With Tapas Revolution, Madrid born Omar Allibhoy, the brains behind the successful chain, has done for Spanish cuisine what Yo Sushi did for Japanese.
Situated inside Grand Central in Birmingham, UK, Tapas Revolution attracts visitors with its big signs advertising churros. I passed by it on a busy weekday afternoon and decided to wait till the lunch hour rush died down. This also meant that by the time I was seated at the bar, I was famished.
Tapas is all about delicious bites served in small portions. Meant to be shared, I was more than happy to have it all for myself on this date. In a very general sense it’s Spanish pub food, but a lot more delicate and sophisticated.
The ambience at the restaurant walks the thin line between casual and urbane brilliantly. The service is polished, and the food has the finesse that typically forms an integral part of Spanish preparations.
From my seat, I was privy to a flurry of activity taking place behind the counter that kept me busy. I could see the dishes get their final touches while the staff conversed about day to day activities, primarily in Spanish, adding a sense of authenticity to the operations.
There were a bunch of items on the menu that caught my eye, but always in search for something different, I went with a mix of classics as well as the unusual (for me) options.
Spanish food goes well with wine, and the restaurant has suggestions on the drink’s menu to guide novices like me. All the other items are also well explained and the staff is quite helpful when looking for recommendations.
Now, the portions are tiny (it is tapas after all), so you’ll end up ordering anywhere from four to five dishes in the end. I’d suggest to take about four in the beginning and then add on more depending on how hungry you are.
Tapas Revolution boasts the freshest of food every day, and it shows as the plates are vibrant and packed with exciting flavours.
My meal consisted of the following:
Arroz Negro – Black rice with prawns and squid. The colour of the rice is from squid ink giving it a distinct flavour that takes a few bites to get used to. However, it’s quite subtle and delicious.
Tortilla de Patatas – Fun to say and looks gorgeous, but this classic Spanish omelette could have been a tad softer. Nevertheless, it’s quintessential Spanish cuisine and worth a shot.
Aceitunas Manzanilla – The marinated Andalusian green olives went well with the wine, especially for olive lovers like myself.
Pan de la Casa – Might sound ordinary considering its just toasted bread with salmarejo tomato sauce and Serrano ham, but it tasted amazing.
Pazo de Mariñan Godello Treixadura Albariño – Crisp white wine that went great with the Black Rice, as recommended.
The food at Tapas Revolution isn’t cheap, especially if you have a big appetite as I do. The service though is top class, the ingredients are fresh, and the overall food quality is worth the extra buck that you end up spending here.
A chic and at the same time casual setup that doesn’t seem odd in malls, Tapas Revolution is a spectacular culinary journey that highlights the beautiful flavours emerging from the food and drinks of Spain.