I noticed the Hoppipola signboard the very first time I came to Pune. Previously, I had been to the Bangalore branch and to see this name in Pune gave me a sense of familiarity.
So, finally, yesterday, we went for lunch to this place. The door to the place is akin a secret door. Whitewashed walls on the outside and a small wooden-mosaic door leading us inside. Beyond it, Mediterranean kitsch. The garden setting is very similar to the Bangalore branch. A huge green space in between and stone chairs and tables around it. (Though Bangalore definitely had a better garden and more flowers)
It’s a nice place for a lazy long gossip with friends, with finger foods and drinks to give company. There are board games too, by the way.
I like the food at Hoppipola; I dislike the quantities. But of course, it’s hardly the management cheating because you know you will not find Rasta chicken starters for the reasonable price of Rs. 180/-, and if you do, the quantity won’t be something to fill your entire tummy.
The concept relies on lazy drinks and nimble food. (A thing my husband is not very good at!) I can perfectly see my girls drinking and talking incessantly here for hours. One thing for sure: you will never gain weight… there’s strict portion control! Hehehe…
There were three of us. One eats like there’s no tomorrow, another eats like there’s a chicken apocalypse arriving and I eat like a normal person (yes, I am normal!). Let’s see what we ordered
2 lt. beer (2 pitchers basically)
1 lt. mojito (litchi and kafir lime… lovely in the outdoor setting) which a normal person like me could drink and still ‘tand stall’
Rasta chicken (6-7 pieces but damn nice) served with fries and tartar sauce
Chicken “coinburgers” (3 pieces) served with coleslaw and fries
A prawn starter (10-12 pieces; very delicious)
Buffalo wings (6-7 pieces)
Fish & chips with tartar sauce (2 thin pieces, again very delicious)
Penne with champagne cream (a bit bland for people with a spice tongue but good nonetheless)
Cost: Rs. 3200 (including taxes)
For what we paid and what we ate, this is quite a reasonable cost. And maybe it was the slow eating but by the end of two and half hours, all of us were feeling full and satisfied.
Go during the pre-monsoons… that means now… because the heat is cooling off and the rain has not started to dampen everything. It’s lovely to sit outside with the cheerful mojitos.
In conclusion: Hoppipola teaches us the virtues of eating less and eating slowly for a fuller stomach!!