Business owners, Steph and Jon Hamra, initially opened the Hula Hoop bar on one side of the Regal theatre while operating the Uxbridge Kitchen, a cosy little cafe, on the opposite end. It was only recently that they decided to consolidate the two businesses under the Hula Hoop banner. The space that was formerly the Uxbridge Kitchen is the part of Hula Hoop that is always first to open with the opposite end primarily used for overflow. Available from 8am-3pm is the all-day menu that consists of granola, croissants, brioche, bruschetta, salad and soup. From 4pm, the night menu kicks into action and is more Mediterranean influenced.
First up was the Hula Breakfast with bacon, avocado, chorizo and haloumi. The dish comes with two free range eggs which are cooked as you like them. We chose to have them poached and it was nice to see gooey yolk running from the eggs. The bacon was nice and crispy, and had lovely smokey flavours, while the haloumi was lightly grilled with just the right amount of salt content. The only criticism was that the chorizo was a tad overcooked, but apart from that, it was a satisfying dish.
The other breakfast item was the Hula Maple Roasted Granola with fruit compote and yoghurt. The amount of peanuts and almonds in the granola was generous and added a nice crunchy texture. The fruit compote added sweetness which was balanced by the smooth, creamy yoghurt. The inclusion of a cinnamon stick and star anise was a nice touch as it altered the flavour of the dish when mixed with the milk.
Part of the night menu is the Atlantic Salmon cured in campari and vodka with squid ink aioli. The salmon had a lovely silky smooth texture with a good mix of smokiness and alcohol content. The rocket not only made a nice garnish but also added a more crispier texture to the dish.
Next was the Hula Hot Pot which is made from fennel quarters, pan fried chicken braised in white wine with onions, black olives, pine nuts and chorizo. This is such a rustic dish that is perfect for the cold winter weather. The chicken was well seasoned, tender and succulent, and the chorizo was well cooked on this occasion. The fennel wasn’t too overpowering while the olives added a distinct nutty flavour.
We all know that no meal is complete without dessert. Available today was the Panna Cotta with local honey and walnut toffee. The Panna Cotta was nice and wobbly which was a good sign and you could see the specks of vanilla bean on the surface. The Panna Cotta was light and smooth with just the right amount of sweetness. The toffee was firm and chewy, and provided good contrast in texture.
The thing we loved about Hula Hoop is that you come in feeling like you’re part of the family. Steph, Jon and the rest of the team are passionate about what they do and it shows. The space is warm and cosy, it’s so easy to sit back, relax, unwind and enjoy a meal or beverage. Whether day or night, there are so many delicious dishes to choose from. Coupled with their local and international wine list, and classic cocktail collection, customers that come here are set for a great experience.
WHERE: 269 Kensington Rd, Kensington Park