Hard rock café, one of the most renowned chain of cafés across the globe and the largest private archive of rock and roll, a tradition that started with Eric Clapton, a regular of the cafe, donating his guitar to claim his favourite spot. From its origin in 1971 till date, hard rock café has collected over 77000 plus items to become the largest museum one of its kind that preserves the whimsical era of rock.
Being synonymous with all things classic doesn’t stop this café from experimenting. One such experiment is their upcoming Mexican festival to be launched on the 2nd of May that hosts a promising menu comprising of conventional and contemporary Mexican flavours curated by the chef to gratify the Indian palates.
Hard rock café, DLF Place being a well-known landmark in the city is quite easily locatable.
The interiors are a fusion between Goth and rock, with 18th century inspired chandeliers, dark upholstery, accents of wood and walls donned with some of the greatest rock memorabilia including one of the most expensive items purchased, Adam Levine’s guitar.
There is a stage in the centre and two seating areas, one adjacent to the bar and the other laterally opposite to it.
The selection of music played at the café is a nostalgic trip back in time.
Mexican being the theme of the day, props were laid across the tables along with hats and sombreros.
Amidst the fun filled activities such as a version of chili roulette, YMCA dance session, getting innumerable pictures clicked at the photo booth and a nacho eating contest, this wonderful afternoon began with the Mexican favourite, tequila!
First up was the bulldog, a drink that looked as interesting as it’s name. With a frozen margarita base topped with a Carlsberg inverted into the glass. An interesting concoction but one that goes flat soon is recommended to be enjoyed quickly.
Served next was a drink of gigantic proportions, meant to be shared between two was a classic blue margarita topped with 150ml of liquor, it is quite refreshing but has very usual flavours.
What we had next was a definite crowd pleaser, an innovative invention, the troublemaker is a medley of tequila, cointreau and jalepeños! A drink not for the faint hearted, with an after taste that leaves you gasping for water from the spice. The troublemaker was one of the favourites of the day owing to the creativity.
Diablo again tequila based cocktail, with an overlay of fruit juices, spiced with ginger beer was far too hefty on the ginger.
Amigo and Cranberry & lychee margarita are the sweeter cocktails available on their Mexican menu, very well blended and conceal the alcohol almost completely. Recommended for anyone who dosen’t necessarily enjoy the taste of alcohol hitting them in the face.
Among the huge array of food served throughout the afternoon, the dishes that stood out the most were the Tex-Mex spiced Char-grilled chicken skewers and Mexi-Cali spiced cottage cheese BBQ skewers, good enough to make you exclaim “Ay Dios Mio!”.
Both the skewers were spiced in a symphony of strong Indo-Mexican flavours that yielded simply into the highlights of the day. The chicken was tender and evenly charred served with a honey mustard dip that complemented the zing in the marinate beautifully.
Cottage cheese skewers were a spicy delight served over a bed of sautéd onions and peppers. However the portions were quite small, they were wonderfully cooked to a texture almost melting in the mouth.
Among some of the other dishes served was the Mexican Street corn salad containing a never-ending list of some of the freshest ingredients, tossed in a smokey orange and chili vinaigrette. The salad is available in three variants – veg, chicken and prawn, however the chicken tends to be a little on the drier side.
Albuquerque which is their version of a vegetarian burrito is a huge serving with a side of spiced fries. The burritos are hearty, wrapped in a flour tortilla which is prepared in house. The filling comprises of cheese, lettuce, potato pops, refried beans, Mexican rice and roasted vegetables. An overload of flavours that meddled into mediocrity.
Chicken tinga tacos and vegetarian tacos are flour-based soft-shelled tacos as opposed to corn. The tacos, though slightly bland on their own were served with a tomato salsa and sour cream to bring allure back to the dish.
The last dish of the day was the Fiesta chicken Quesadillas and a fiesta it was. It was well seasoned and perfectly balanced with a mixture of cheeses, chipotle, pineapple and chicken, it is a must try.
The presentation of the dishes was a prime and the flavour train was maintained throughout.
Hard rock café is not just a place for a meal but for an experience that’s much greater. So head here for a Mexican fiesta and let your tastebuds indulge. The Taste of Mexico festival ends on the 31st of May, 2016.