Reviewed by Kim Bickerdike
My friend and I love nothing more than a night out in a restaurant with great atmosphere and even better food so were really excited when we were able to head into the centre of Manchester and see what the Hard Rock Café had to offer.
We found a car park a 5 minute walk away and it cost £5.40 for a 3 hour stay which I thought really reasonable for city centre parking. When we arrived at Hard Rock Cafe we were met by a really friendly waitress who took our temperature and asked us to check in on the NHS app. We all wore our masks as we were led to our table. The tables have plenty of space between them and all of the staff were wearing masks. We both felt very Covid safe. All of the walls are covered in rock and roll memorabilia and we sat under a jacket worn by Elton John and behind us was a corner dedicated to the iconic Manchester band Oasis. We were introduced to L our waiter who was full of energy and talked us through the online menu. He suggested we try their signature cocktail called the Hurricane whilst we perused the menu. The Hurricane is a rum based cocktail with a blend of orange, mango, pineapple and grenadine. It came in a large hurricane glass and packed a punch. It was absolutely delicious and was the best way to kick off our evening.
We loaded up the menu using our mobile phone and the QR code on the table. The menu has really slimmed down since my last visit to Hard Rock (which admittedly is probably over 10 years ago) and deciding what to eat was much easier. We chose the onion rings (£5.25) and chicken wings (£9.75) to start but couldn’t decide whether to have the BBQ or spicy wings so L told us we could have half and half, we were so glad this was an option. The portion size of both dishes was just right, the tower of onion rings came with BBQ and a blue cheese sauce and the chicken wings were also accompanied by a blue cheese sauce. The wings were our favourite, they were slow cooked and the meat fell off the bone, they were also easy to eat with our fingers and didn’t create the usual mess associated with eating chicken wings, the BBQ sauce they were covered in was absolutely amazing, in fact the sauce was so good I went into the shop afterwards in the hope I could buy a bottle but unfortunately they don’t sell it. I’m already looking forward to my next portion of Hard Rocks chicken wings.
There is a good selection of main course dishes, ranging from burgers, ribs, steak, and chicken. The menu includes a couple of fish dishes as well as vegetarian and vegan options. We both ordered the same dish, the surf and turf burger which is new to the menu. It is described as the signature burger topped with One Night in Bangkok Spicy Shrimp on a bed of spicy slaw and is priced at £18.75. the burger arrived in a brioche bun topped with the tastiest prawns I have ever eaten. They were lightly battered and tossed in a slightly spicy and creamy sauce. These prawns are available as a stand-alone starter and I will definitely be ordering a portion of these on my next visit. I was comfortably full when I’d finished my burger, but we thought we could squeeze in a dessert.
There are only two desserts on the menu, a New York cheesecake and hot fudge brownie. We couldn’t decide what to order so ordered both – big mistake! The hot fudge brownie arrived in a large cocktail glass and was easily big enough for us to share. It was topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and a cherry. We both gave it our best shot but didn’t even come close to finishing it. The New York cheesecake was covered in strawberries drizzled in a strawberry syrup, the size of this dish was much more reasonable. The desserts were our least favourite part of the meal in fact I think next time I would skip dessert all together and order the Bangkok Spicy Shrimp as an additional starter – seriously they are the best prawns I have ever eaten!
I would highly recommend adding Hard Rock Café to your list of restaurants to visit when you’re in Manchester. We visited on a Thursday evening and were really pleased to see the place full of groups of friends, couples and even families with young children. This place really is suitable for everyone, the atmosphere is great with classic rock and roll hits being played and all of the staff (particularly L) were friendly, helpful and made our evening a special and memorable one. Hard Rock Café we will be back!!!
For more information please see the Hard Rock Cafe, Manchester website here.
The Printworks, Manchester, M4 2BS