Hard Rock Cafe Johannesburg

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10 & 10A Mandela Square, 8 Maude Street, Sandton, Johannesburg 2146, South Africa


American, Continental, Hamburgers, Pizza & Pasta, Steakhouse

Good for:

Bar Scene, Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Entertaining Clients, Large Groups, Late Night, Lunch, Outdoor Seating, Special Occasions


2.0 rating based on 1 rating
1 Review

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  1. Expert Review

    2.0 rating based on 1 rating
    Oct 2014 · Karen Elowitt

    The Hard Rock Café in Nelson Mandela Square is true to the brand: Like every other Hard Rock worldwide, you...

    The Hard Rock Café in Nelson Mandela Square is true to the brand: Like every other Hard Rock worldwide, you get a combination of loud rock ‘n’ roll music, memorabilia lining the walls, burgers, beers, and fruity cocktails.

    Where this branch falls down, however, is in the service department. I was seated by a helpful host, but promptly forgotten about and had to wait 15 minutes until I finally flagged down a harried waiter who somehow had never noticed my existence. I ordered, and 15 minutes later finally got a terrible chocolate milkshake (not like I remember them to be) with no straw. I had to improvise drinking it, since the waiter disappeared until another 15 minutes later, when I got my burger. It was supposed to be the “Classic,” but in fact had barbecue sauce all over it (which definitely was not correct). I sent it back and ANOTHER 15 minutes later the correct burger came out, but it was not medium rare as I requested. At least my half-portion of Cobb salad was tasty…

    Maybe they were just having a bad night, but from my seat way in the back by the entrance to the kitchen, I could clearly see the manager and various wait staff arguing constantly and running back and forth trying to get things right. Not sure if it was a chef problem, a wait staff problem, or a management problem, but the service was a disaster. Which is pretty ironic, because they try really hard to get you in the door: there are hosts plying Mandela Square trying to entice customers in.

    At least it had good music and a buzzy atmosphere to entertain me while I watched the meltdown happening behind the scenes in the kitchen. The music is a combination of classic 80’s pop and rock with some contemporary hits thrown in. A group of teenagers was clearly enjoying themselves on what was probably a birthday celebration, and dozens of young, trendy types clogged the outside bar area on the square. Inside a soccer match blared from multiple flat-screen TVs, and fans erupted every time a goal was scored.

    Overall, Hard Rock is a nice place to hang out with friends, get some draft beers or cocktails and watch the game, but don’t go there for the food unless you are REALLY craving an American-style burger and fries and don’t mind waiting an hour or two.

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