“A balanced diet is a Mojito in each hand”. Inspired with this thought, Hard Rock Café (HRC), India has reinvented flavored variants of this Cuban classic, in their ‘Mojito Mania’ special summer menu exclusive during 13th May – 9th June at all the five HRC outlets across India. An invite from their PR agency led me to preview this menu on a relaxed Friday evening at their Bombay Dyeing Mills Compound, Mumbai outlet.
These mojitos are created in association with Bacardi, carefully using new flavored variants of Bacardi white rum. Available at an interesting price point, the ‘Mojito Mania’ offers patrons to choose any one of the nine mojito variants for Rs 350/-, you could add an appetizer (any from their regular menu) for Rs 300/- extra, or go for the mojito pitcher for Rs 850/-.
The mixology technique for creating each of these nine mojito variants is the same – A Soda and Sprite base, balanced with sweet and salt mix, fresh fruit, flavored or regular Bacardi white rum, garnished with coarsely crushed fresh fruit, lime wedges and mint sprigs. You could choose from Watermelon, Orange, Green Apple, Bell Pepper, Cucumber, Grape, Strawberry, Kiwi and Mango Mojito.
Due to the LBT strikes in Mumbai the Green Apple and Grape fruit supplies were restricted and as such these variants were not available for this preview. However the mixologists manage to impress with each of the other seven variants. Honestly, this range spoils you for choice, as there is a refreshing (with a capital ‘R’) intertwining of Bacardi rum with the fresh fruit and a strong fresh flavor of mint in each variant. If you are not driving back home – I suggest try the Cucumber, Bell Pepper, Watermelon followed by the Kiwi Mojito (in that order) before moving on to the other options.
Ed: Pawan Soni went to the same promotion in Hard Rock Cafe, Delhi and reports his experience:
Hard Rock Cafe is an experience of 5 M’s – Music, Menu, Memoralia, Merchandise and Monuments, says Kanika Kumar, Regional Manager, Sales & Marketing- North. After a long time I met a marketing personnel who is so bought on to the establishments and even after spending over four years at the outlet gets emotionally charged and her enthusiasm is visible as she starts talking of Hard Rock Cafe, their merchandise, and the philanthropy activities. She obviously knows about the brand she handles much better than most other PR persons I have met so far. This was one of those times where I was more interested in listening to Kanika than going through the menu and ordering.
Getting back to the purpose of why I was here, I ordered green apple mojito, which like the experience of my Mumbai counterpart wasn’t available. This led us to trying Kiwi, Cucumber and Watermelon Mojito. Each of them was nice with the exception of Kiwi Mojito, where kiwi flavours were subdued with the overwhelming mint flavours.
Servers are courteous though informal. The look of steward at our table, Kazip, said it all and helped complete the entire feel of the place which has good music and ambience going in its favour.
The half ‘American sized’ portion of Nachos (360) were still big enough for two of us who wanted to try more of the menu. Tortilla Chips were crisp and fresh and mixed with jalapenos, salsa pinto beans and added extra chicken, it was as good as it could get. I may though still like smaller bite sized tortilla chips which can be finished in a single bite.
Moving on to try a local flavour from ‘Meri Dilli’ section, we ordered overnight marinated paneer cooked with Spinach and served in sizzler plate with Pita bread and charmula yogurt dip, which Hard Rock Cafe strangely calls Saag Paneer (335). Saag has a consistency of kashmiri haaq, and tastes great when put inside a pita bread like a sandwich. Even a non-paneer lover like me, couldn’t resist taking multiple bites.
Legendary 10 OZ burger (435) deserves all the accolades I have heard. It is easily a full meal for an average Indian, and if accompanied by any starter, it must be shared between two diners. If you want to have a complete burger by yourself, go for the 6 OZ option which also wouldn’t get soggy because of the time delay in eating the juicy meat inside. If this burger were to be served along with house fries instead of the normal Mc Cain, undoubtedly this will be the best burger in NCR.
The meal is incomplete if you haven’t tried the dessert – Tres Leches(340); a three milk sponge cake soaked in condensed, evaporated and whole milk, topped with cream, mango, berries and strawberries. It is an amazing end to a very satisfying meal, even though the origin of this dish is disputed. However given its popularity in Latin America, it has been part of the worldwide menu at Hard Rock Cafe.
Our table looked like a Ludo board, with the spread of highball glasses of colorful drinks, is when the serving staff arrived with the appetizers from the combo offer. Two vegetarian and two non-vegetarian appetizers were served.
Between the vegetarian Hummus and Pitta bread platter and the Santa Fe Spring Rolls, the latter emerged a winner. Stuffed with spinach, black bean, corn, jalapeno and mixed cheese, these rolls were served on a guacamole and chipotle ranch dressing along with a salsa dip.
Amongst the non-vegetarian appetizer, the Tupelo Chicken Tenders (basically Chicken strips) is a clear winner; deep fried seasoned chicken tender strips are served with a honey mustard sauce tossed in classic sauce. Hickory Smoked Chicken Wings the other non-vegetarian appetizer had more glamour appeal but the strong sour hickory sauce used was not palatable to me.
The ambient lighting and cult music played at this 169 cover restaurant helps you rewind into those carefree times. ‘Mojito Mania’ is destined to be a crowd puller, for the sheer brilliance of the Mojito flavors, and the interesting options of appetizers to go along.
Food: 4.0/5 | Ambience: 4.5/5 | Service: 3.5/5 | Overall: 4.0/5
Meal for two: Rs 150 (without alcohol) | Credit cards: Accepted | Alcohol: Yes | Valet Parking: Available | Timing: 12 noon – 1.00 am
Address: Hard Rock Café, Bombay Dyeing Mills Compound, Pandurang Budhkar Marg, Worli, Mumbai 400 025| Tel: +91 – 22 – 24382888
Hard Rock Café, M 110, Multiplex Building 1st Floor, DLF Place, Saket District Centre,New Delhi, Saket District Centre, Pushp Vihar, New Delhi | Tel: +91 – 11 – 47158888
– Ashish Gupta (Mumbai) & Pawan Soni (Delhi)