Is there anything better than the thought of sipping on a freshly made cocktail on a beach in Mexico, while also indulging in an assortment of local foodie specialities. Loaded tacos, cheesy quesadillas, fresh grilled shrimp salad and more. Each and every bite filling in your mouth with spice and flavour.
Well just substitute Mexico for Surfers Paradise and you can almost feel that daydream coming true.
We love visiting Hard Rock Cafe’s around the world. We’ve been to the one in Sydney, in Barcelona, the Cayman Islands and even Oslo. We go, as do many others, to check out the fascinating rock n roll memorabilia, have a drink or two and enjoy the relaxed ambiance.
It is really hard to miss the iconic neon guitar of the Hard Rock Cafe in the heart of Surfers Paradise. It’s been lighting up the strip since 1996 and has become a household name when it comes to where to eat on the Gold Coast.
We stopped in recently to the Hard Rock Cafe Surfers Paradise to see what was new, and found ourselves indulging in something unexpected – the latest menu offerings for the month of May at Hard Rock. Tastes of Mexico.
During our days working on cruise ships, we have both actually been to Mexico. So we may be considered a little snobbish when we try Mexican food that claims to be the “real deal”, but that’s located somewhere other than Mexico. Sure Mexican food anywhere is awesome – but it always seems to be lacking a little something. And usually that something is freshness of ingredients, an authentic spiciness, and a couple of ice cold Dos Equis close at hand.
At the Hard Rock Cafe Surfers Paradise we sadly didn’t find our chilled Dos Equis (they had fresh made cocktails instead so we’ll forgive them), we did in fact find the flavour and fresh ingredients we had hoped for.
We indulged in:
Crispy Shrimp with Aji Amarillo Sauce: Panko breaded shrimp with fresh cheese, spicy pecans, cilantro and green onion, with a zesty yellow chili pepper sauce and feta cheese
Fiesta Chicken Quesadillas with Shredded chipotle chicken, grilled pineapple, Parmesan or Romano cheese, and fresh cheese. Served with spicy sauce, sour cream, and guacamole.
A delish variety of Mexican Street Tacos including pulled pork, southwest chicken and our personal favourite Barbacoa beef taco which is slow cooked beef brisket. The beef literally dissolved spicy, slow cooked beef goodness in my mouth… mmm nom nom nom
There is even a vegetarian option for the non meat eaters out there, made with quinoa and sweet potato. This should have punched with that sweet potato flavour, but sadly it just didn’t come through and balance like the pork and beef tacos. But hey, I like meat, so maybe it’s just my tastebuds complaining after being hugely satisfied by the prior meaty taco fix. Speaking of which, these tacos were fully loaded! No half portions here.
Another veggie option was the Mexican Street Corn Fritters made of Parmesan or Romano cheese, habanero peppers, served with tomatillo salsa and lime crema fresca. A surprise favourite even with the meat eaters in the room. Not too oily and bursting with Mexican flavours, they fell apart into a delicious mess on first bite. Trust me – you won’t be able to resist going back for more.
For those looking for something a little on the healthier side I personally recommend the Grilled Shrimp with Mexican Street Corn Salad, one of my favourite dishes of the night. The shrimp was perfectly seared and the salad was made up of black beans, pico de gallo, avocado, jalapenos, roasted corn, and tossed with a chili orange vinaigrette and drizzle of yellow chili pepper. A light and tasty option that was still jam packed with loads of authentic flavour.
Everything was freshly prepared, had the right amount of spices and spiciness – spice fearers can be safe knowing you won’t get your head blown off, but for those of us desiring the heat, your mouth will be left warm and happy. Every dish was so incredibly moorish it was hard to choose which ones we loved the most, but we did choose….
For me it was the Shrimp Salad I mentioned just earlier and for Tommo, he hasn’t stopped raving about the Fiesta Chicken Quesadillas. He is a man that loves his cheese and it was supplied in gooey abundance!
I did mention earlier about the fresh made cocktails, and they certainly deserve a closer look. Hard Rock have designed 3 specialty cocktails to feature alongside their Taste of Mexico menu, and as with the dishes – there is certainly a cocktail that will suit all tastes.
The Amigo is a sweeter option for those who like the sweet things in life: Mezcal with Luxardo Liqueur, blueberry, orgeat, lime juice and garnished with cherries.
The Diablo (our favourite) : Mezcal mixed with muddled cucumber, agave, mango puree, lime juice and topped with ginger beer. Served with a candied ginger and cucumber twist.
And The Trouble Maker for those a little more daring with their taste buds and want to fire things up a bit! Mezcal, Cointreau mixed with fresh Lime Juice, Chipotle Pineapple syrup and muddled jalapeño rings. Yes thats right real slices of chilli are in the drink!
The Taste of Mexico menu is available at Hard Rock Surfers Paradise (and quite a few other Hard Rock Cafe’s around the world) throughout the month of May. So if you are in need of a tasty, authentic Mexican fix, then head down there before you miss out!
It’s easy to think when a brand becomes big that it’s going to sell out and become generic and bland, but Hard Rock’s Tastes of Mexico menu proved they are still about retaining freshly sourced authenticity. To be honest it’ll never be as perfect as sitting on a beach in Mexico, but being surrounded by rock n roll memorabilia, only a 2 minute walk from beautiful Surfers Paradise beach, while indulging on true Mexican flavour is a pretty darn good substitute.
Address: Cnr. Cavill Ave. & Surfers Paradise Blvd., Surfers Paradise, Queensland 4217, Australia
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Disclaimer: Our meal at Hard Rock Cafe complementary. This article contains affiliate links which we will make a small commission from if you use them. Thank you for supporting our website by using these links. All opinions remain our own.[manual_related_posts]