Things To Do: BURGERS AND BEATS – Hard Rock Cafe, Manchester

Burgers and Beats Hard Rock Cafe

Hard Rock Cafe launch their new menu including the new 24-Karat Gold Leaf Steak Burger – but what does it taste like?

With the likes of Almost Famous, Solita’s and Luck, Lust, Liquor & Burn all vying for the title of Best Burger in Manchester, it takes something truly special to stand out from the crowd. So when Hard Rock Café announced their brand-new menu will feature the world’s first edible 24-Karat Gold Leaf Steak Burger, I was intrigued to find out if the new “burger with bling” lived up to expectation. 

Situated in The Printworks in the centre of the city, Hard Rock Café Manchester is the UK’s second largest Hard Rock Cafe and has been open since 2000. It is one of 184 cafes across the world and is home to the world’s most valuable collection of music memorabilia with priceless pieces from legends like The Beatles, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Oasis and Elvis Presley all on display at the Manchester venue.

Known for their ‘legendary’ burgers, Hard Rock’s new menu marks the company’s most extensive menu changes since they launched 48 years ago. Featuring more than 20 new offerings, from brand-new burgers to Boozy Milkshakes, the famous rock ‘n’ roll themed chain marked the launch with a special BURGERS AND BEATS event on 14 June – the very day the world’s first Hard Rock Café opened in London in 1971 – with live music, cocktail and shake workshops and a special menu taster.

Hard Rock Cafe Manchester

Upon entering the venue, it’s clear that Hard Rock Café remains as popular as ever with almost every table taken and a live DJ and saxophonist entering the crowds as they eat. To tickle our tastebuds, the event kicked off with the opportunity to try Hard Rock Café’s new Boozy Milkshakes, an Instagram-worthy beverage which not only looks the part but tastes it too. Available in alcoholic or non-alcoholic form, these milkshakes offer a unique twist to classic flavours like Strawberry Cheesecake and Cookies and Cream and the team tell me that throughout the year, Hard Rock will offer limited-time milkshake varieties timed to special occasions or holidays.

Next came the food with a chance to try out the new burgers, including the new BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger, a 1/2-lb fresh steak burger, seasoned with Hard Rock’s signature spice blend and topped with house-made barbecue sauce, crispy shoestring onions, cheddar cheese, smoked bacon, leaf lettuce and vine-ripened tomato. The Double Decker Double Cheeseburger is also worth a mention thanks to its two stacked steak burgers with American cheese, mayonnaise, leaf lettuce, vine-ripened tomato and red onion, a tribute to Hard Rock’s original 1971 “Down Home Double Burger”.

The headline, of course, was the ultimate ‘burger with bling’ – the world’s first edible 24-Karat Gold Leaf Steak Burger. Looking surprisingly pretty, this 227g fresh steak burger is topped with 24-karat edible gold leaf, cheddar cheese, leaf lettuce, vine-riped tomato and red onion for the ultimate indulgence. And, if like me, you’re thinking it’s all a bit extravagant, you’ll be pleased to hear that a portion of all proceeds from the sale of the burger will benefit Action Against Hunger, a global humanitarian committed to ending world hunger.

24 Karat Gold Leaf Steak Burger

So, what does it all taste like? Well, the Boozy Milkshakes are well worth trying out, with Cookies and Cream in particularly tasting all the more delicious thanks to the extra shot of vodka. The Strawberry Cheesecake milkshake is also pretty impressive, albeit a little sweeter, no doubt making it a popular choice with the younger ones – minus the alcohol of course.

As expected, all of the burgers are delicious with the new Double Decker Double Cheeseburger (if you’re particularly hungry) and the original Hickory BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger (if you like something with a bit of a kick), particularly standing out as favourites.

The 24-Karat Gold Leaf Steak Burger is also surprisingly delicious, although you can’t really taste the 24-karat edible gold leaf which is probably just as well. It’s also incredibly pretty – check out Instagram if you don’t believe me – even if it feels somewhat gimmicky. Let’s face it, if you’re after a juicy burger, you’re best off sticking to the Legendary or the Double Decker Double Cheeseburger but if you want to make a statement, the 24-Karat Gold Leaf Steak Burger certainly fits the bill.

In terms of cost, I’m still waiting on confirmation of prices but based on their existing menu, you’re probably looking at around £15 for a burger and £8-£12 for a milkshake depending on whether you opt for the alcoholic version or not. The 24-Karat Gold Leaf Steak Burger is expected to be around £25 although, as I mentioned before, prices are still to be confirmed.

So, what do you think? Will you be heading down to Hard Rock Café for a glitzy bite? Let us know what you think on Twitter.