WORDS: VARTIKA PANT
PHOTOGRAPHY: ROSHNI MANGHANI
KNOWN FOR THE SEAMLESS BLEND OF DISTINGUISHING ROCK MUSIC, FULL-FLAVOURED APPETIZERS AND ALCOHOL INTO A MODERN YOUTHFUL EXPERIENCE, CLASSIC ROCK CAN NO LONGER BE CONSIDERED NEW IN PUNE FOR ITS FULFILLING EXPERIENCES FROM LIVE MUSIC TO KARAOKE NIGHTS AND FROM COMEDY LINEUPS TO DJ NIGHTS.
The winning combination has led to the success of the chain allowing for the opening of a third one in Viman Nagar. And of course, we had to be there.
As soon as you open up the gates to the restaurant, you’re greeted by spray paintings of rock icons across the sidewalls. While the dimly lit bulbs and wooden walls in the entrance gave the place a rustic retro look, the restaurant further gets divided into three areas. The music lover that I am, the first area became my favourite spot as it showcased a variety of antique guitars – from classical to acoustic to arch top and electric – beautifully lined up. I was glued to the spot for some time, until some boring corporate guys butted in, after which I had to leave. Roshni and I then seated ourselves in the open area with a better view of the stage, where the band was supposed to perform for the night.
The centrepiece of the venue is a tan brown Royal Enfield, placed against a wooden wall. The other areas of the restaurant, like the VIP round table near the live band, had a more serene, relaxing vibe. The lights hanging across the truss turned the area into a glorious constellation. The yellow coloured bar was again an eye catching point which complements the rooftop alignment. For some silly reason, we started off with the non-alcoholic drinks from the bar menu- a Virgin Sex on the beach (makes no sense, I know) and a Virgin Mojito. While the former had the perfect blend of citrus juiciness that gives distinctive relishing taste in the mouth, the latter had a strong minty lemony flavour to it. Not quite impressed with the mocktails, I jumped quickly to its alcoholic counterparts, and ordered the Long Island Iced Tea. Even here, something was off, with some imbalance in the alcohol and sour mix contents, served without any garnish. Disappointed, again.
As we sipped on our drinks, time went by, and around 8 p.m. , the band started playing their tunes. Though the drinks may have dropped the bar, the music did justice to our experience. With some soothing classic Bollywood music from Rabbi Shergill and Kailash Kher going on in the background, the place was in full sway and was fully packed by the time performers moved on to Coldplay and One Republic. Swinging to the classics meant body movements, and that meant hunger which in turn meant more room for some good appetizers! The adjoining kitchen in the rooftop with the rustic red and white brick wall oven is sure to attract attention.
The banging of the pots and pans, the sharp aroma of freshly prepared food, and the overall visual aesthetic is a delight to the interactive experience. But what about the food, though? Well, the waiter’s service was quite engaging, but I would say the Indian dishes that were presented to us were a bit off, both in presentation and in taste. For instance, the Paneer Tikka was pretty boring, with the signature smoky flavour lacking in it. As for the presentation, only a plain white plate and a toothpick did the job. The Cheese Balls and Spring Rolls, similarly, had a usual flavour, and had nothing special about it. The Biryani we ordered was served with curd and was completely bland.
The food might be lacking in flavour, but when you talk about this venue, the music and the ambiance is what sets a laid back mood for you to chill with your buds. At the end of a long day, if you just want to kick back and enjoy good music (and in the future, hopefully good food and cocktails too), Classic Rock Coffee Co & Kitchen, Viman Nagar is the place to be.