Spot Check: Planet Hollywood

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Indy Lifestyle Online
13 Coventry Street, W1. Opening Hours: 11am-1am (071-287-1000)

Thanks to the rain, there was no queue to get into Planet Hollywood. Well, no queues outside. Once up the spiral staircase, there was a 20-minute wait at a crowded bar until a non-smoking table for 'John L was found. A Becks and a fizzy mineral water cost pounds 3.75 and had to be requested three times ('It's your accent mate') but there was Jean Claude Van Damme's uniform from Universal Soldier to admire, so the time positively crawled by.

The staff - someone to greet you, someone to seat you - are friendly, though there is a hint of the Stepford wife to the banter: 'Now, you eat that all up] Americans call this 'aggressive hospitality.

We started with chicken wings and blackened shrimp, which took ten minutes to arrive. Both were plentiful: Planet Hollywood serves US-size portions. Our main courses came 15 minutes later, a tasty, well-done cheeseburger (with way too much blue cheese) and a huge platter of chicken fajatas. My friend had a Dirty Harry cocktail - a gold Tequila, Cointreau and Midori margarita - and suddenly became very voluble, once he was picked-up off the floor. I had a non-alcoholic Home Alone, thick as a milk-shake and very fruity.

The Ebony and Ivory Brownie was the size of Texas and the White Chocolate Bread Pudding wanted a life of its own. Both arrived ten minutes after the main course. Both were like sucking on a bag of sugar. Fun. The bill came to pounds 46.80.

Time taken: slightly under two hours.