Thursday, 29 September 2016

Review: Tapas Revolution Birmingham


Walking into to a huge ‘Buenos Tardes’ greeting as we set foot into Tapas Revolution, was just what we needed to wipe away the traffic jam drama we’d encountered en route.  Such a big welcome made us feel instantly relaxed and we liked it.
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways
 
The all-Spanish team chit-chatted away with us as they settled us into our seats with My Carnivorous Husband (MCH) wanting to look out onto Grand Central’s concourse for a bit of people watching and I wanted a view of the restaurant (same reasons).  All bases covered. 
 
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

The restaurant is open plan and informal which falls into the set-up of Grand Central’s overall food outlet offering, it has splashes of Moorish décor with a few little hints of España dotted around (such as the olive oil cutlery tins).  Interestingly, no salt & pepper condiments are present on the tables – it encourages you to taste the food as it is I guess.
Appetisers & Drinks
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

For Appetisers, we had:  Almendras de Mallorca (slow roasted almonds) which you could tell the roasting process had brought out their flavour – we really enjoyed those.  Aceitunas Manzanilla – (green marinated Andalusian olives), which were pleasant enough although would have preferred them de-stoned.  Pan con Tomate (toasted bread topped with tomato, garlic and olive oil) which was crusty, although more tomato based than garlic, it worked well with the other appetisers.  This little combo as it was would be nice with a beer or cocktail if you just fancy a few nibbles.
Patatas Bravas & Tomato Salad
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways
Gazpacho
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

The rest of the meal followed the usual tapas format of ‘little dishes’ and I had:  Gazpacho de Sandía (chilled tomato soup with a watermelon twist).   Served in a small glass, a slightly more fizzy version of traditional gazpacho and more fruity, but nevertheless surprisingly filling.  Keeping the tomato theme going, I had Ensalada de Tomate on Queso de Cabra which consisted of a number of different types of tomato (and colour) with goat’s cheese, olives and red onion – quite a basic arrangement but the different tomato types made it quite sweet tasting.  It worked well with the Patatas Bravas I had which I ordered without the spicy tomato sauce (as I’m allergic to certain spices) which the chef was happy to do.
Pork Belly
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

MCH had the Torreznos con mojo dulce which was pork belly and he commented how light, crispy, quite sweet and tender it was.  It was his overall favourite dish.  He had Pulpo a la Gallega which was steamed octopus with potatoes and pimento paprika which was again, tender and a different type of seafood offering than is normally available which he enjoyed trying, plus a Patatas Bravas portion for himself, with the spicy tomato sauce which he said nice and fiery.
Patatas Bravas/Octopus/Empanadillas
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

He also had the Empanadillas (spinach and goat’s cheese parcels served with onion and saffron marmalade) from the specials board.  The cheese was gorgeously melty and worked well with the savoury style marmalade.  I too would have had these but the cheese was cooked in animal fat making it non-vegetarian so I didn’t.  A real shame as it sounded perfect – so perhaps Omar and team - could veggie versions be made?
 
Desserts
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

Desserts were of course inevitable and whilst perusing, I wasn’t sure if the desserts were veggie friendly so my Camerero (waiter) kindly checked by going through Omar’s latest cookbook Spanish Made Simple which contains dishes as featured on the menu – so a very handy reference point.  All good and so I had:  Crema Catalana (a traditional Spanish custard made with vanilla, cinnamon and lemon) which was very much like a brulee, thick with subtle flavours coming through and I liked the fact it was typically Spanish as I try to have authentic dishes where possible.  MCH who naturally gravitates towards chocolate chose:  Cremoso de Chocolate (chocolate fondant made with olive oil and baked to order).  He said it wasn’t too rich (which he welcomed) yet it was smooth perhaps due to the olive oil content.

Café Leche y Leche
Photo: Word In Veg Ways

Coffees caught our eye and we opted for the very Spanish sounding:  Café Leche y Leche (which is bombón coffee with steamed milk).  Never having seen it before, we were keen to see what it was like.  Now, when I drink coffee (which is only once a week max), I tend to sugar it massively to make it palatable for me, but this didn’t need even a grain of sugar.  The condensed steamed milk used made it more than sweet enough, it was lush and so different.  Really enjoyed it.

So as our meal experience came to an end, we spent more time with the waiters who couldn’t do enough and I saw that was the same for other diners, not just us.  Having met Tapas Revolution’s owner Omar at the Birmingham Food Drink & Hospitality Awards earlier in the summer (he won his category of Best Spanish Restaurant by the way) and seeing how friendly and warm he actually was, I can see how this mantra has been cascaded down to the troops within the restaurant.  The staff, really are a credit to Omar & co, they love to talk and so do we.  We enjoyed hearing about where they were from in Spain and we discussed one of my favourite TV shows right now – Vis a Vis (called Locked Up in the UK) which has Spanish subtitles and can be viewed on Channel 4 on Demand (if you’re interested….)  In return, they were polite when I tried to babble away in my broken Spanish and I was even more astonished when they understood what I was trying to say – see, GCSE Spanish never leaves you!  All in all, lovely and even though we dined as their guests, we left a tip as we were so impressed with the service we had.

Great place for carnivores and good place for vegetarians.  Some of the dishes could be converted into vegetarian options and if that was to happen, then it would really enhance their veggie offering and I’d be all for that.

Whilst it is Adios for now, I’ll back soon with my Mother for, at the very least, a Café Leche y Leche and we’ll make sure we get her a good people-watching seat as she likes to do that as much as we do.

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Disclosure:    This post has been written following a kind invitation from Tapas Revolution to sample their menu.  This review was conducted honestly without bias and I was not required to produce a positive review.  For further details of my PR policy, please see the Press, PR & Food Writing page of this website.      

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