When I was looking for things for us to do in London during our stay at The Royal Garden Hotel, I came across some family-friendly reviews on Planet Hollywood. I was so interested in experiencing this for myself that I decided to get in touch and find out more. The lovely people at Planet Hollywood then agreed to invite us along as their guests on the Saturday evening.
Arriving at the door, you felt like a star the moment you walked in. The charismatic, and very friendly, Rita showed us to our table and presented us with our menus. We had already been advised to start the meal with one of their famous hand-dipped milkshakes so as our able waitress, Valentina, took our order, both girls opted for chocolate. Ross and I chose cocktails – he went for the Terminator which consisted of vodka, gin, bacardi rum, cointreau and sours splashed with cranberry juice and topped with draught beer and I chose the Titanic, a mixture of vodka, peach schnapps, coconut rum, orange, pineapple juice and lemonade. Mine was delicious! Ross’ tasted a little tamer if we were honest – still nice though.
With a menu which consisted of so much choice it almost became hard to choose, we decided to opt for the VIP platter as our starter – not really not sure what, or how much, to expect. When it arrived, our eyes nearly popped out of our heads!
The VIP platter includes buffalo wings, texas tostados, chicken crunch, parmesan spinach dip with tortilla chips and potato skins. There was also two further dips. I have to say that all of it was delicious but we all especially enjoyed the tostados.
As we feared, the girls were full after a concoction of milkshakes and the platter so they happily sat colouring with a coke for Molly and a Ben 10 for Grace – a drink of Elderflower cordial, lime & apple juices, and a splash of soda water – as Ross and I chose our main courses. I decided upon the Singapore noodles and Ross ordered the burritos. When our mains arrived I seriously wondered how on earth I was going to eat it all! The noodles seemed to go on forever – not that I minded as the food was once again cooked perfectly. I also had some of Ross’ main course and that too was very tasty.
We also ordered some more drinks. This time Ross decided upon the Planet Cooler – that consisted of midori, malibu, peach schnapps, vodka, orange and cranberry juices – which looked far more colourful in the photo than it did when it arrived on our table (very refreshing though) and I opted for the Gorillas in the Mist – a blend of bailey’s and kahlua with a tropical mix of banana liqueur, malibu and vanilla ice cream. This actually tasted far more like a dessert than a drink, which then meant I didn’t need to order any more food.
Coming to the end of the meal itself, we all decided we didn’t need any more to eat. Grace and Molly ordered another chocolate milkshake each to round off – which was topped with a little surprise! – and Ross chose a rather sophisticated Brandy Alexander – Brandy, chocolate and cream – which was otherwise known as “the milkshake” by John Lennon during the famous lost weekend! And we could both see why.
Eating in Planet Hollywood isn’t just about the food though. It is about the experience itself. With lots of screens covering the walls, the restaurant was filled with music – some classics, some modern but all memorable. There was a large hen party to the left of us who were having a wonderful time. There was the ability to send a text and have your special message come up on screen. We didn’t send a message, instead the thoughtful people at Planet Hollywood had written one for us calling us their VIP guests and wishing us a great evening with them. Another great touch was what I have called the Plan-Cam. A camera which swooped around the restaurant catching the diners as they moved along to the music enjoying their food. When classics such as the Grease mega-mix and YMCA came on, this also caught people in the act of enjoying themselves.
We also took some time to look around at the movie memorabilia. There was a T-Bird jacket worn by John Travolta, a coat worn by Bruce Willis in Die Hard 2 and, my absolute favourite, a replica of Han Solo in carbonite from The Empire Strikes Back. There was a wall of hands upstairs as you walked to the bathrooms which the girls enjoyed matching hand prints to.
Towards the end of the meal Rita, who had initially shown us to our table, came over to check on us. Grace was already on her feet dancing next to the table and Rita joined in. She certainly had a way with the kids and interacted with them perfectly. Hector, the manager, also paid us a visit to ensure that we were happy.
So, what did we think?
Judged extremely well, Valentina seemed to arrive at just the right moment. The staff were all upbeat and friendly and seemed happy to serve.
No complaints here. The portion sizes were HUGE and, because we couldn’t manage our main courses, they were packed up for us to take away.
Of course, when you are in London, you are going to pay London prices although I didn’t feel that they were too escalated. A main course was around £14, the childrens menu was £8.95 for two courses and included unlimited soda (coke, diet coke, lemonade, fanta or water) and the cocktails were in the region of £7.95 each.
Brilliant. This is what made the evening for us. Whatever age you were, you were a part of this party atmosphere. Planet Hollywood had been what our 8 year old girls were looking forward to the most all weekend. They got dressed up to party and the restaurant didn’t disappoint. Planet Hollywood was just recently voted by Bookatable as the No.1 Kids Friendly restaurant in London – it was easy to see why.
Any Room for Improvement?
The only real criticism we did have was that the round table that we had for four people just wasn’t big enough. By the time we had our drinks, sharing platter, cutlery, plates and the girls colouring on there, it felt like we had to do a bit of a juggling act.
Having never been to Planet Hollywood before, none of us really knew what to expect. We were a little concerned about how much it would be geared towards families but we needn’t have been. They catered for young and old equally and ensured everyone had a wonderful time.
Disclosure: We were provided with a meal for 4 people to include drinks in return for an honest review. This review is just that – honest in our own words without any influence. All images are our own too.