore after having successfully established itself there. Read on for my Hoppipola experience with a childhood twist. Watch out for the puddles!
Ghar Ghar Khelein?:
Situated in the most nondescript, unassuming location in a Khar by-lane, I went not expecting much from the place. The first thing that strikes you as you enter is the wooden Aztec inspired door, and you know the fun has just begun. The place is spacious, and done up in shades of white and blue. It reminded me of The Little Door – Andheri’s famous watering hole, in terms of decor, albeit much more spacious. The outdoor al-fresco section comes with potted plants, a communal table in the center, mosaic tiles and a tree right in the middle! A large signage similar to ones we see outside churches, with a message that keeps changing, was another fun element.
Enter through the revolving glass door into a large section filled with beautiful stained glass windows and aeroplanes hanging off the roof. I’m going to visit back in the afternoon just to see the sunlight streaming through that stained glass. What a visual treat! The tables are nothing but large chalk boards and come with chalks and a duster, so you can doodle away. Or play teacher teacher.
I evaluate a lot of restaurants by their washrooms. Judge me all you want, but it’s important to me considering how much time I spend in there. The washroom here is prettily done up in mosaic tiles, and is absolutely selfie-friendly.
Apart from the interiors which have some childish elements like those adorable chalkboard tables, there are games here for the child in you. And the adult. Take part in their monthly Chuggathon that happens on the last Thursday of each month. If you chug down a pint of beer in the least possible time, you could win a month’s supply of beer! And also win those cute trophies that line up one wall of the bar. And have your name on the leader board too. Mumma will be so proud, na?
There is also a section filled with comic books, board games and a video game simulator from the 90’s. Yes, Super Mario and Ms. Pacman are still alive, people!
But my favourite was the bird house wall outside. It’s not just pretty to look at, but each bird house may hold a special treat. Ladies get a chance to chose any one bird house, open it, and if there’s a shot or a beer mug inside they get that for free. Woman Power!
The food here is your typical bar food – snacky and goes well paired with booze. The vegetarian items faired better compared to the non vegetarian dishes, surprisingly. Most of our non-veg starters were too salty. Skip the food, and stick to the drinks at Hoppipola. If you insist on getting a bite to eat, try their pizzas which are a safe bet. Or get the Chicken Wings which were well flavoured and would go well with a chilled beer. I was sadly disappointed with all the fish starters which were well cooked and flavourful but got masked by the addition of too much salt. I’m hoping when I visit next, this matter gets sorted out.
Drink Up (Only for Older Children):
Hoppipola has a traditional, typical booze menu. Extremely well priced alcohol and a good variety on the menu. I tried the safe contenders here – Watermelon Vodkatini, and a Bloody Mary and I wasn’t disappointed. Decent concoctions, and they were potent with a good amount of booze in them. Of course, when all else fails opt for good ol’ beer that flows in abundance here.
Pocket Money Matters:
When I saw the alcohol prices on the menu, my jaw hit the floor – in a positive way. A Long Island Iced Tea is priced at Rs. 295/- and the Vodkatini cocktails at Rs. 195/-. A pint of beer is Rs. 150/- on an average. The food is well priced too, with the most expensive item prices at approximately 400 bucks. (All of this not considering tax of course.)Considering how expensive dining and drinking has become in the city, Hoppipola is a pleasant change with well priced booze and food. Absolute value for money! You won’t have to fight with your parent to increase your allowance also.
I absolutely loved the place with it’s cheery vibe, fun games and sasta daaru. It’s such a pleasant, refreshing change from the dull, dark, dingy nightclubs with pretentious food and overpriced alcohol. I loved Hoppipola and I’m going back for sure. I did not get to jump in a puddle, but the little girl inside me jumped for joy indeed. Do visit Hoppipola on your next field trip, and tell me how you liked it.
Hoppipola – All Day Bar and Bonhomie,
Ramee Guestline Hotel, Plot no 757,
S.V. Road, Opposite post office,
Khar West, Mumbai – 400052.
Facebook | Instagram | Twitter – @athoppipola