My partner and I dined here on a Wednesday evening in February, since it was close to the hotel where we were staying. First impression wasn’t great, walking in through the bar, you get an overwhelming scent of stale beer. Definitely in need of a deep cleaning. Once upstairs, the restaurant is quite large. We were surprised when the host said it would be 30 minutes for a table, considering there were only a few tables that were occupied. Either way, we decided to have a drink in the bar area to wait. As soon as our drinks came, the buzzer went off and we went back upstairs. I’m thinking the host was unorganized and the manager looked at what she was doing? Seemed odd to me.
Our server was over right away and instantly asked if we were ready to order our meals. Talk about feeling rushed…. We said that we needed some time, since I had just flown into Oslo and hadn’t seen my partner for almost 2 weeks, we wanted to catch up. After a while we ordered the Cauliflower Wings with the “hot” option for sauces. They came out fast and the portion was huge! It would be a big appetizer to have on your own, which made it perfect for sharing. I liked that they served them as a classic chicken wing dish, with the celery and carrot sticks (to make you believe you’re eating something healthy). The sauce on the wings wasn’t super spicy in my opinion (we like it hot in my family), but it had lots of flavour and wasn’t overly salty.
Once the appetizer was dropped off, we didn’t see our server until the plate was empty, as were our beverages. I would say she 100% forgot about us. Finally we flagged someone down and they got her for us. We asked about the wine selection (there might be 6 options), and she had no idea what they were, she couldn’t even remember the kinds they offered. I know it’s not a fancy spot, but it’s not that hard to know you have Pinot Noir, Merlot, Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio. Basic.
For my main course, I ordered the Penne Arrabiatta which was a spicy tomato sauce and they served it with vegetables instead of a protein. The flavour of the dish was actually really nice, the sauce tasted extremely fresh and light and had a nice little kick to it. The texture wasn’t so great, the pasta was over cooked by a few minutes as were the vegetables. Even with the texture being off, I did still enjoy the flavours.
They must have been quite understaffed on this evening because all of the staff were scattered and running around like chickens with their heads cut off. I understand that mistakes happen and sometimes you’re understaffed, however you should tell your guests that so they can at least understand why they are getting such terrible service. They did not tell us anything, so we felt completely neglected and annoyed. I don’t like chasing servers.
With the restaurant being understaffed which caused the poor service, and the good tasting food I am going to rate Hard Rock Cafe Oslo a 3/5 stars.
Until next time,