If there is one thing I dislike, it would be when restaurants I like change their menu. It isn’t fear of change or anything but they tend to lose their edge at times, or remove something that was actually really good. I heard that Johnny Rockets had a new menu and I really needed to check this out!
Johnny Rockets, apparently, is the first Burger place in the UAE (excluding fast food, of course) and only in the past few years started to really come out of its shell and open up in various locations and has gained a lot of popularity. I personally have visited nearly half their branches because I do like their burger and the whole atmosphere, but I will take this on, unbiased!
I went to the Mall of the Emirates branch for this review.
Walking into the restaurant was typical Johnny Rockets. It looks, feels and sounds like a proper American diner with little Jukeboxes, pop-up straw holder, classic tissue holders, etc
I really like this look and even the booths are in red leather and the counters look like old-school graphite. They have an identity, a style and a theme which I really like.
Walking in, the staff were excited wished and welcomed me as I walked in (Do note, they did not know I was reviewing them, as I like to do) and they showed me to a booth and was presented with their new menu.
If you’ve been to Johnny Rockets, the menu doesn’t look like it has changed, right? (The image is a high resolution so you can go through it) and the fact remains that, aside from a new strategy and a couple of new offerings, the menu is the same.. BUT
They have reworked their prices and patty sizes. Let me explain; in the past, their burgers were a bit bigger and costed roughly 36 Dhs on average. Some people found the burgers too big, so with this new work-around strategy, you will pay roughly 29 Dhs for a buger that is a bit smaller, but if you double the patty for 7 Dhs, to roughly 36 Dhs, you’d end up with more meat than you did before. Win Win!
How can you complain about better value for money?
The only concern I had with the location of this Johnny Rockets branch is the noise. It sits exactly where the Mall’s children play area and video games are, which gets a bit noisey. There is also quite a lot of noise from the foodcourt below too, but with a great view.
I ordered quite a few things to see if the change was noticeable and tried a few new menu items too!
To start things off, I went with one of my favorites, their Smoke House burger (single patty) which has; single beef patty, beef bacon, cheddar cheese, and their special Johnny Rockets barbecue ranch sauce.
To my satisfaction, there was no change in taste compared to before, which is a win. As for the taste itself, the burger is very nice. It is a tad on the greasy side, which some people may not like, but the burger is very flavorful, and delicious. There are bits where the beef bacon was a bit hard, but that is expected too. One thing in the burger that is not mentioned in the description is crispy onion rings, which was yummy and crispy. A lovely burger if you like meat with barbecue sauce.
Second on the list, is a new entry, their Garlic Teriyaki Chicken
The part that surprised me in this chicken sandwich, and the part which I think is a rare occurrence (As I wouldn’t expect this all the time) is the extended piece of chicken!
The Garlic Chicken Teryaki has a delicious chicken patty, special bulgogi teryaki sauce, deep fried garlic, fresh lettuce and fresh tomatoes.
The chicken was tender, very nice and was juicy. Unfortunately, I did not get enough garlic or teryaki flavors as I would have expected. It was a very nice chicken sandwich, but I expected more flavor to be honest from the sauce department.
For sides, I had two. I started things off with their Jalapeno Poppers, which is a new entry on their menu.
In a way, these are the basic Jalapeno Poppers that you’d expect. Crunchy on the outside, filled with cheese and jalapeno, and it had nice flavors but nothing really blew my mind. It wasn’t too spicy or anything. I would say it was averagely nice.
Following the Poppers, I had ordered their Rocket Wings.
I did not really enjoy these, which was disappointed as I love Chicken Wings! I ordered half in barbecue sauce and half in traditional buffalo sauce.
Before going into the sauces, the wings were small, and very dry. They were overcooked to my liking.
As for the sauces, the barbecue was nice, although I would have preferred more sauce, and the traditional buffalo sauce was super weird! It was not very spicy but had a very weird chemically kind of taste. It was weird, new to me and slightly strange, and definitely confused me. They may need to revisit the sauces, cooking their wings and amount of sauce they offer.
To accompany all this food, I had ordered their Vanilla Milkshake, as I know their milkshakes are always yum!
The flavors of the milkshake was really good and they give you a stainless steel cup which has some more! That was definitely a lot of milkshake, but it was so good! It had Ice cream too (thus the spoon) and was popping with flavor. Definitely delicious and thick!
Overall, the Johnny Rockets experience has not dipped at all. They maintain their amazing staff, good food and their delicious menu entries. Surely there are a few things that need working on, but as long as their burgers remain top-notch as they always have (which was my big concern with their new menu), I am happy!
The service: As expected, they maintained their service levels. Staff are always happy, smiling and serve with a passion. Everytime I would order a drink or so, they’d come over with a smile carrying the straw holder and lift it to pick one up. I was checked up on twice during my visit if I needed anything and the greetings when arriving and leaving are always appreciated.
Service is quick and there is always someone around to assist if needs be. When asked for recommendations they were familiar with the menu and had suggestions with certain orders. The only downfall would be that not all the staff are fully aware of why this new menu was created or how the mechanics work. I personally think if I can tell my customer that they’re getting more value for their money, they’d be happier than ever, and the staff did not know how to portray this to me.
The value: Considering their new strategy, I think the Johnny Rockets value has grown more than ever before. I would say they are priced a little bit below their competitors, if not similar and that is good thing as I do find their quality and selections quite big.
The Place: 7 / 10
The Service: 7 / 10
The Food: 6.5 / 10
Overall: 6.8 / 10
If you love burgers, and like me, want to try them all, I would definitely recommend Johnny Rockets. They have a great selection of delicious burgers. They even give you more burger for your money than ever before, how could we complain about that?