So eventually after a long, bumpy start, the Hard Rock Cafe is finally open. Getting a table reservation is harder than Newcastle winning the Premier league, but hurrah, we got one and it doesn’t disappoint.
Situated in Newcastle’s historic Guildhall, the famous restaurant chain landed in the North East to great anticipation. Complete with a competition to name a culinary tribute to its new home city, North East healthcare entrepreneurs David and Penny Tilly totally delivered.
Memorabilia and Banging Tunes
Situated across two floors of the Grade I listed building the decor is classic, clean and inviting. In true Hard Rock fashion, diners can view glass cabinets filled with fascinating rock and roll memorabilia. Music is fantastic; the night we dined it was all 80s and 90s rock and pop. It’s all the tunes you forgot about but surprisingly remember all the words to within the first two notes – like a constant game of ‘Name that Tune’. Phrase of the evening turned out to be, ‘Oh I love this song!’ If you’re keen on Hard Rock merch, the shop is filled to the rafters. A lot of it is reasonably priced too.
The menu includes the steak burgers for which Hard Rock is famous, as well as salads, grilled chicken and sandwiches.
For starters we opted for the crispy Southwest spring rolls, which come with black beans, roasted corn, Monterey Jack cheese, red peppers and jalapeños. Finished off with a guacamole ranch dipping sauce and priced at £9.75, it’s enough to share between two.
The highlight of the menu is the unique addition of the black and white ‘Whey Aye Burger’. It was designed specifically for the first North East restaurant. The burger comes with Northumberland cheese, Newcastle Brown Ale onion compote, horseradish cream with a spring onion, cheddar cheese and pease pudding beignet. This is crammed in a toasted charcoal and sesame seed bun. Who knew pease pudding in anything other than a saveloy dip could be a good thing? But honestly, it’s almost the best thing about this burger and you must try it! The burger is £14.50 and also has optional upgrades of smoked bacon for £1.75, extra cheese £1.50 or extra mushrooms £1.75
Make sure you share the Hot Fudge Brownie for dessert as it’s huge! It’s a warm chocolate brownie and is topped with vanilla bean ice cream, hot fudge, chopped walnuts, chocolate sprinkles, fresh whipped cream and a cherry. And yes, we did finish it. It was £8.75.
Drinks!! Everything you could imagine and expect. For us, a pineapple lemonade (fresh grilled pineapple, lemon syrup, pineapple juice topped with soda – £6.20) and a Kopperberg Strawberry and Lime for £5.95.
Not as an expensive night out as I expected and service was top notch. Our server was great, chatty and helpful, a real credit to the Hard Rock fam. Just get your reservation in now so you can at least get there in 2021!