In light of the most romantic and similarly depressing holiday that is Valentines Day, it’s time to profess my true soulmate. Spain. If there was ever a country which held me by the heartstrings it’s L’Espana. I love everything about it, the weather, the wine, the parties and any country where afternoon siestas are accepted is the one for me. But last and by no means least, the food is really something else. Spanish cuisine brought us Tapas which is not only delicious but irresistibly cultural and reminiscent of a good European holiday.
Tapas Revolution was founded by Omar Allibhoy, renowned Spanish chef who saw the sparce Tapas scene in the UK and challenged it by opening his first Tapas Revolution restaurant in Westfields, Shepherds Bush in 2010. His menu combines his favourite dishes from Spain, from universal classics to some more personal recipes and regional specialities. There is also Sangria on menu - the perfect summer concotion made the one and only red wine and stirred up with bitter sweet fresh fruit.
Aside from Shepherd’s Bush, they’re also located in Shoreditch, just past the high street Station. As you’re walking away from the bustle of Shoreditch High Street, it’s shocking to find yourself in a much more relaxed and quiet environment so quickly . The perfect location for a Spanish vibe. The restaurant is low lit with a range of high set seating around the centered bar and lower more cosy seating at the side - with cushioned sofa seating and some funky cushions. Our table was set up so sweetly, personalising the reservation by writing my name on a vase holding a flower.
The tables were set quite close together and unfortunately had us encounter that awkward moment squeezing past the couple next to you with bags and coats brushing their table repeatedly. This was all forgotten when we set eyes on the menu. Comprised of a multitude of Tapas dishes, main courses including the likes of Txuleton Vasco (30 day aged rib eye from the Basque Country), specials written on the chalk board above us, and of course paellas. We settled on 8 tapas dishes between us, disregarding the recommendations of 2 to 3 dishes each . These included Pan con alioli (bread with garlic mayo), Queso Manchego (Ewe’s milk semi-cured cheese), Patatas Bravas (deep fried potatoes with spicy sauce and alioli), Calamares (deep fried squid & alioli), Ensalada de queso de cabra (goat’s cheese salad), Gambas al ajillo (prawns with olive oil and cayenne chilli), Jamon Ibereico (30 month dry cured ham) and finally Carpaccio de ternera (45 day dry-aged rib eye).
The dishes came flowing out of the kitchen one after the other, each waiter as friendly and enthusiastic as the last. Our table started piling up quickly and eventually we ran out of space, we couldn’t keep up! Each dish was light and full of flavour, the Gambas were meaty and moreish and stayed hot in their terracotta pot throughout the meal. The Calamares was light and crispy, matched perfectly with alioli - that fantastically creamy and garlic fueled condiment even brought the bread to life. The Iberico ham was cut fresh from the deli stand next to the kitchen and paired beautifully with the Manchego cheese. A personal favourite was the Goats cheese salad, the cheese was delicately shaven across the mixed leaves and jumbled with celery, apple, pine nuts and in a sherry vinaigrette.
Just when you think that we wouldn’t be able to handle any more, we were handed the desert menu. The four options that lay before us was the Torrija (caramelised broche bun soaked in custard), the Tarte de chocolate (chocolate, praline and raspberry tart), Arroz con leche (rice pudding, cinnamon, vanilla and caramelised krispies) and Crema Catalana (traditional Spanish custard made with vanilla, cinnamon and lemon). You see now why I love Spain? Just look at how custard/cream based that desert menu is! The waiter recommended the Torrija, their specialty. It did not disappoint, it was served warm with a healthy portion of custard, with a slightly caramelised glaze over the top, cinnamon evenly dusted throughout. My friend ordered the Arroz con leche, which you may think could have been basic but the dish exceeded expectations. It literally felt like eating a pot of clotted cream infused with vanilla, it’s richness balanced by the caramelised krispies that garnished it.
I would fully recommend this restaurant to anyone who has a love for Spanish food that is done well. The environment was relaxing and welcoming, perfect for a quick catch up with friends or a drawn out evening over some sangria. I will definitely be returning in summer.