Published on April 17th, 2015 | by Gavin0
Tapas Revolution, Shoreditch
Summary: You’ll be hard pressed to find a more authentic Spanish tapas experience in London
Madrid to London
Follows the success of branches in Westfield Shepherds Bush and Bluewater, they have decided to branch out from busy shopping centres to Bethnal Green Road, a short walk from Shoreditch High St overground station.
Tapas Revolution is owned by 28 year old chef Omar Allibhoy, a proud Madrileño know to Spaniards as “the crusader” with the sole purpose of bringing the best tapas to ‘the people’. How do I know this? There’s a mural of Che Guevara emblazed on the website, but upon closer inspection, it’s actually Omar (or possibly a modern day depiction of Jesus, I forgot to ask).
The restaurant is spacious, bright and friendly, a well thought out design for a tapas environment. In fact, they’ve thought of everything to make the experience as authentic as possible- beer served in canas (1/3 pint); imported tomatoes; menu entirely in Spanish; and with the huge popularity of gin in Spain, don’t expect to find Bombay Sapphire or Hendricks behind the bar. The Gin Mare & Mediterranean Tonic (£9) is an excellent place to begin your journey.
And the only place to set sail on your voyage is with the Iberico Jamon. Omar proudly informs us that it’s only available in three London restaurants, universally recognised as the best cured ham in the world and is eye wateringly expensive at £500 a leg. And the taste? Every bit as delicate and smoky as a £500 slice of meat should be and you can try it for a fraction of the price at only £10.95.
Before getting into the heavy meats, I’d recommend the beautifully presented ensalada de calabacin (£5.50) consisting of a thin slice of courgette delicately wrapped around a smoked cheese and truffle foam parcel.
I’ve always considered tuna carpaccio (£8.95) to be a dish created best by Italians, but I was made to eat humble pie after trying Omar’s handiwork. Sliced slightly thicker than most and teamed alongside a squeeze of almond sauce and citrus vinaigrette, the tuna flavour comes through more vividly than its Italian counterpart and I like it!
The fish seems to be a winner here as the red mullet with saffron barley (£8.50) is an excellent twist on traditional paella, the saffron complimenting the grilled fish and replacing rice with barley deserves a standing ovation.
The experimental cuisine continued with the carrilleras ibericas al chocolate (£8.25), or Iberian pork cheeks braised with chestnuts and chocolate sauce, to fellow non Spanish speakers. Chocolate and pork is an odd combination to say the least, and in my opinion the rich bitter chocolate didn’t match well with the meat.
The beef flank with new potatoes (£6.75) however made up for any shortcomings. Heavily seasoned with garlic and marinated in a rich sauce, this was much more to my taste and had me fishing for every last morsel. As long as you’re not expecting a prime rib eye then it is a pleasant finisher for those craving something a bit heavier.
The only disappointing dish of the evening though was the tortilla (£5.50). Being an iconic Spanish dish I expected something spectacular; while it was hard to criticise the execution, in comparison to everything else on offer it just lacked charisma- kind of like a tapas equivalent of Leona Lewis.
The dessert menu is ever changing so doesn’t feature on the menu and ironically it is at this point we are served arguably to the best dish of the evening, torrijas. This delight is a custard filled brioche bun with caramelised cinnamon on top and it has me savouring every last mouthful, surely this must become a permanent fixture on the menu?!
My hat goes off to Omar for showing such dedication to his craft which is so rare in a world obsessed with fast results. He came to the UK 8 years ago with a plan and has slowly built up his knowledge to ultimately get to where he is today. Tapas Revolution is all his dreams realised, viva la revolution!
Tapas Revolution, 58 Bethnal Green Road, E1 8JWShare This Post