“Take time to be kind” – I snap a picture of the illuminated words of advice hovering over our table at the new Hard Rock Cafe in Camps Bay. A friendly waiter ushers us to a booth. It has plenty of wiggle room for the kids, so that’s already a win for any parent.
The waiter takes our order with a smile, she hands the kids some activities to keep them busy. Win number two – the kids are occupied.
If you are not sure what to expect, the restaurant is a space to celebrate the history of Rock ‘n Roll, the evolution of great music and food inspired by the American culture – this is the essence of Hard Rock Cafe.
Established 47 years ago, the brand is synonymous with super-sized meals and the biggest superstar artists the world over.
I have eaten at a few Hard Rock Cafes around the world so I know I want the signature ‘Legendary burger’ – my foodie brain needs to taste test it against international standards.
The restaurant seems small from the entrance, but don’t be fooled, it is expansive and not over crowded with too many tables. From the outside seating area and the upstairs level you could have a bird’s eye view of beach lovers frolicking in the aqua waves of Camps Bay. But enough about the ambience, what about the food?
The starter offerings include chicken tenders, wings, bruschetta and nachos. Then there’s a combo which includes a little of everything, and this is the one you want to order.
Wings, onion rings, chicken tenders, spinach artichoke dip with Parmesan flatbread and bruschetta. Served with honey mustard, hickory barbecue and blue cheese dressing.
The onions rings can be described in one word. Brilliant. They are perfectly crispy and deliver a flavourful crunch, double dipped in crumbs for sure. Everything on this platter is a winner, and plenty for four as a starter.
The restaurant offers a ‘something-for-everyone’ menu. There are burgers, steaks, mac & cheese, fajitas, sandwiches and smokehouse ribs – and the portions are enough for two.
While waiting for your food, explore a little, you will stumble across music memorabilia from your favourite artists, old and new. These include pieces from Slash, Linkin Park, Bob Dylan, Porter Robinson, Rihanna, Ellie Goulding, Katy Perry and The Black-Eyed Peas. This is an experience in itself.
When mains arrive, the Legendary burger is as its namesake dictates – legendary. It is 225g of quality beef with a melted sheet of cheese goodness, bacon, a crispy onion ring on the top, served with a side of fries and a secret pepper sauce. In order to keep the recipe a secret, it changes every day – Sshhh…
The burger is worth making a trip to Hard Rock Café. It’s succulent and the bun is rich, enhancing all the flavours in between. I have made a mental note that the quality is the same, if not better, than the other Hard Rock Cafes.
There can only be one option for dessert, the Oreo cookie cheesecake. It is a decadent mix of Oreo pieces delicately intertwined into a velvety cheesecake. It is heaven on a plate, a definite reason to keep going back.
Other dessert options include chocolate brownies, chocolate molten cake and apple cobbler pie.
The kids menu is a mix of burgers, mac & cheese and wings – standard offerings to keep hungry tummies full. My kids enjoyed their meal thoroughly and were fascinated with the Katy Perry memorabilia on the wall in front of us.
Catherine Dickinson, Sales and Marketing Manager of Hard Rock Cafe in Cape Town, says they have pulled out all the stops and rolled out the red carpet to welcome guests to the hottest spot on Camps Bay.
“We are excited to welcome locals and visitors to Hard Rock Cafe. So far there has been a fair mix of both because the brand is so well known and tourists love us, and locals want to experience what we have too. We provide the same experience as all the international Hard Rock Cafes. All the memorabilia is authentic, our menu offerings are of international standard.”
She added that they deliver amplified service in every aspect, from our hosting, service and bar facilities.
“All our produce is sourced locally and we are very much a family orientated restaurant. We host music events on Sundays called Soulful Sundays. Patrons can also look forward to more exciting live artists this year, it is part of the Hard Rock Cafe ethos and we plan to rock Camps Bay,” she said.
When we had our fill of food and fame, our waiter led us to the door, bid us farewell, turned and walked back into the restaurant to greet his new customers with the same big smile we were enchanted with. And then it clicked. “Take time to be kind.”