Review: Latin American Food Festival at Hard Rock Cafe




Dive in the flavors of Latin America at Hard Rock Café



There can only be one original and the rest can just be similar to it. I am taking about one such place which needs no introduction to anyone, be it the college students, the professionals or the overseas guests, everyone swears by this one name for lip-smacking food, crafted cocktails, chilled beers and foot tapping music – ‘Hard Rock Café’.

Hard Rock café in Bangalore is not just any restaurant/café; it is a landmark in this beautiful city, a legacy that permeates enthusiasm in its audience like a classic song or like a vintage wine.

HRC today are spread over 192 locations, which include restaurants, hotels, casinos, and live music venues, in 60 countries and it's really hard to believe that it all started so innocently: the search for a good burger. It all started in 1971 when two shaggy-haired Americans – Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton wanted nothing more but just find a good American burger. What did they do? Well, they opened up their own American style diner in an old Rolls Royce dealership. They called it Hard Rock Café and the rest is history.

Isaac Tigrett & Peter Morton 
(Image Source: Hard Rock Cafe)

It has always been an absolute pleasure spending many beautiful evenings at HRC but last week the occasion was special, I was invited to celebrate the ongoing Latin Fiesta which really lifted my spirits with foot-tapping music, crafted tequila cocktails and delicious Latin American food and at the end I raised my glass and screamed Ole!

So, here’s how you the evening kicked off. First up, peppy Latino music that set the mood just right after a tiring day at work. Complementing the sweltering music is Viva La Tequila! (The best Latin drink mixes that will ever hit your taste buds). I ordered the hottest selling drink under this section of the menu ‘Cranberry & Lychee Margarita’. I am an infant drinker but this freshly squeezed lime juice, Jose Cuervo Especial Silver Tequila, lychee, cranberries and HRC’s secret ingredient just hit the right note. It had a brilliant balance of sweetness with the lychee and cranberry, tango-pango with the lemon and jammed with mild amount of tequila which is not at all overpowering. It makes life easier for an infant drinker like me. It was so good, I couldn’t stop but repeat.



When at HRC, my expectations are always soaring. Next up it was time to Feast on some amazing Latin American dishes.

The first dish up on the table was ‘Char Grilled Tex-Mex Chicken Skewers’. We were informed that this one of the most popular and fastest flying item from the kitchen and rightly so, the first bite and I could sense the liking of the people. That succulent tender char grilled chicken just comes of the stick without any struggle and the margination with Tex-Mex spice was just top notch. It was served with honey mustard dip, which makes it taste even better.





Next up was ‘Samosette of Spicy Corn & Cheddar Cheese’. This fiesta is all about fusion food and what better example than this. I have grown up eating road side traditional samosas so at first I wasn’t sure of the ‘X’ factor the team of HRC would have put in. But all I would say is there is a surprise in every bite and that’s what fusion food is all about. With every bite, people should utter wow, this is brilliant. These cute crispy phyllo triangles were stuffed with corn, mixed spices, and oozing cheddar cheese, with tangy pesto mayo.







Next up was ‘Red Rod Fries’ and again a perfect example of fusion food. This crusty French fries tossed in dry spice, jalapeno, sweet chili, spring onions & served with cheddar cheese sauce & tangy smoke salsa was just amazing putting the traditional fries to shame. Once you start munching these fiery rods, I bet you can’t keep your hands off it.



Next up was ‘Orange Tequila Prawns’. Ohh! my God, how do I express this brilliantly curated culinary surprise. A bite of it and I was smiling with burst of flavors in my mouth. I just love prawns but this particular dish is definitely the best prawn dish I have had till date.  The pan seared king prawns in corn taco shell was glazed with reduced spicy, tango cilantro orange sauce and flambéed with tequila. The burst of orange and tequila with prawn just takes this dish to some another level. This is a must try.










Next up was ‘Bahama Mama – Chicken Burrito’. This was a flour tortilla laced with roasted chipotle chili ranch, smoky ragout of sweet corn, fresh dill & smoky baked beans, seasoned crunchy chicken tenders, shredded lettuce, mixed cheese & jalapenos. Compared to above three dishes above, this wasn’t wow but still manages to hold its features right. I have had a lot of burritos earlier but this was different, the fusion really works here. Yes, the presentation could have been definitely better. This was served with spiced fries & tangy salsa.







Next up was ‘Tijuana Chicken Sub Roll 395’. This is another brilliant item on the menu. The char grilled smoked chicken is really the hero of this dish which holds the entire dish together. The topping of Tijuana spiced chicken chili is a plays a very important role to balance this dish giving that spicy push.  The other toppings of smoky salsa, cilantro, red onion bits, laced with cheddar cheese sauce & spiced fries really compliments each other.






And to wrap up this amazing evening, we were served Sizzlin’ Skillet Scorched Brownie. You just can’t take your eyes of this beautiful dessert. Couldn’t have asked for a better see off than this walnut brownie topped with generous chocolate fudge and vanilla ice-cream. It’s an absolute treat to your eyes and soul when you see that white vanilla ice-cream melting on the brownie. If there is a heaven for foodies, it has to be this.










The flavours of the festival were heightened with the signature memorabilia on the walls, high ceilings and of course the Latino ambience.

I have always had a beautiful experience at Hard Rock Café but this visit would be etched in my heart for a long long time.

Verdict: 4/5

Must Try:  Cranberry & Lychee Margarita, Samosette of Spicy Corn & Cheddar Cheese, Char Grilled Tex-Mex Chicken Skewers, Orange Tequila Prawns and Sizzlin’ Skillet Scorched Brownie.

Where: Hard Rock Café, Off MG Road, St. Marks Road

When: Till 6th September 2015



Suman

Dreamer, Blogger, Writer, Foodie, Movie buff, Public Relations. Contributor for The New Indian Express and recently started a news publishing website 'Unkrate'.

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