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Happiness is just a lift away


Manu Prasad

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y first Hoppipola visit was an experience Im not likely to forget soon. They wouldnt take reservations, so we had to try our luck on a Saturday night. A bunch of kids were waiting in the ground floor lobby expectantly eyeing the lift every time its doors opened, for such was the crowd that only when guests left were new ones let in. We finally managed a place in the lift, and smugly assumed there would be a table waiting upstairs for us. The doors opened to a college fest, (or school debatable) with alcohol, and standing space for just about four people. The only way to get a table was to have Krrish-like speed and reflexes. Since we were barely on the right side of 40 and had no special effects for support, we felt like people in the namesake Sigur Ros song and beat a hasty retreat before the sharp increase in the average age on the floor provoked an uncle/aunty comment. The second visit, on a Friday afternoon, was more peaceful and we could appreciate the quirky ambiance as well. Garden seating with potted plants and creepers for company on the outside and large tables and bar seating inside, exam pad menus with offbeat descriptions, board games, books and a happy wall whose doors and windows can be opened for surprise gifts, all add to the youthful vibe. Judging by the crowd, Hoppipola has definitely been successful in its endeavour to make people of all kinds happy!


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Cuisine Owner(s) Chef Alcohol Wine list Price range

Appetiser: We took quite some advantage of the ridiculously cheap alcohol options. The Apples and Curry Leaves mojito was refreshing with the curry leaves adding that extra bite. If youd like things to be a little less sweet, go for the Kafir-Lime and Lychees version. Even spicier tastes? Go for the Guava Balsamic Mary, served in a saltrimmed glass and strong in flavours and alcohol! The red wine based Sonora Sangria is not bad either, with the wine quantity making up for the rela-

tively lower overall volume. The Pimped Shrimp was our solid start, and in addition to the promised garlic and burnt chilli flavours, it also had a lime presence that added an excellent tanginess. The mildly spicy Sansho fish came a close second with vinegar and chilli flavours. We also liked The Mexican samosas they chose to call it Empanada crispy exterior with a creamy corn and jalapeno filling. The Teriyaki Paneer, with a unique presentation style and gingery flavour, and the Chickititah grilled chicken with a whiff of tangerine and ginger were not bad either. The Rasta Chicken came recommended, and though it was crispfried and tasty, it didnt really live up the expectations.

thin crust pizza and even discounting our collective meat bias, this was not something we cared for. We tried two versions of The Drinking Mans food Champagne Cream with a creamy cheese sauce and champagne with chicken and Pesto Rum with shrimp. Both were excellent, though we could detect no trace of the alcohol mentioned, and it took several rounds of debate before the Pesto Rum was given top honours. The last to arrive was the Coin Lamburgers three mini burgers with mildly spicy and tasty patties. There is no way to sugar-coat this. There are no desserts! I am rarely one to rant about the youth of today, but is this what it has come down to? How can we be called a civilisation without a sweet tooth? What about those researches that correlate chocolate and happiness? Sigh. A minus point for that!

Parking Wheelchair access Service

Multi-cuisine Speciality Restaurants Ltd Harman Singh Sawhney Yes, and at beat the price levels! Exhaustive! For about `1350, you could share a couple of cocktails, two non veg starters, and a couple of non veg main course dishes. (Inclusive of taxes and service charge) Yes No

Reasonably prompt, considering the crowd chaos! Music Faintly audible in daylight, but reaches a crescendo after twilight Ambience Young, vibrant Kid friendly No, unless you want to take the kids to a pub Hours 12.30 to 11 pm Home delivery No Reservations All the best



Entre: There are fewer options in this

section, and it didnt help that some were unavailable. We chose Captain Haddock to begin with a carbonara pizza with chicken bacon and though a tad bland, we still liked it. The tomato heavy Margarita was a

biance and the buzz do give Hoppipola the lively bonhomie it aspires to have. It also hits the sweet spot in terms of pricing, but cmon, some desserts to sweeten the deal?

From top: Corn and Jalapeno Empanda, Penne Pesto Rum, Pimped Shrimp and Sansho Fish

In all: If you can brave the challenges of

gaining entry, youll find that the am-

Bangalore Mirror reviews anonymously and pays for meals


This Dosa Camp boasts of the crispiest dosas, tastiest sambhar and softest thatte idlis in East Bangalore

riving past the Sai Baba Temple in Cambridge Layout, the smell of benne wafting out of Om Sai Skanda Dosa Camp and the crowd outside this 10 X 14 orange and white eatery will make you do a double take. While standing at the counter and looking at the menu, its normal to be told by proprietor SD Viswanathan (Visu), or one of the 12 boys that work under him, This is all pure veg, madam. You can be sure of this also because it is being prepared fresh in front of your eyes. Apart from the batter being ground, the masalas, gravies and fried items are tossed at the counter itself. Quite literally a live counter! In addition to vada, masala dosa, onion, paper and paper plain dosa, Om Sai Skanda Dosa Camp specialises in rice items such as rice bath and puri saagoo. The dish that


The most crowded place after the Sai Baba Temple in East Bangalore on a Thursday

stands out on the menu is the `35 Bath masala dosa. This is a serving of rice and aloo palya with ghee in a dosa. A complete dish, customers eat one of this and say it keeps them full for the entire day, says Visu. Every item is accompanied by a plastic yellow plate with piping hot sambhar and freshly prepared coconut chutney. If the dash of chutney podi in your dosa is too spicy, he even stocks half litre bottles of water. At the Dosa Camp, there is no other beverage available. If we keep tea or coffee, office folk in the area stand around and smoke with the coffee, especially women. And my regulars are mostly families, says Visu. One such regular is CC Shettar, a retired CEO, who frequents the Camp on Thursday. They serve the softest idli in the city, with steaming hot sambhar. Every-

thing at this stall is under Rs 40. Thursday is their busiest day, when everyone from auto drivers to CEOs attends the proceedings at the Sai Baba Temple next door and then follow it up with a quick bite here. Nair, a carpenter who was heading to work on Thursday morning said, This is the tastiest meal of my day and keeps me full all day, while Im slicing wood. Visu and his staff work every day from 7 am to 12.30 pm and 4.30 pm to 10 pm. Visu also owns Om Sai Skanda Tiffin Centre in Ulsoor. But he started this because they dont sell dosas there, insists the staunch believer of Shirdi Sai Baba. So, next time youre zipping around Ulsoor, make sure you make a pit-stop here to satiate those taste buds. Khushali P Madhwani