Hoppipola's latest outlet at Salt Lake is a great hangout zone for the millennials
If your squadmates stand you up at Hoppipola’s newest Sector V outlet, you probably wouldn’t miss them because chances are, Hoppipola is a better company. The outlet changed the way millennials went pubbing, by introducing a casual, ‘bring more friends’ set-up featuring provisions for pop-culture callbacks, hipster games, and of course, thrifty beverages.
The newest outlet, bang opposite RDB Cinemas, is a sprawling 4,057 square foot space, designed with an ‘after-hours vibe’ where overworked IT professionals can just unwind over shots, foosball and Batman comics. We showed up on a lovely Saturday afternoon and immediately made ourselves at home. The understated but thoughtful curation of relatable amusement stations really blew us away; from aesthetical neon signage to some Bong humour like ‘Aste ladies, vodka ache’ — Hoppipola may really have a better personality than your BFF.
There’s a big foosball table, and also smaller foosball units if you want to have a match at your table, in addition to an assortment of games like Darts and Dares with options like ‘buy a drink for a stranger’, or ‘dance by yourself for 60 seconds’, The Drinking Wheel, which is basically a Wheel of Fortune-style drinking game, Wall Beer Pong, Basketball, Wall Maze and Ring Throw. There are also carrom boards, bookshelves stocked with Game of Thrones and King Solomon’s Mines, and even some choicest comic books. We were almost about to hit up a game station when our drinks and appetisers arrived, and it’s safe to say we’d never seen a rainbow of colours on a shot tray like this before.
All the shots have a creative edge, from the Red Headed (a blend of Jägermeister, peach syrup, cranberry juice and lime juice) to the Surgical Strike (Jagermeister, Red Bull and Tabasco), which actually comes with a big syringe. We also tasted some wonderful tropical-themed mocktails like the See-Saw (a light rose coloured drink made of white rum, pomegranate juice and lychee) that tasted just as summery as it looked.
There was also an Apple Pie Smash, made with apple pie puree, in addition to the trusty sangria. We also spotted a DIY cocktail section on the menu, which lets you buy assorted drinks by the bucket so you could mix your own cocktails. Interestingly, all the grub we ordered is exclusively available in the Sector V outlet, so if you’re not there for game nights, you have to show up for the Cheesy Nachos Avalanche — a heap of nachos, showered with piping hot cooked cheese as it’s being served to you. The cheese is delightfully flavoured and fresh, although you have to get them while they are still hot.
We also had baskets of fried chicken and the Bhatti Fish Fingers; the latter is made with a tandoori masala and served with curried mayo. Luckily both these deep fried items were just the right amount of spicy, which makes them perfect for some binge-eating by the foosball table. We also had Truffle Mushroom Galouti kebabs and Vilayati Chicken Tikka, which were smooth, although predictable. There was also a millet salad on the table and we took a taste of, quite apprehensively.
We know you’re not looking for a salad with your Jager shots, but the Millet in a Skillet, made with millet, feta cheese, mixed lettuce, tomato confit, is flavourful, and goes great with some fried chicken.
Next on our agenda was the quirky box of Triple Szechwan Fried Rice — served in a box with some crispy noodles and spicy sauce. Though it wasn’t as big a surprise taste-wise, it was a nice flavour break for us for what came next —the BBQ pork ribs served with vegetables and mashed potatoes. It retained some peppery hints, and went great with the distinct sweet and sour base of the BBQ sauce. We ended with some Little Heart Tiramisu; yes, it is tiramisu made with a crumbled biscuit — light, and a dessert tailor-made for our cheat days.