Hard Rock Café is a home away from home for rock music fans across the globe. You could be in any strange country on any far off continent, you’ll always have Hard Rock Café.
I have a limited relationship with rock music, but when it comes to HRC, we are friends for life. I hadn’t ventured into HRC Pune yet, but an exciting mojito making competition and a chance to meet fellow bloggers in person came by. And I was in.
Hard Rock Café is staging Summer of the Legends, an exciting month long festival that features screenings of some iconic live concerts by rock legends like Unplugged by Nirvana, Use Your Illusion Tour by Guns N’ Roses, ‘The Legend Live’ by Bob Marley and U2 in Ireland. There is a fresh summer menu to go along with these featuring some fruity mojitos and tasty food.
Hard Rock Café Pune is located at the far end of North Main Road in Koregaon Park. Palm trees swayed in the summer breezes and the sun was just setting as we reached the event. Stepping into the café itself felt very familiar. The standard HRC ambience with the memorabilia on the walls, a merchandise shop and large booths were immediately comforting.
One feature of HRC is that rock music plays there, all the time, and it can be loud. The idea is to immerse yourself in it and unwind. No, it is not the place for a heart to heart talk.
The summer menu featured many fruity mojitos like green apple, lychee, strawberry, kiwi, pineapple etc. I ordered the Kiwi mojito and it had just the right balance of sweetness. I tried a virgin version of the pineapple mojito which is made with caramel syrup and it was a bit sweet. But the pineapple flavor was fresh and strong.
Red Hot Chili fries were a great appetizer, drizzled with some sweet chili sauce and served with salsa and a cheese dip. The scallions on top added a nice fresh touch. Fries were crispy on the outside and perfect.
Other vegetarian choices were a falafel wrap, a veggie hoagie and a veggie burger. I went for the falafel wrap which was supposed to have hummus and falafel bullets. I went without the mayo – I dislike mayo – and that made the wrap very dry.
I am partial to my own falafel recipe and I would not serve mayo with Lebanese or Mediterranean food. Tzatziki or a lemon tahini sauce would have been perfect with it. My wrap came with potato wedges and they were really good. In short, a lot of spuds were consumed by moi.
The highlight of the evening was a mojito making competition among the bloggers. Master mixologist Nupur Joshi from All About Daru showed us the ins and outs of making the perfect mojito. I was happy to know the little insiders secrets like how to clap the mint between your palms so it releases fresh flavors, how to shake the cocktail shaker with two fingers on top and how to top a signature Bacardi Mojito with a drizzle of Bacardi so that the first sip tastes of it. The nuances of how fruity a drink should be, how to get the balance right and other things Nupur explained will take a lifetime to get right. And that is why bartending is an art too.
The bloggers were offered a range of fresh cut fruit like lychee, orange, kiwi, pineapple, green apple, lime wedges and of course, fresh mint. There was a range of juices and syrups to choose from and different types of Bacardi rum. The task was to mix a drink that wasn’t on the HRC menu.
We bent our heads in rapt concentration, trying to figure out what to mix. Nupur pointed out that the most important thing was to have fun!
Fun was the focus of the whole evening. After cheering each other on, we headed out to a selfie booth that had many funky props and that took photos and printed them out. It was the perfect end to the evening.
Hard Rock Café has the Summer of the Legends festival on till July 5th. The fruity mojito beckons, and HRC also celebrates Founder’s Day on June 14. They are offering burgers for 45INR for the first 100 customers from 3-8 PM. That is worth lining up for.
If you have never been to any Hard Rock Café, it is something that needs to be experienced. And if you are old HRC fans, need I say more?
And before I sign out, here’s the mojito that I mixed – orange segments, lime wedges and two lychees, muddled, coconut water, lychee pulp and mint, all shaken together topped with soda!
The perfect refreshing summer mojito. Legendary!