Iv'e been to this restaurant a few times and the food i have to say is just delicous! If you are looking for that burger, you know THAT burger, the one with the authentic meaty taste, melty cheese, big n juicy, you'll find it here. Every time we go we reserve a jump the queue ticket which is great as you don't have to spend hours in line in the cold, you can do that on their website, you just have to print it. Now hard rock has loads of good points, the decoration, I can't help but sit and stare in awe when i have a pair of unwashed (maybe) rockers jeans in front of me. The seating is comfortable, the music is great..there is just one thing i cant stand and thats the cheesy waitressing. They come up to you all smiley, and ask how you are and how your food is every five seconds, then when you pay, wait for it..they draw smiley faces all over your receipt....its like..what?? thats just overdoing it, they practically fall over you to get a tip and I would prefer they didn't, I mean, lets face it, Hard Rock isn't that cheap after all. I gave a tip this one time to a waitress, wasn't much cos i didnt have any change on me, when we got up to leave she said ' you can keep that', I was outraged! i looked around for the manager, if i hadnt been in a rush I would've stayed longer to have a nice chat. If that happens again I plan on doing so.
As part of our London holiday me and my girlfriend visited the Hard Rock Cafe - a Rock 'n' Roll themed restaurant. The first thing to note is that the Hard Rock Cafe does not take reservations as such, however if you visit the website a 'PX' can be booked - this allows you to bypass the queues and get the next available table. This is a must, because the queue was big as we arrived and word is that waiting times can be up to 90 minutes long!
We were seated problem and our waiter was very friendly, telling us about the history of the building and of the cafe generally. Regarding food, we shared a Chicken Quesadilla (a lot like a Fajita) for a starter and for main my girlfriend had a burger while i had a club sandwich. Holly seemed to enjoy her burger, and my sandwich was absolutely gorgeous, and the sheer size of it made for a fantastic picture; it was absolutely massive! We were too full for pudding, and one starter two main courses and three drinks came to around £42. It was slightly expensive but worth it, there is a huge amount of memorabilia on the walls and the cafe has a nice atmosphere.
After we finished our meal we went next door to the shop and asked about visiting "The Vault"; this turned out to be one of the most enjoyable parts of our holiday! 'The Vault' - formerly Queen Victoria's bank vault - houses a lot of rare Rock 'n' Roll memorabilia! John Lennon's hand written lyrics, Jimi Hendrix's Guitar, Kurt Cobain's signed Guitar and Madonna's leotard are just a few of the rare objects in the vault; its absolutely fascinating and so good to see such important and sought after objects. After the tour of the small but jam packed vault, you are offered an opportunity to sit on Jimi Hendrix's bench and have some pictures with signed guitars; i chose a signed Oasis guitar and my girlfriend chose a signed Gene Simmons guitar. This was a lot of fun, the pictures were available for £10 each and while this is quite expensive it was a once in a lifetime opportunity so we got some pictures. To be fair, the pictures are of a very high quality!
The Hard Rock Cafe was brilliant, and definitely worth a visit! It definitely pays to put a bit of time in before hand to be able to bypass the queue, and anyone who goes to the Hard Rock Cafe really really should visit 'The Vault',a once in a lifetime opportunity!
Ok, my first review in two months.....urk! So I guess the pressure is on to make this a good'un!
~The review begins (not much info bout the restaurant here, mainly just setting the mood)~
Last Saturday, my boyfriend and I stoopidly took on the task of making it to two birthday parties in one evening, the first party was a friend of mine and we were all going to go to the Hard Rock cafe - there was a method to her madness when she booked the place, she wanted a super cheesy meal, with food that everyone would like and a massive fuss made of her when her birthday cake came out. She just turned 24 you see, and she is having a mid-life crisis and had decided that this was going to be her last "birthday party".
So far so good, Hard Rock cafe seems like a perfect place to have a cheesy birthday party and a big american style fuss made of you on your birthday. I was none too bothered about her choice of venue and happily accepted her invitation and thought no more of it. I have been to Hard Rocks in Singapore, Bangkok and Manila and was never really disappointed, it was always good food, slightly over-priced, but the completely over-zealous waiting staff always made up for it!
Ok so the plan for Saturday night - table is booked for 8, hopefully should be able to make swift exit at around 10:30 or 11ish, make our way over to Islington for second birthday party - pretty simple - or....is it?
~The Plot Thickens (Location & Getting In To The Damn Place)~
Ok, it is Saturday evening, and surprise, surprise, boyfie and I are running late, as per usual. On the number fiddy five bus we hop, down to Oxford street then walk over to Leicester Square, where boyfie swears that the Hard Rock is, but when we get there, already five mins late, and annoyed at having to walk in my purdy shoes, I force him to go into the store and find out where the Cafe is.....
...It turns out the Cafe is in Hyde Park - oh "fiddlesticks", hop in a cab, about 20 mins & 15 squids later we are outside the Hard Rock and....what the "fimble" there is a queue to get in?! Luckily my friend is panicking (cus she is like that), and is waiting outside for me.
Getting your foot in the door:
This is the first restaurant (of this standard) that I have been to in London where you actually have to queue to get in, since this is a non-smoking restaurant boyfie and I kept popping outside and at about 9ish, we heard a bouncer tell a group of girls that waiting time for a table was an hour and a half to two hours(!).
How to get there:
Now, that you all know that Hard Rock is in Hyde Park and not Leicester Square, it is pretty easily accessible, it is on the edge of Green Park (Hyde Park Corner end) the best tube station to head for is Hyde Park Corner, then just head east up Piccadilly, alternatively, get off at Green Park and walk down Piccadilly towards Hyde Park Corner.
~Your Mission, Should You Accept It - Find Your Table~
Finally we are in, it is 8:45, but we are in - the restaurant is set over two floors, we were apparently going to be sitting downstairs, so through the restaurant we go. The restaurant is dimly lit and there is a lot of loud music, and people speaking really loudly to be heard over the music. To the left is a bar area, that seems crammed with people and the walls are adorned with Fenders and costumes, each signed by their previous famous owner.
We arrived downstairs, met up with the rest of our group (12 of us in total) by the bar and a plethora of london air-kisses flew through the air. I then realised that we were all standing by the bar because our table (which was booked for 8 o'clock) was still not ready yet, despite my friend having booked about 2 weeks in advance. Apparently many complaints had already been made, so we thought why not jump on the band wagon and make a couple ourselves.
Half an hour later, our table was apparently ready - two round tables pushed together, which was particularly uncomfortable for those poor sods that got the middle seats as they had no table to actually put their food or drink on, and if they did want the privilege of using the table, they had to turn their backs to the other half of the table.
Second complaint, my friend had specified that it was a birthday party (and even ordered a cake from them) with the promise of balloons....invisible balloons apparently! So off I trot again, and this time, pretend to be a writer from a well known London Magazine......result (well sort of) half an hour later a minion appears with 4 (count 'em), 4 whole balloons that they had pilfered from their store next door.
~Tazzywazzy Enters Into Battle~
Now 4 balloons for a birthday party isn't really good enough is it? I can get more than 4 balloons from Pizza Hut, I don't even need to buy anything....now I am normally really patient and accommodating when I go for a meal, but my patience wore thin at about 9:15, when we were finally seated at our table sans balloons, over an hour late.
Right...no more messing around, time to kick some bootie, my friends had all travelled up from Kent and needed to be on the last train at midders, we were getting pretty close to 10 now, we had requested balloons, which were apparently invisible, when they did appear we had to wait half an hour and we were seated over an hour later than planned........GRRRRRRR
To be fair to the staff and management they did rustle up the biggest pink balloon I have ever seen for my friend and tied it to our table and apologised many times.
What can I say about the fodder....without being too nasty.....had better? The choice is not that great, actually, it is pretty poor, burgers, sandwiches or BBQ ribs.
A couple of us had starters - Birthday Girl and boyfie of said Birthday Girl went for Nachos - for £7.95 they got a mountain of nachos, which apparently were no better than those you would get in a Spoons or a Slug & Lettuce, boyfie and I went for spicy chicken strips with a silly name, which was ok, but a bit chewy - disappointment once again reigns.
Onto the main courses, I ordered a pasta dish with chicken, others went for steak, burgers, BBQ ribs, and sandwiches. Once again, disappointment all round. Firstly the food did not come out at the same time, those who had ordered salmon pasta got theirs first, half an hour later, the last dish arrived (which was my dish), the waiting staff kept apologising, but apparently the reason that my food was taking so long was because there were not enough microwaves in the kitchen - great, I am paying nearly 10 squids for microwave pasta.
In all, I don't think anyone really enjoyed their meals, the last meal was put on our table at about 10:15 ish and most of us were just getting pretty annoyed (especially after the microwave comment) - 2 people had to send their food back because it was cold - one was a steak and the other was the BBQ ribs, the chips were soggy and two people didn't even attempt to finish their sandwiches.
~Wrapping it up~
Basically this is the worst meal that I have had in London, the service was terrible, the food was terrible, the music was a really poor choice of main-stream, middle american, poppy rock, which was played so loudly that it was almost impossible to hear anything that anyone shouted at you, the toilets were disgusting, and I have seen better toilets in working men's clubs.
I really hate to be so negative, but I would never recommend that anyone comes here for a meal, Hard Rock cafes, in my opinion have become more of a name than anything else, there is no substance behind the name and there is no quality anymore, it is a shame, because to the credit of the staff, they are all really friendly and do try really hard, but unfortunately having friendly polite waiting staff can't make up for the awful food, long waits and badly maintained bathrooms.
All that is left to be said is DO ignore the sign in the window.....bring drugs, bring nuclear weapons, you will need them both!
*also on ciao*