Beer fans the world over await the month of October when it is time for Octoberfest. Hard Rock Café Pune brings you Rocktoberfest so you can sip some innovative beer based cocktails, selected craft brews or beers from across the world.
Hard Rock Café brought us some excellent festivals this year with Summer of the Legends and Latin Fest. Summer of the Legends featured mojitos, Latin Fest was all about Jose Cuervo Tequilas, and now with Rocktoberfest, it is time for beer to shine.
I am a big fan of Hard Rock Café, have been for many years. Whether it is the HRC Atlantic City facing the boardwalk and the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean, or busy downtown Indianapolis, Hard Rock Café has the power to take you into a different world.
Even in Pune, you start feeling it as you turn off North Main Road and enter a quiet street flanked with flowering bushes. Ample parking, flowering hibiscus, towering palms, and verdant lawns work toward slowing down your heartbeat. Dark wood paneling in the interiors, and the strum of a guitar brings you home and you know you can just settle down and relax in this cocoon, leaving your stress behind.
The evening started off with a warm welcome from Manager Suman and General Manager Sravanth. Watermelon Vodka Hoedown kicked off the evening. Generally, I prefer beer without any mixers, but beer based cocktails are so hot this year. The Beer Café wowed me with some earlier this year.
With Rocktoberfest, Hard Rock Café brings beer based cocktails with different kinds of liquor like vodka, rum and tequila. Orange Vodka Shandy mixes vodka, orange juice and beer. Vodka Southern Shandy is a mix of vodka, peaches, lemonade and beer. Tangy Orange Bomb is made from Bacardi Orange, orange liquer, lime juice and beer.
HRC are experts at mixing their drinks, and if the Watermelon Vodka Hoedown was any indication, all these drinks are a must try. Thankfully, Rocktoberfest runs into the first week of November so you can enjoy all these at leisure.
For the hard core beer lovers, craft beer from TJ’s is available. I liked the choice of the three different beers – Zen Weiss, Pale Ale and Devil Dark. The Zen Weiss is very refreshing with earthy tones, and almost smells like fresh cut grass. The Pale Ale is very familiar and goes down smoothly. The Devil Dark is something worth trying because it is so different. Much darker than an Irish Red, this one has slightly sweeter tones of molasses.
Many other bottled beers have made the Rocktoberfest menu, from Amstel Light and Stella Artois to Hoegaarden and Tsingtao.
All this fantastic chilled beer needs some solid food to go along with it. And the special Rocktoberfest menu lived up to it.
Chef Sardeep said the menu offers something for everyone highlighting different flavors like Jamaican, Asian, Mexicali, Cajun and so on. The Cajun seasoned fries won me over. Served with a zesty salsa, I don’t think anyone can say No to them.
The Carnival Fiesta Fries are a great option for carnivores and can easily be shared among two or three people as an appetizer. Hand Pulled Chicken and smoked frank slices on a bed of Cajun fries, with tangy salsa and a warm cheese sauce – quite filling for anyone.
Vegetarians have two choices on the menu – A Mexican Mafia Veg Submarine or the LA Confidential Double Decker Veg Burger. Both of these get my wholehearted approval. And if you are a regular reader here, you know I don’t give my approval lightly.
The LA Confidential Double Decker burger has a truly innovative beetroot relish and two different patties – crispy vegetable and crusty potato. The patties are super crisp and the burger is smoky, something us vegetarians rarely get to taste.
The Mexican Mafia Veg Submarine contains veggie fingers stuffed in a roll, with molten cheese sauce and tangy beans.
Both the LA Confidential Burger and the Mexican Mafia Veg Submarine are served with Cajun seasoned fries.
I think it will be great if the entire menu is offered with a choice of vegetarian patties or veggie sausage. It will also be nice to see some mock meats or tempeh on the vegetarian menu. If anyone can execute it correctly, Hard Rock Café can with its global presence and resources.
Another event which will run parallel with Rocktoberfest is Pinktober. Pinktober offers a berry smoothie and Red Velvet Cheesecake brownie, a must try dessert. Part of the proceeds from Pinktober will go toward cancer research and the Ogaan Cancer Foundation. So now there is a noble reason to dig into that luscious brownie.
What sets Hard Rock Café apart from other places serving good food? Rock and Roll, of course. Music is something you can immerse yourself in when you are at HRC. Wednesdays bring Anthems of Rock, and Thursdays bring live concerts. Classic Rock or Alternative Rock, you get the whole gamut here.
The tracks took us on a wide musical journey with Backstreet Boys which seems almost retro now to Katy Perry and Roar.
I tried the Asian Saigon Roll in a veggie version and loved the fresh slaw, surprisingly spiced with Sichuan peppers/ anise.
Pump it up this October with Rocktoberfest. It’s happening now at your nearest Hard Rock Café until November 8.