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Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Hard Rock Cafe, Sydney

I've only ever been to Hard Rock Cafe once before. It was up at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast and it was so good we went twice. I love the atmosphere, the friendly and enthusiastic staff and of course, the epic food. Ever since they announced that Hard Rock would be arriving in Sydney I was so excited I went around telling everyone we had to go and queue up on the first day it opened =P. However, the more I thought about it over the coming months, the more I was a bit apprehensive for it's imminent opening. Sydney is more of a pretentious city, and I could see this branch not living up to the expectation you hold for a place with such standards for service.

Well, we didn't end up going on the first day haha, but we did end up going last week =D. Despite my feelings of trepidation, I was so excited I made sure I left my stomach empty the whole day just so I could fill up and make sure I made the most of it haha. I have no limits when it comes to food =P.

So we were having a farewell dinner for one of our friends going overseas for 2 months. Everyone arrived at about 7:30 and we ended up getting seated at around 8. We were sorta expecting this because we heard there were huge cues and of course, it was a Friday night. I sorta went for a bit of a walk just to check the place out.....it wasn't as homely as the Gold Coast branch, but it still had the customary memorabilia from all walks of music actually, not just rock. And it was HUGE! Omg the place takes up like 1/4 of the top level of Harbourside!

Once we were seated we ordered some drinks of course! I enjoyed the cocktails at Hard Rock we had last time and I was not disappointed this time either! Wish i could have tried more... (unfortunately i forgot to take pictures of our epic drinks =( ). We also ordered some entrees...

Balsamic Tomato Bruschetta


The one thing I noted, which sort of affirmed my feelings that the Sydney branch wouldn't live up to the Hard Rock Cafe brand, was that the staff were not as accommodating or friendly as the Surfers Paradise branch either...which was a bit of a shame because I think that really adds to the experience. They didn't really feel approachable or enthusiastic. There was one bartender who seemed to really be getting into it, signing along like a madman and shouting at the top of his lungs....but other than that, every other waitstaff looked like...well, normal waitstaff =P.

We went on to receive our main meal. Everything arrived on time so that was good =). However, even though everything tasted nice, for some reason I don't think it tasted as good as the last time i had it. But, this may be because I was sorta expecting alot after our really good experience. But also, I truly believe the ribs were not as tender or smokey as those at Surfers! Clearly I need to go back there =P.

Hickory-Smoked Bar-B-Que Ribs and Beef Brisket with Chips, Ranch Beans and Coleslaw
New York Strip Steak with Garlic Butter, Gravy, Smashed Potato and Fresh Vegetables
Fresh greens with red onions, grilled Cajun chicken, Honey-Citrus dressing, orange segments, spiced pecans, red pepper strips, sweetened dried cranberries and blue cheese crumbles
Hickory BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger with Chips

I managed to finish a majority of my ribs and brisket, which surprised me because I didn't think I could actually eat that much =P. Brisket was definitely better up at Surfers....

While we were there, it seemed like A LOT of people were celebrating their birthdays. And of course at Hard Rock Cafe they do things a bit differently by announcing it to the whole restaurant and getting everyone to scream Happy Birthday at you while you stand there with a red face =P. You also happen to get a free Ice Cream Sundae since it's your special day. Well, thing is, it seems that they don't check ID, so, you could go right up to them and tell them it's your (or your friend's =P) birthday. Which is what one of our friends did....So upon finishing our meal, a waitress hurried over with a Sundae in her hand and announced to the world that it was our friend's birthday. When her birthday really was about 6 months ago =P. And so, she stood up, and the whole restaurant screamed happy birthday to her.....I couldn't stop laughing....


Ahh well, all good fun =). One our friend's also grabbed one of the famous Hard Rock Chocolate Malt Milkshakes - soooo thick!!


Overall, it was a nice night out and a decent meal, but yeh, i guess i just had high expectations from the Surfer's branch. I don't think this type of restaurant fits in with the atmosphere or vibe of Sydney...Hard Rock Cafe is very relaxed, fun-filled and just laidback, but very out-there at the same time. Whereas Sydney is more uptight, not as friendly, and yeh, pretentious. But defs will go back since I wanna have their Pulled Pork Sandwich!!

Farewell dearest Aimee!! We will miss you!!


Hard Rock Cafe
Level 2, Harbourside Centre
Darling Harbour
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: (02) 9280 0077
Sydney Branch Website (click the link)

Hard Rock Cafe on Urbanspoon

=D xx

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