It’s the season of Australian Open and once you enter Hard Rock Cafe Kolkata – this is what you see above – Love all Serve all.
Love all Serve All – That’s what you will come across when you take the stairs through the memorabilia shop of Hard Rock Cafe Kolkata to go to the main arena. After spending 2 hours at the place, I realised that the secret behind the energy and enthusiasm of the entire team is perhaps this motto and it comes down from the Directors – Ms Vanita Bajoria and Mr. Amit Bajoria.
My first tryst with Hard Rock cafe was in Mumbai around 2005 when it first opened up in India
The Memorabilia Shop
Is it even worth discussing about a memorabilia shop when this is all about the gastropub? The concept is of taking back a memory of a place in the form of T shirt, shot glasses and many many more things. So for someone like me, who is also a shot glass collector, there is something which can be a value add to the personal stock pile, which is localized highlighting the local monuments and will always remind you of Hard Rock Cafe kolkata. This is something which is to be strongly recommended for Peter Cat, Flurys and few more nostalgia laden eateries of Kolkata .
My second tryst with Hard Rock Cafe was in Pune and there were many an evening spent there with colleagues, family and then like a fish out of water, I was still trying to come to terms with food beyond Kosha Mangsho and had the classic Nachos
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Nachos to start with
No matter why you have come to Hard Rock Cafe, start with Classic Nachos. The Nachos are a mouthful and plateful too and who does not know about these Classic Nachos, the non-vegetarian version is with Southwest Chicken or Fajita Steak. A generous amount of Cheddar Cheese with Sour Cream on top of a huge portion of nachos is just what you would need to start the evening. Unlike most of the places, you wouldn’t need to search for chicken chunks. It is large portion and is meant to be a sharing plate with a group of friends. If you are looking for any other option to set the mood for the evening, then go for the – Jumbo Combo or Red Hot chili fries. The Red hot chili fries with Salsa and cheese sauce on top is definitely noteworthy.
Let Hurricane bowl you over but don’t repeat the mistake of letting the drink settle. Rather have it at the same go. Afterall it’s a nice confluence of White Rum and Dark Rum with Orange, Mango and Pineapple juice. After settling down and if still feeling adventurous, go for the Purple Haze which is a smooth symphony of Vodka, Gin and White rum. Any normal person would not look beyond this but if you are up for the challenge, then order a classic LIIT and safely call it a day. For the more serious ones, there are all regular brands present as are some mocktails like Wildberry Smoothie, Mangoberry cooler or Doubleberry cooler.
The Burgers, the flatbreads and the Pork Rib at Hardrock Cafe Kolkata
The flatbreads that are introduced in Hard Rock Cafe Kolkata are the first across India and with 4 options like the Margherita and Cow boy Taco Veg for the vegetarians and Pepperoni and Chicken Fajita for the non veg lovers. These flat breads are the ones which will be a memorable filler for the next round of drink and food. Order for the burgers and can almost close your eyes and pick up one of the them. HRC is famous for their Legendary Burgers and you get all of them at Hard Rock Cafe Kolkata. The original legendary burger is the one with which HRC started. Atomic Burger will have an instant liking for the flavour from the spice fried onions and Java Lava is a new addition here. For the vegetarians there is Tropical and Quesadilla burger. I will fall short of words to describe the pork ribs. It’s a rack of beautiful baby back ribs slathered with house special BBQ sauce charred and seasoned to perfection. The meat is so tender that it an be pulled apart easily with a fork. If not anything else, this is the one dish that pork lovers must go for.
A Happy ending at Hard Rock Cafe Kolkata
For any normal human being, there should not be any room left for any more food but there is always this superhuman in the group who will prefer to finish off on a sweet note and what else but the gigantic Hot Fudge Brownie Sundae. For safe playing, order the Oreo Cheesecake.
Quite often, since my visit to Hard Rock Cafe Kolkata, I am getting to hear about how expensive it must be. I have a couple of points which I would like to bring forward. Good food and quality does cost money. Having said that, the portion of every dish is quite large and ultimately, it does become value for money (definitely not the ‘Tangra’ definition of value for money). What I mean is that it is worth spending the money for the quality and quantity of the food and beverage plus the overall experience.
Five things you need to do at Hard Rock Cafe, Kolkata
- Challenge the mixologists over the time in which they can prepare the cocktail or mocktail.
- Take a tour of the cafe, much to the dismay of fellow guests as you cannot miss out the memorabilia’s on the wall. Do Let us know if you stopped a while before the Madonna one. The memorabilia shop at the entrance offers some wonderful gifts for collectors.
- Order a plate of Nachos to start the evening. They can be the best icebreakers for a pleasant evening. Finish off with Hickory smoked ribs or hickory smoked bbq chicken.
- Do not miss out on the YMCA dance every 07:00 pm and 09:00 pm.
- Drop in on any Thursday evening for a live gig by reputed brands
My most cherished memory will be with Asif from Operations with infectious energy who gave me company over the entire time spent and I will also like to wish all the best to Chef Nakul Bakshi and Sous Chef Snehasish for the insight into the food and so much hard work that goes behind this.
P.S. – After a great meal and some mind blowing drink, take a walk around Hard Rock Cafe Kolkata which is 161 cover spread over 5250 sq ft. You may find many a things to pause and stare. I stared at Madonna’s Corset as well as the hat worn by John Lennon.