If you live in or near Birmingham, unless you’ve been hiding from the world for the last few months, you will no doubt have heard of the opening of the ‘new’ New Street Station and Grand Central. Amongst the wealth of new shops to spend ALL the money in there is also several restaurants, inlcuding Tapas Revolution. I’ve been lucky enough to meet the lovely Omar Allibhoy, the Spanish born foudner and owner, on two occasions now so was looking forward to trying out the restaurant I’d heard much about.
The first time I set foot in Grand Central I was a little taken aback to see all the restaurants in an almost food court set up, rather than their own enclosed units. They do all however have their own separated areas seating and staff like any normal restaurant though, they are just open to the hustle and bustle of the shops, which actually can create a nice atmosphere, as long as your not looking for an intimate romantic location!
Our server at Tapas Rev was ultra friendly, and despite it being very busy all the ordering and delivery of the food and drinks was very timely.
I’ve eaten my fair share of tapas whilst abroad in Spain and its islands, some good, some bad, although I’ve not spent too much time in the backstreet pinxtos bars of Barcelona or San Sebastian so i might not be the best person to comment on authenticity, but I know that Omar is trying to bring a taste of authentic Spanish food and tapas to the table.
There was a nice selection of Spanish Beers for Lee inlcuding this interesting one made with Sea Water, and luckily some Sangria on the menu for me. A little mention also for the weirdly beautiful shaped water jugs with a really narrow spout that meant I kept watering the table – next time I’ll be more careful!
It was nice to see quite a small menu with a good evenly spilt selection of meat fish and vegetarian. As well as the tapas they serve breakfast, and it was nice to see some traditional dishes like Pan Con Tomate, which I love, on the list for this. We chose a selection of 6 dishes for lunch on the recommendation of our waitress:
- Torreznos con mojo dulce – crispy pork belly with sweet and spicy sauce
- Albóndigas con salsa – beef meatballs in a vegetable, tomato and white wine sauce
- Calamares fritos – deep-fried squid with alioli
- Croquetas de bacalao – deep-fried cod and bechamel croquettes served with alioli
- Patatas bravas – deep-fried potatoes with spicy tomato sauce and alioli
- Selección de charcutería – jamón ibérico de bellota, chorizo ibérico and Serrano ham
I always order the Calamares when eating tapas, firstly to annoy my husband as he thinks the stuff is the devils work, and secondly becuase I think if it’s done well, its a good testament to the quality of the food. Luckily for me, it was perfectly tender, had a light batter and the alioli a large garlic hit. There was a lack of tentacles (shame, as I always enjoy these bits!) but I guess they are appealing to the masses so it’s to be expected.
I won’t go into minute details with the food, they had only been open for 5 days when we went after all, but overall they were really pleasant eats with good bold flavours and all well cooked. The spicy sauce with the pork belly was a delight and the charcuterie seemed good quality and good value.
I almost cried when we were told they had sold out of churros for dessert but I guess this is just another reason to head back soon!
A good addition to Birmingham I feel, particularly against some mediocre new recent openings, and although it is part of a ‘group’ of restaurants (this is only the 4th one, and the 1st outside of London I believe), the emphasis does seem to be on quality which is nice to see. With it’s location as well, I’m sure it will be a resounding sucess.