Despite your first glance, I can assure you that no this isn't me having a bad hair day, or face day or an all over bad body day, this is the beastly like robotic creature that greets you upon arrival at delicious American diner, Planet Hollywood. The restaurant, a top tourist attraction tucked away behind bustling Piccadilly Circus, is designed to export movie fanatics back to the magic of the biggest blockbusters of the past century. Customers dine amongst classic movie memorabilia such as the T-Bird jacket of John Travolta in Grease, the dinner suits of countless ex-James Bonds, the peasant clothing of Oliver's mate the Artful Dodger and none other than Indiana Jones' whip. I'm guessing my new robotic friend here is an extra from the Terminator or Doctor Who or some other violent film given that he has 'exterminate' written all over his flesh-eaten, not so friendly looking face, not to mention that terrifying weapon of his. Admittedly, I purposely chose not to get too close to the statue so I couldn't tell you which film exactly, (you never know if you're going to be on one of those hidden camera shows where they capture the horror on people's faces as the model jumps out and really does exterminate you!)
Thus, surrounded by such Hollywood glamour, it was only fitting to order the Charlotte and Will special, the VIP platter, a dish designed for sharing - something we learned the hard way! Planet Hollywood has often been our 'go to' restaurant in our three year history and each time the menu's stuffed in front of our drooling faces we find ourselves eyeing up the rather expensive platter complete with nachos, cheese and spinach dip, spicy chicken wings, bacon and cheese potato wedges and our personal faves, texas tostadas, commenting on how amazing it sounds to our taste buds but not so amazing to our purse-strings. Then during one visit, we were feeling particularly daring, opting for the VIP platter to start followed by a burger each for mains. Oh what fools we were. Now that visit was one for man vs food and we never did it again. Nowadays, we request two portions of fries only to compliment the starting platter.
"And that's it?" asks the waitress, staring at us peculiarly as if the VIP Platter isn't big enough already.
Today was a fairly uneventful trip to the famous restaurant, refuelling quickly in order to rush home for what I was promised 'a really exciting' Super Sunday football match, (of course this wasn't the case!). This came as a disappointment to us however given our track record of bizarre dining experiences. During one visit we sat next to what seemed at first glance like a normal pleasant American family in London on holiday. It was only until a nervous new waitress spilt a glass of lemonade on their little boys lap and the family went completely psycho demanding free food, clothing and souvenirs before storming out without paying, did we realise that this was definitely not the case. Now that really felt like I was on a hidden camera show! We did get a free milkshake for our 'trouble' however.
'Trouble', I thought. 'I'd happily watch that again and again if it meant free milkshakes upon every visit!'.
Disappointingly, it hasn't happened again, nor did Ashton Kutcher jump out at me to yell 'You've just been Punk'd!'. Maybe that's why we keep going back, not only because the food is amazing but for the chance of another free milkshake! Or maybe next time I'll just fake a dramatic scene to get free food instead! Did I mention I was unemployed?