You only have to walk into Hard Rock Cafe early on a chilly winter Sunday evening to shatter all your expectations about it. Granted it was very much before dinner time, but a quiet un-crowded look doesn’t fit well in my mind when I think of the legendary brand that is Hard Rock Cafe. I’m not complaining though, for once I was over the initial shock, the sparseness actually was welcoming especially since I was accompanied by my young kids.
Judging a restaurant by the number of people that are in it at a specific given time is like judging a book by its cover. You simply don’t do that. Yes, if a place is perpetually empty round the clock all days of the week, think twice, but since that’s not the case here, we settled down on one of the comfortable big couch sections with ample sitting and table space. You see the silver lining now don’t you?
I’ve been to a few Hard Rock Cafe’s around the world but this happens to be the first I tried in India and I’m glad to say that it exceeded my expectations. The service first and foremost deserves a special mention for it was not at all intrusive and the staff was extremely helpful and friendly. I’m sure the place being less crowded gave them time to attend to us more, but nevertheless I shall hold my comments on how they are with a full-house once I witness that myself.
Our order consisted of the Vegetarian Jumbo Combo that in turn consisted of lovely Potato Skins, crunchy Onion Rings, freshly chopped Tomatoes on the Bruschetta, and fresh salad leaves with tasty Santa Fe Spring Roles. The presentation was brilliant and the quantity enough to justify the price.
Kid menus are slowly becoming more and more popular amongst restaurants and are greatly appreciated by parents in general. So, my daughter had the Mac and Cheese with bread and chocolate milk, all of which were satisfactory. Personally the pasta could have been boiled for a couple of minutes more, but it wasn’t that a big a deal. I found the white sauce to be delicious and of sufficient quantity. The entire portion of the dish too was more than enough for a kid.
Since we were sharing food, primarily because the quantities are huge, two burgers were ordered amongst three adults. They both came with massive sides of potato fries. The HRC Veggie Burger was very good and once again a mention needs to be made that all round the salad leaves used were clean and green, something that I don’t always find in restaurants these days. At the time of ordering, we were asked our preference with regards to the sides for the Veggie Burger with a choice between salad or fries. We decided on the salad but fries were served. It did not matter so we didn’t even mention this to them. However, the staff realized their mistake on their own and after about 5 minutes brought a side of salad free of cost. This is excellent service in my books, and I’m not saying this simply because we got a side of salad on the house.
The Mediterranean Burger was what I had and it was once again pretty good. The only issue with it was that it didn’t have a Mediterranean feel to it. Maybe using a different cheese, feta in place of cheddar, or something else would make it more “sunny” and colourful. The sundried tomato aioli lacked that distinct flavor of the tomatoes and since overall the taste was satisfactory I wouldn’t mind having it again way down in the future.
In general, the ambience at Hard Rock Café was appropriate. Those that prefer a more fuller venue, I recommend visiting when they have one of their musical events, but then, going with kids might not be the best of ideas due to noise levels. Leaving aside the emptiness, those that have visited any HRC would know that the walls are covered with music memorabilia and some make for excellent picture taking opportunities. The music being played at the time of my visit was 80s-90s Rock and since I grew up listening to that very music, you won’t be hearing any complaints from me.
I will have to visit HRC a few times before I can vouch for their consistency but they are very proud of their burgers and food/drinks in general so I’m guessing I won’t be disappointed the next time round as well, especially since the damage to the pocket for all of the above plus water and a non-alcoholic drink was an acceptable Rs. 2800.