London – Westminster (Borough of) – Oxford Street – Hard Rock Cafe

We won’t go back into my annoyance with The Fork (what I consider to be the TripAdvisor’s badly run restaurant booking service, but others may have different views, including probably TripAdvisor), but they had the Hard Rock Cafe in Oxford Street on a 50% off food offer. They were also promising 1,000 Yums (worth £20) for a booking made under an offer to get people back eating in restaurants, although I shall see in due course whether this gets paid out. That meant I made an exception and made a booking via The Fork, which will likely give me something else to complain about next week.

Anyway, the restaurant wasn’t packed. This is a large and expensive set-up on Oxford Street, right next to Marble Arch underground station, which also consists of a Hard Rock hotel. The whole complex opened in 2019, perhaps not the best timing with what was to happen next. The management are left with a huge restaurant that was designed to make money by having a large turnover, but they’re trying to fill it as best as they can.

I entered and there were no staff immediately visible, so I meandered to near the bar area so that I could stand there and look awkward. Fortunately, someone looking a bit important noticed me and found a member of staff to welcome me, which was all done efficiently. They didn’t seem overly interested that I had a reservation, which is understandable since they have about 100 tables available. I needed them to be interested though for the purposes of The Fork deal, and they seemed all content when I mentioned it.

When I say that it wasn’t packed, there were about two customers. They offered to seat me at the bar, but I was quite content with one of the tables and the staff member didn’t seem overly annoyed at my decision. I can’t be doing all that social at lunchtime, I’m not in America at the moment. Although dreaming of it….. Anyway, I digress.

This is the view I had from my table, which I thought was entirely satisfactory and is nicer than most dining options that I frequent. The service was as would be expected from Hard Rock, which was engaging, personable, enthusiastic and all of those things. It was all very timely, but there were as many staff members as guests, so this probably wasn’t entirely difficult to achieve.

I decided to go for the chicken fajitas, which were about £8.50 after the discount and I considered that to be very reasonable, especially given the decadent and empty surroundings. The food was decent, the chicken was moist and tender with some depth of flavour to it. The sour cream seemed to have been served using an ice cream scoop and I was pleased that the cheese had been kept away from any hot items (I like my cheese cold as I’m awkward). Restaurants never seem to provide enough wrap things (the meal comes with four) for the amount of food and I notice one person in a review said they asked for one more wrap and got charged £4.99. And the amount of guacamole was generous, which pleased me.

I like “the damage” bill holder, although I wonder how that goes down for those who are moderately shocked by the size of their bill. My bill came to £15.28 by the time that the unlimited sodas and service charge was added on. I do try and visit Hard Rock Cafes when in a city, so this wasn’t an unreasonable price given the quality of the experience.

My knowledge of music memorabilia is very limited, but I do like having a little look at what each Hard Rock in the chain has acquired for their walls.

All told, I thought that this was a professionally run restaurant and I can imagine it’ll be very popular with tourists when some form of normality returns to London. Fortunately, the quietness of London at the moment means that I got what I considered a cheap meal and I’ll be very pleased if The Fork actually pay the £20 out like they’re supposed to, as I’ll probably come back here to spend it. If that all works out, this was a rather keenly priced meal.