If you haven’t been to the Hard Rock Cafe, you are genuinely missing out. It has been standing on Old Park Lane in London since the 70s, and is as iconic as the bright red post-boxes it faces. Plus it’s the only place in London where you can bite into a burger next to Madonna's cone-shaped bustier… But while it may be a famous London attraction, you don’t have to be a tween or a tourist to visit; when you look the beyond the memorabilia and mammoth portions, Hard Rock is just a buzzing London restaurant serving up great food.
Hard Rock Cafe faces the green expanse of Hyde Park, just a short five minute walk from Hyde Park Tube station. The restaurant is head-to-toe branded in Hard Rock colours, with a covered outside area for alfresco dining. They also have a Rock Shop a few metres to the left, where rock ‘n’ roll fans can take away iconic branded tees, quirky gifts and collectables.
I headed there for dinner and drinks on a Monday, but the high-energy atmosphere suggested like it was Friday. The staff were just as energetic and welcoming, talking us through the cocktail list and making jokes as we hoiked ourselves up into a big booth.
The interior is a treasure trove of rock ‘n’ roll collectables; Jimi Hendrix’s guitar is hanging from the wall, alongside Mick Jagger’s glittering suit and the most famous records from the last century. We admired the history of rock as we pondered over the menu.
Starters are mainly combos and platters, think sky-high plates brimming with wings, onion rings, chicken tenders, southwest spring rolls and bruschetta. The mains are more varied; there’s an impressive list of burgers, smokehouse specialities like ribs or barbeque chicken, plus steak, mac ‘n’ cheese, or healthier options like grilled Norwegian salmon.
We dived straight into mains and shared the sizzling fajitas with a classic Cobb salad. The food came quickly, and we were truly shocked by the ginormous portion sizes. The mixed fajitas came with tender grilled chicken, thin strips of steak and smoky plump prawns, served with pico de gallo, gooey Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese and warm wraps. Our friendly waitress also brought us a variety of sauces, from rich blue cheese and salsa, to classic ranch sauce and sour cream.
The salad was fresh and tasty, piled high with grilled chicken strips, crispy bacon, fresh avocado, peppers, red onion, egg and crunchy iceberg lettuce. It was the perfect complement to our homemade fajitas, which we crammed to the absolute brim!
It’s a well-known fact that Americans know how to do dessert, so we made sure we left space for desert and ordered the hot fudge brownie. It arrived quickly and was honestly big enough to feed a small family, but we didn’t care but it tasted so good. Lashings of soft vanilla ice cream and hot fudge had been poured onto a fresh homemade brownie, and topped with chopped walnuts, chocolate sprinkles, fresh whipped cream and a cherry. We left without even feeling a little bit guilty - you can’t feel bad about food that tastes this good!
To make a reservation please email London_reception@hardrock.com and make sure to quote Portico
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