Hello all. We take a break from my ramblings about Bangkok food to have a big rant.
The first, most important, and most distressing thing about Johnny Rockets is that the headline was not an exaggeration. Not one bit. The piece of crap I ate there really was the worst burger I have ever had in my life.
But I’m getting a little ahead of myself. Let’s backtrack a little.
I’ve seen the lot in The Curve under renovation for quite a while, and was rather looking forward to trying out what looked to be a real-deal, all-American burger joint.
In November, they finally opened and all the signs were highly auspicious. There were dancing waiters and cute uniforms and cheerful-looking décor that made the place look every bit like a classic American deli. Plus, the queues were massively long. We tried going there for dinner one weekend in mid-November and had to pass because the waiting list was too long and we needed to go watch the God of Thunder kick some dark elf ass.
Then, a few days later, I happened to have a morning meeting near The Curve which ended around lunchtime. I decided I should have lunch there and even got a co-worker to go with me. I don’t know if he will ever forgive me.
Despite it being a weekday, we still had to wait 30 minutes for a table. And despite the huge team of cooks in the open kitchen, we had to wait almost 45 minutes for our food.
The plateful of what can only very loosely be termed ‘food’ that finally landed in front of me was nothing short of vile.
The burger patty looked and tasted like it had spent a week being incinerated on the surface of the sun. Grossly overcooked, it was a disgusting hunk of dry, tough, rubbery meat utterly devoid of any flavour, save for the taste of copious amounts of pepper. And, inexplicably for a busy, packed restaurant, it was also cold.
The bun is a whole other nightmare. Its inner surfaces were two thick, hard, greasy crusts that looked like someone had slathered butter on them, toasted them for too long and left them to go stale for a couple of weeks before serving them to me. Again, how do you achieve this in a busy restaurant?
They managed to totally f*ck up the sides as well. The fries were soggy, limp, overly starchy abominations that no amount of ketchup or chilli sauce could save.
And with the coleslaw, the food quality went from horrific to borderline criminal. It was about half a handful of completely wilted purple lettuce that appeared to have been discarded vegetable trimmings salvaged from the dumpster behind a third-rate restaurant, crudely shredded and scattered unceremoniously on the plate with barely a few drops of disgusting-looking dressing coated in congealed oil.
And for this they had the gall to charge almost RM30!
The worst beef burger I’ve had at McDonald’s is 50 times better than this. Even the crappy McRib is better than this. Heck, a piece of old tyre rubber slapped between two sheets of cardboard and sauced with used engine oil would probably taste better than this unmitigated piece of utter crap that has no business calling itself ‘edible’, much less a burger.
We had to get back to work and didn’t have time to demand replacements that very likely would have taken another 45 minutes to arrive. So we just choked down the least disgusting bits on our plate and left, never intending to return.
Dammit, I wanted to like Johnny Rockets, I really did. Now all I want is to see its hordes of curious first-time customers shrink to nothing, and for the restaurant to die a well-deserved death – the sooner the better – so that the space it currently occupies can be filled with a shop that’s not a total affront to its entire industry.