##Bang in the centre of the city, just between the train station and City Hall Square, Hard Rock Cafe Valencia is the perfect place for dinner and a show. Spread out across two floors with a large balcony to offer views of the historical town, Hard Rock Cafe Valencia can usually seat up to 350 guests. The cafe also includes the iconic Hard Rock Cafe Rock Shop, where you can pick up mementos of your trip with special Valencia merchandising. And of course, it would not be a Hard Rock Cafe without authentic music memorabilia from our favourite artists to adorn the walls!
Due to Coronavirus restrictions, there is reduced capacity and tables are well spread out, with plenty of room between each set of guests. As we entered, the host greeted us and kindly asked us to sanitise our hands before leading us to our table. Everywhere looked spotless and other waiters could be seen spraying and cleaning tables to ensure high safety standards were met. We were fortunate to have an unblocked view of the stage and our table was a few metres away from the next one. Despite the distance, there was still a nice buzz and atmosphere around the restaurant. Cool mood lighting set the tone, bringin a warm, jazz-rock vibe to the place. With lots of red and gold and memorabilia to create that distinctive Hard Rock Cafe feel.
Our waiter was attentive and took time to explain different items on the menu. In order to suggest cocktails we might like, he asked questions about what we would normally drink and paired up our preferences with the perfect selection. With so much to choose from we decided we would order two starters to share and we went for the One Night In Bangkok Spicy Shrimp and the Southwest Spring Rolls. The shrimp was tossed in a creamy but spicy sauce and served on a slaw salad; the contrast of the spice and hot shrimp against the crisp, refreshing salad hit the spot and was easily my favourite food of the evening. The spring rolls were almost deconstructed and had a Tex-Mex feel, an interesting take on an East Asian classic. For the main, I went for the Moving Mountain Burger which is an 100% vegan patty, topped with cheddar cheese, a crispy onion ring, lettuce leaf and vine ripened tomato, served with some of the best fries I have tasted. As someone who does not eat meat, I may be biased, but this burger is better than the real deal. My meat-eating friend tried a bite and said they would not have known the patty was vegan if I hadn’t told them! It has a light smoky taste and when dipped into the hot sauce, is exquisite. Servings are huge and you really do get value for your money with portion and quality. My friend ordered the Steak Salad, which made even my mouth water! Grilled steak served on a bed of mixed greens with a blue cheese vinaigrette; it looked delicious and good enough to tempt a pescatarian! Because of the generous portions, we were too full to manage dessert, but the Hot Fudge Brownie caught our eye and will be tried and tested the next time we visit.
Onto the cocktails. I am normally quite a simple girl and would typically order an Old Fashioned or Whisky and Coke. The waiter noted this and thought I would like their Ultimate Long Island Iced Tea and he was not wrong! The sour contrast of liqueurs against the dash of Pepsi packs a punch but manages to be refreshing at the same time. When in Spain, it is always a must to try Sangria and Hard Rock Café’s take on this classic involves sparkling blackberry, cranberry, red and sparkling wine with a splash of orange juice. This fruity, fresh drink is much lighter and sweeter than typical sangria and does not have that crunch of sugar that so often can ruin the drink, it gets a 10/10 from me! Our waiter also insisted we try Hard Rock’s signature cocktail, the Hurricane. The Hurricane is a 1940s New Orleans classic so we were informed and it is a mixture of rum, orange, mango, pineapple and grenadine, finished with a float of dark rum and Amaretto. Again, this was an excellent recommendation and really suited my specific taste and preferences when it comes to alcohol. Our waiter was very well-informed and could describe each cocktail off the top of his head. We were really made to feel welcome and it was as though they wanted us to have the best time possible and enjoy our food and drinks on a personalised level.
As if the atmosphere, food and drinks were not enough, then came ArTwo. Ralos Works and Sebastian Crudelli are a two-man show who perform funky, rock, pop and soul classics with a twist. They are part of the Cafe’s Live Music Summer Sessions. The duo managed to capture the diners’ attention with their talent and stage presence. Ralos has an incredible voice and knack for playing many instruments, from guitar to tambourine. They started their show with a slow, jazzy version of Valerie, which then sped up and got funkier as the song progressed. This set the mood for the evening. Covers of classic songs, from Michael Jackson, Queen and Eurythmics to the more contemporary Maroon 5 and Rihanna were performed, including a mixture of some Spanish songs and even a special Happy Birthday rendition to a lucky guest. Due to covid capacity limits, there was an intimate feel to the show and ArTwo managed to get all the diners involved whether that be by singing or clapping along. The crowd even begged for an encore once the performance ended, which the duo happily obliged to give. When the show was over, they took the time to speak to the guests and to take pictures, all whilst wearing masks of course!
The atmosphere of the evening was incredible and after all the restrictions and lockdowns, it is so amazing to be able to be back listening to live music, eating good food and drinking a nice cocktail! Hard Rock Cafe provided a lovely night, and I cannot wait to return for their next event!
’24/7 Valencia’ report by Elizabeth Willliams
HARD ROCK CAFE VALENCIA
Avenida Del Marques de Sotelo 6, 46002, Valencia
+34 962 565 653
Mon – Sun 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM (Lunch)
Sun – Thu 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM (Dinner)
Fri – Sat 1:30 PM – 11:30 PM (Lunch & Dinner)