Sunday, June 15, 2014

Johnny Rockets

   
It's all Americana from the moment one enters this classic "original burger" joint from the West and it stays that way till the very end. Johnny Rockets' newest branch, in Ambience Mall Gurgaon, with its "diner" like decor is the place to go for some comfort food. With an open kitchen plan, Johnny Rockets is primarily filled with a table-chair seating style, but a small section comprises of barstools which keeps the entire diner look as authentic as one can possibly have when it comes to commercially run restaurants. The staff is friendly and it's quite clear that the notion of service with a smile has been infused into them wholly during training.  

Off late many restaurants have a theory that the key to success is offering as many different cuisines as possible. While this does work because it helps bring in people with varied tastes, it can also backfire as the chef(s) just might not be as good in everything on the menu as compared to specific food which is their specialty. Since over time I too have gotten used to such restaurants, my initial reaction on reading the menu at Johnny Rockets was that it was a bit bland and very limited in choices with burgers and shakes taking most of the space and that too once again in limited numbers. But, it wasn't till I was half way through my mean that the beauty of the simplicity of what they serve truly struck me. They might have only a few choices in comparison to the many other places, but they seem to know their strong points, and the fact that they make it perfect, with the focus being on the product and service, is what matters in the end.

The entire ambiance at Johnny Rockets is very laid back, something that is essential when you just want to take a bite in-between carrying shopping bags for your wife. There is also an aura of fun in the air, something that is heightened by the song and dance routine that is performed every half an hour or so by the staff. Another aspect about the entire meal that stood out was the choice in music that was played at the restaurant, which stayed honest to the theme, with rock and pop songs from the 50s to the early 80s.

While all the superficial elements in a restaurant add on to the way a customer feels, the most essential aspect is the food itself. Here again Johnny Rockets comes away with flying colours.


The milkshakes that come in glasses with that little extra bit served in tumblers is a nice little gimmick that works perfectly, especially when the said milkshake (Vanilla for me and Hershey's Chocolate for the wife) is perfect in terms of not being too sweet or too thick.


Johnny Rockets also has options for the somewhat health conscious and the Streamliner vegetable burger that sports a delicious soya patty is highly recommended if you want something light. Unfortunately, the potato fries that accompany the burger are very basic and not at all impressive. A helping of freshly made hand-cut fries would have gone a long way and would certainly be much appreciated.


Lastly, the Shredded Chicken Philly Sandwich that I had was juicy beyond comparison. The stuffing reminded me of the kind one finds in a Doner Kebab which compensates the dryness of the bun, making it very tasty especially if you include the freshness and crunchiness of the green salad side that accompanies the dish.

Who would have thought that keeping it simple can have such an effect, but Johnny Rockets does exactly that, but focusing on their strengths they guarantee delicious food that would certainly make this foodie visit them again real soon.    

1 comment:

  1. Broooke and I used to occasionally go to a Johnny Rockets in Palm Springs, California. Great service, food prepared as expected, nice atmosphere. Living abroad and not traveling back to the US too frequently, we do get a hankering for diner fare from time to time. While traveling in Bali over Christmas, and after a few weeks of Balinese and Indonesian cuisine, we had one of these such hankerings. We learnt that the brand Johnny Rockets doesn't guarantee quality or authenticity more than just a look. Hopefully Gurgaon's new franchise has a chef who knows how American diner fare should taste and be served. Otherwise, maybe it's just a status symbol accommodating to local tastes. In that case, I'm sure fellow North Americans would appreciate a warning before entering.

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