Hard Rock Cafe Phnom Penh, what’s it all about? It is now almost a year since I stepped into a Hard Rock Cafe for the first time in over 10 years. When I lived in the Cayman Islands we used to go their for the “national” Karaoke competition. My girlfriend of the time would regularly qualify for the finals.
To read why there is no McDonalds in the Cayman Islands click here (link).
It was OK, but I have never understood the whole cult like following of the Hard Rock Cafe, with people feeling the need to travel to every one in the world – something I shall surely blog about and collect the overpriced glasses and t-shirts, to me it is an overpriced tacky franchise.
Hard Rock Cafe Siem Reap – the one that went rogue.
And then almost a year to the day I had an evening where I was supposed to go for Khmer BBQ, at Darany, but ended up at Hard Rock Cafe Angkor – the name for the Siem Reap branch as they had just reopened for a Khmer holiday.
I’m going to redo my article about the Siem Reap Hard Rock Cafe, but what you had was essentially a franchise that had gone rogue. The menu was changed and far form expensive drinks as per usual Hard Rock Cafe standards. Jugs of beer were $7.50, a Vodka Soda $2.50 and there was live music every night. I even ended up singing there on a few occasions, as per the video link below
Hard Rock Café
What originally started out wonderfully ended up weird. Their was a Filipino band called “The Most Wanted”, a very good band, but apparently they were not being paid, so would essentially leech onto customers for drinks. Whats tarted off as a good thing quickly went very sour. They eventually closed as as good as the music was the band had scared everyone off. In essence this was not a Hard Rock Cafe franchise, but an owner who went rogue and tried to make a quick buck using he name. Perhaps they might come back one day, but I am sure things will be different. On my last trip to Siem Reap the Hard
Rock Cafe there looked like a haunted house, although the ABA Machine was still working.
Also having Big Boy’s Burger next door for half the price surely didn’t help – you can read about these cats here .
Hard Rock Cafe Phnom Penh
I’ not sure what had drawn me to visiting Hard Rock Cafe Phnom Penh on this day, maybe nostalgia mixed with curiosity and a confused mind, but head here I did. It is located in Exchange Square – a mall. I usually hate any bar, or restaurant next to a mall, but these were special times.
It is actually located on two floors with an outside section for us smokers. Darig usual times there is live music, alas these are not normal times, but this was an actual Hard Rock Cafe, complete with a shop and a bunch of other wankey HRC crap you’d expect.
The Hard Rock Cafe Menu on a QR code
Sometimes technology is great, at other times it is a pain in the ass. Hard Rock Cafe Phnom Penh have their menu on a QR code, it proved so difficult to deal with I just asked for a paper menu. You are then presented with a very standard Hard Rock Cafe menu, with all the famous stuff, including the burgers.
We opted for a mixed platter called the Jumbo Combo at $25. This featured wings, onion rings, spring rolls, chicken breast and loaded potato skins. Not cheap, but enough to feed two. Drinks wise a Long island Iced Tea was $4.50, not all that outrageous, with them also having various specials on different nights of the week.
Does anyone go to the Hard Rock Cafe Phnom Penh?
Apparently they do, the bar was maybe 1/3 full, with it being mostly locals. There really is nothing else in the area, ironically unless you walk for 10 minutes the river and the joys of Street 130.
You can read about Street 130 here .
Overall I am glad I visited if nothing else for the nostalgia of the trip, but now I have seen it I do not need to visit again, even if they do have a freeloading Filipino band that let me sing.
Oh and the t-shirts are half-priced, but you cam also get knock-off shirts for $3 at central market, so you know swings and indeed roundabouts.
If you want a Street Food Guy t-shirt, which will one day surely worth more than a t-shirt from Hard Rock then click here .