Sunday, 18 November 2012
Hard Rock Cafe / Old Park Lane
Who are they?
Like other American exports such as McDonalds and KFC, you can find Hard Rock Cafes pretty much everywhere in the world. For those of you are less well acquainted, these are American restaurants with a slant towards rock and pop music, so imagine a lot of dark wood surfaces and walls filled with music memorabilia. Menu wise, theirs is the sort of food you would expect to get in an American diner, with lots of steaks, burgers, mac&cheese and the like, so no real surprises there.
Whilst Hard Rock offer a variety of different burgers, I sort of expected them all to be pretty much the same, aside from the Legendary Burger; a 10oz burger with cheese, bacon, onion rings and a side salad. This is accompanied by plenty of chips, which are clearly mass catering grade and unseasoned but are at least well cooked and crunchy, so there's not a lot really to say about them.
The burger patty is a large beast; 10oz of meat as described and will take a little time to get through. However, it was clear from the first couple of bites that the burger was very much an average experience and no better or worse than you would find in any chain restaurant in Central London. Mine was well cooked all the way through leaving it dry throughout and slightly cripsy on the outside, but at least the barely-melted slice of that American orange cheese and crispy fried bacon added a bit of flavour back into the mix. The lettuce, gerkin and tomato also worked well, either as a side salad or stuffed in the burger. As for the onion ring - yes onion ring in singular (cheapskates) - the ring batter wasn't crunchy at all and just ended up being a bit of an afterthought thrown on top.
It's also worth noting that the bun is actually quite firm if not stodgy, with the botton of the bun so small that it quickly absorbed any excess oil/burger juices from the patty, leaving it completely sloppy and messy. This in stark contrast with the top half (a loose definition of half) which dwarfs the bottom as to make the burger look bigger than it is. This is a little unnecessary though as the the burger achieves its large size on its own merit and I had a hard time moving after eating all of it. That's a plus, right?
Well I guess I shouldn't have expected quite so much from Hard Rock. It seems to me that this is a place that you come to for the atmosphere, the memorabilia, the cocktails and being able to say that you actually visited a Hard Rock Cafe. As for their burgers, these seem to have been left by the wayside, which is a shame as the ribs, BBQ chicken and Mac and Cheese looked pretty good. Size wise? fine. Taste wise? must try harder.
Where can I find them?
They have loads of restaurants all over the world