Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hard Rock Cafe

Hard Rock Cafe in Sentosa
Before we came to Singapore, I had never been to a Hard Rock Cafe. This isn't because I didn't have the opportunity (both San Francisco and Los Angeles have branches), but because I am a snob. The restaurant chain struck me as hopelessly tacky and plebeian (sorry anyone who likes it!).

Singapore has not one but FOUR Hard Rock Cafes. I was really surprised by this, because the entire nation is only about five times the size of the rather small city of San Francisco. Who is going to these restaurants to keep them all in business?

Among others, me. B and I went to the one on Sentosa a few months ago when we were staying on the island, because I wanted a burger. Sentosa is Singapore's offshore "entertainment destination", which includes among other things museums, casinos, theme parks, swimming pink dolphins, and places to get the skin on your feet removed by small nibbling fish. Sentosa is so tacky already that the Hard Rock Cafe seemed appropriate. The food was actually quite good, and the cocktails were strong and tasty (though hideously expensive since it's Singapore: my drinks cost more than my food by a good proportion).

Today I visited the one on Orchard Road (the main shopping street here). This was for family reasons (one of my relatives collects Hard Rock pilsner glasses, depressing as that is, and wants one for Christmas). It was full of Western families with children; in fact, they made up the majority of the customers. (Very few Singaporeans were in evidence at all, presumably preferring Asian food.) Apparently the cafes exist here so that expats have somewhere to go where 1. their children will eat and 2. they can get drinks (drinking is a big part of expat culture here, perhaps due to all the British and Australians).

It's kind of ironic that a chain supposedly founded to honor rock and roll (a genre which mainly celebrates sex, drugs, and being a rebel) is now a family friendly destination for the affluent. This amuses me, but not enough to make me like the chain. I don't think I will be returning soon (especially given the awesome food elsewhere).

--Exercise: None: fell today and injured my knees :(
--Diet: Breakfast: Cheerios with soy milk; Lunch: Chicken shwarma; Snack: frappucino, 1 packet gummi bears; Dinner: Pasta with tomato and basil sauce.
--Other: Did not drink 8 glasses water; had a frappucino.


  1. When I was in middle school, the cool kids had huge collections of Hard Rock t-shirts from all over the country and world. I only ever had 2 or 3, but one was from Bangkok thanks to my dad. I thought I was awesome.

  2. Hard Rock Cafe seems like a middle schooler's dream place: rock stars! really big hamburgers! cool decor! I am sure I would have liked it then.