Hard Rock Cafe: Snatching the "Meh" from the Jaws of "Good"

 

Feeling compassionate on election weekend (thanks to the free roads), I decided to visit Hard Rock Café, the American neighbours of our Oriental friends, Shiro, and it was quite the experience.

Read the original review HERE

Anyway, straight to the food…

Hickory-Smoked Ribs from  Hard Rock Cafe

Hickory-Smoked Ribs from Hard Rock Cafe

My first order was the half rack of Hickory-Smoked Ribs which came with a side of mashed potatoes, cowboy beans and coleslaw – HRC really took me for a ride with this one.

Before even touching the ribs, I started off upset about not being given a steak knife, then excited after realising that the ribs fell off the bone, AND THEN back to being upset when I was halfway through the rack and the midsection couldn’t be tackled with the blunt table knife. I mean, the ribs were well-seasoned and tender on the edges so if they had just been consistent then they would have been IT for me.

The mashed potatoes were nice and smooth but not as creamy as I’d have liked. The better restaurants in Lagos have spoilt me, to be honest, so I can’t settle anymore. Also, with the recent uproar about cowmilk, I know I shouldn’t be asking for creamy mash but bruhhh, I don’t think I’m ready to replace cowmilk with almond milk in mashed potatoes just yet.

Can’t click.

I didn’t try the coleslaw, but the cowboy beans were also decent, and the chef was kind enough to share the recipe – not sure if I’m allowed to disclose so maybe you should visit and try it for yourself?

Question: How do you eat your ribs/chicken/steak and mashed potatoes?

  1. Scoop mash then pierce into a piece of the ribs/chicken/steak

  2. Place mash in mouth then quickly add ribs/chicken/steak to mouth before swallowing

  3. Eat ALL the mash then focus on the ribs/chicken/steak at the end

(If ‘3’, you’re probably from SW Nigeria.)

Moving on, the second meal I ordered was the Blackened Chicken Sandwich which came with French fries… cold French fries.

Blackened Chicken Sandwich from  Hard Rock Cafe

Blackened Chicken Sandwich from Hard Rock Cafe

Besides the bread being a lot to deal with and the fries being cold, the chicken breast and the overall composition of the burger were lovely! The spicy chicken breast is topped with red remoulade and mango salsa, giving it a sweet-spicy taste. Overall, like pineapple on pizza, I imagine people will either love or hate this burger, thanks to the mango salsa.

Hot+Fudge+Brownie

Side Note: I guess tattered menus are like battle scars for the wars you’ve faced with your many customers, but please restaurants, do better. (Also, blame HRC for the poor brownie shot because their margarita glass seemed like it had be cleaned with sandpaper or something.)

Final order of the day was the Hot Fudge Brownie - a brownie crowned with a scoop of ice cream topped with chocolate syrup, walnuts and whipped cream. Quite a lot for someone that had just rammed through two meals, I know, but there was still space, so I had to fill it.

I was quite impressed by the richness of the brownie and quality of ice cream in this dessert. Restaurants with stellar mains often relax when it comes to desserts and serve you scoops of Fan ice in their sundaes, but HRC didn’t. Imagine a brownie piece cut out from the middle of the tray with no crusty edges – that was the HRC brownie. Overall, impressive.


POSTSCRIPT

…. quite the rollercoaster with the ribs and the cold fries but I’d definitely return for the chicken sandwich and the cowboy beans!

VERDICT

Meh.jpeg

DAMAGE

 Half Rack Hickory-Smoked Ribs - N6500

Blackened Chicken Sandwich - N5000

Hot Fudge Brownie - N4600

 

PARKING

Ample parking space - Over 100 cars