I've always enjoyed Hard Rock as a brand but the last time I actually ate/visited one of their restaurants was in Amsterdam a few years back. I have been to the London restaurant before, but this was when it was in a different location.
Following the fashion show, I was also invited down to the restaurant to try out their chilli menu that had been curated especially for National Chili Week last week. So I invited blogger babe Ali along and we headed down to Park Lane to scoff our faces.
The first thing I must comment on is how amazing it is in the restaurant. There's such a buzz as soon as you walk in the door and all night we felt an upbeat and somewhat edgy atmosphere - everyone is so friendly and willing to have a boogie in their seats listening to the music or sing along when it's someone's birthday.
Although Hard Rock Cafe itself is perceived as very high end and famous, a visit to the restaurant will soon show you that everyone is so laid back and informal.
I also have to give a huge shoutout to our waiter/server for the evening, Jim (as in Jimmy Hendrix!) who made the whole evening so much fun. He was so approachable and friendly and really took the time to look after us and make sure we enjoyed our evening.
We started with a generous serving of Atomic Chicken Wings to share and it's safe to say these blew me away. They were full of spicy flavour and consisted of juicy chicken too. The wings were really hot but were served with a delicious dip and vegetables to help calm down our tastebuds. What I enjoyed about the wings was that despite the fact they were super spicy, they also had tons of flavour. A lot of the time it's very easy to create a spicy food that is so hot you can't even taste anything - luckily that wasn't the case here.
Still, we did struggle to finish them and opted to put a few aside to take away with us before we progressed to our main meal. I tried the Nduja Chilli Burger which was packed full of a beef burger, chilli beans, rocket salad and cheese inside a delicious bun with a green chilli stacked on top. The burger also came with chips - thank god - which we're very much needed.
I thought the chicken wings were as spicy as it got but boy was I wrong! Again, the burger still had lots of delicious flavour but damn it was hot. I do enjoy spicy food and often go for a curry with a bit of a kick but even I struggled with this burger. That's not to say it wasn't yummy - just that it definitely did it's job and anyone who enjoys a food related challenge will likely enjoy trying to finish all of this bad boy!
The main was followed by a Chili Molten Lava Cake which helped soothe my tastebuds after the previous food. I'm not sure if any of this cake or sauce was supposed to be spicy - or maybe my tastebuds had just given up by now - but I couldn't taste any chilli or spice on this cake - however, this was a welcome break, I must admit. The cake was absolutely mouth-watering. It was rich, but not to the point that it couldn't be finished, and the cake just melted in my mouth.
I'm not usually a lover of dessert (I prefer a starters to a dessert) but I have to admit, this was beyond delicious and quite possibly my favourite part of the menu. I'd happily order this all year round, even when it's not National Chili Week!
Finally, alongside our food, we also had the chance to try an Apple Chilli Martini which definitely went down well. The mixture of flavours worked so well together and you could really taste a bit of a spicy kick to it. The martini came adjourned with a chili and a small slice of apple on the glass too.
Overall, I really enjoyed Hard Rock Cafe's chilli menu. It was definitely a challenge, but not so much that I couldn't enjoy it. I do feel like someone like my dad (who regularly goes for the hottest curries possible!) would have been able to manage it a lot better than me (I spent much of the night fanning myself and gulping down my martini!), but overall it was really enjoyable and of course, being Hard Rock Cafe, the food was completely up to a great standard.
The whole night was really lovely and it was nice to head into London and eat some good food whilst listening to some rocking music. My favourite part of Hard Rock Cafe is that although it is essentially a restaurant, with the buzz that hits you when you walk in and the bar inside too, it feels more like a night out/upbeat meal then a standard sit down meal.
Thank you to Hard Rock Cafe for my invite, luckily my taste buds have just about recovered so I can't wait to pop down and visit again sometime soon!
Please note, we were also offered tickets to a tour of the Vault during our visit but I think we underestimated how long we would be there as the Vault closed by the time we had finished our food. The next opportunity I get to visit London and the Vault, I'll make sure to get a review up!
*Please note, although I was invited down to conduct a review of Hard Rock Cafe's chilli menu, all opinions are entirely unbiased and my own.
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