Hard Rock Cafe infuses Mexican flavours into Mumbai’s lifestyle with its ‘Mexican Fiesta’
Have you ever enjoyed a proper Mexican meal? If your answer is no, it isn’t really surprising because of the lack of places to eat Mexican food in Mumbai. But now, the opportunity presents itself with Hard Rock Cafe‘s Mexican Fiesta.
The Mexican festival at Hard Rock Cafe, from 29th August to 18th September will allow you a chance to enjoy traditional Mexican food the way it’s supposed to be eaten. While the menu itself is tantalising, the festival begins as you walk in the big wooden doors of the entrance and are hit with the usual Hard Rock ambience of rock music playing loud on the speakers and dim lighting. The light arrangement is such that the restaurant is typically dark apart from single spotlights over each individual table. Once you step in through the entrance and focus your eyes, the decorative streamers and hanging sombreros set the theme, and it also helps that each waiter – called “Rocker” in Hard Rock lingo – attending to your table wears a straw hat for that extra Mexicano feel.
Though interactions with the management may not be everyone’s cup of tea, the manager plays a great job as a host by visiting each table and inquiring how his guests are enjoying their meal. The hospitality does flow down the chain of hierarchy. In case you aren’t sure what to order, the Rocker attending to your table will grab a chair and explain the intricacies of the menu and provide suggestions for your palate.
The variety of the menu may be limited, but the ingredients and care taken in preparing each dish and drink shows as soon as it reaches your table. The alcohol menu features specials which have never been seen before, or at the most, they are variants of popular cocktails. With a few changes to the normal mojito, the Mojo Mexicana with a base of tequila and lime is strong both in terms of alcohol and flavour. The full-flavoured sour drink is refreshing and gets you salivating, as does the Charlie; a drink with a tequila and raspberry base that has a sweet over taste and a hint of tangy underneath. The list of starters is limited, and the same can be said for the main course. The Seasoned Chicken and Corn Tortilla Tacos were served with side helpings of cheese and sauces which allowed you to mix and match your flavours according to your preference. The tacos, filled with diced vegetables and chicken cubes, were too thick and hard which made them less like eating a crunchy appetizer and more like powering through stale bread. The only saving grace of the dish was the rich flavours of tomato in its filling which could be coupled with adequate cheese and guacamole to go along with it.
As the main course arrives, you will find yourself playing favourites since it is definitely the highlight of the three course menu which boasts different variations to burritos and burgers. It is easy to appreciate that Hard Rock is among the few restaurants that allow you to choose your style of meat preparation and the well done Legendary Beef and Smokey Bean Burger was big and delicious. With tender meat that easily breaks off with a bite and delicate flavours that fill your mouth as soon as they enter, the burger may be too large for someone with a small appetite but would make any foodie happy.
Post the burger, which could serve up as a meal by itself, the menu offers you a single dessert which boasts of rich two toned chocolate which you can try if you haven’t resigned after the main course itself.
Overall, the ambience is delightful, the drinks are brilliant and although the food menu lacks adequate choices, the taste and flavours render it forgivable. In the end, the entire dining experience could be rated as great from the point of view of ambience and service, while the food and drink sustains itself well past a forgivable glitch or two.
For a party of two, the expected amount of the bill can be in the range of Rs 1,600 to Rs, 2,000.
The festival is also set to feature some interesting performances by talented musicians. On 15th September, the Hard Rock stage will host the performance of Full Monty, a dance band comprising of Mexicans Montini Vaz, Gloria Menezes and Steve Daniels.
- Sean Sequeira