Tapas Revolution Birmingham, Review | FOOD

26 Aug 2016

It's another Food Friday and this week I'll be reviewing the newly opened Tapas Revolution in Birmingham Grand Central.  For those of you unfamiliar with the chain, Tapas Revolution is a Spanish restaurant with menus designed and developed by TV chef Omar Allibhoy and has recently won the accolade of 'best Spanish restaurant' at the Birmingham Food, Drink and Hospitality awards this year.  The restaurant are showcasing their new summer menu and invited me along to have a taste of tapas whilst putting them to the test - with such a reputation, how could I not?  

Situated in the food court area of Grand Central station (Birmingham), the restaurant isn't somewhere you would necessarily have thought of to hit for a tasty meal out.  I was dubious at first of how a restaurant could create it's own ambience with the bing bong of train station tannoy voices and rushing commuters during rush hour, however it was overly distracting at all.  The staff greet you with a warm smile and tempting lure of sweet wines, we were seated on a balcony table where we could people watch with our tapas and enjoy a good conversation over a bottle of red.    
In keeping with the Spanish menu, the open restaurant was decorated with hues of mediterranean warm colours and an open glass storage area on the bar, the tables were simple and the condiments effortlessly placed.  I loved the mismatched plate wear, with delicate ditsy patterns and various colours on offer - the cutlery in the empty chopped tomatoes pot was a personal favourite (easily pleased, eh?).

But let's move onto the real stuff, what was the food like?
We ordered 8 plates in two separate intervals, I prefer not to have my tapas in all one go otherwise I feel overwhelmed with the plate options and I also like my food to be piping hot - so a smaller amount of plates to share in one sitting always seems like a better option for me. We ordered a glass of pinot for me and a lemon drink for my companion, then pondered the extensive menu.  
Our lovely waiter forgave our poor pronunciation as we ordered alias de pollo a la meal y lemon (chicken wings in a lemon and honey dressing), torreznos con mojo dulce (crisp pork belly with sweet and spicy sauce) and calamari frites (fried calamari in aioli).  Served in the typical Spanish tapas style, the dishes came out as and when they were cooked for us to tuck into.
The pork belly was tender and sweet with a warmth, the chicken wings were crispy but there wasn't enough lemon for my liking and was more sweet than the tang I was expected and the calamari was crisp, light and to die for.  We seriously considered walking out with a doggy bag of calamari it was that good!

For our second sitting we chose chalets de cordero (roasted lamb chops in spices, served pink), gambas al ajillo (king prawns in garlic and chilli), tortilla de patatas (Spanish omelette with potato and onion) and Heuvos roots (baked chorizo with potato in egg).  
The lamb chops were cooked really well, perfectly pink in the middle and in a good amount of sauce - however this wasn't too my taste, for one of the more expensive items on the menu I expected more of a flavour punch.  The king prawns however made up for that, thick, juicy and brimming with chilli flavour - these bad boys made me reach for the water but were so tasty!  The spanish omelette was as good as others I have tasted in the past, but the chorizo with egg was the real winner here - we chose this as a last option, toying between ordering it or another round of calamari.  I'm so glad we did, it was incredible.  Packed with chorizo and potato, the smoked paprika flavour of the meat mixed with the perfectly fried egg and omelette was a taste sensation.  I would order this again and again, a perfect breakfast with a coffee or with a slice of soda bread for lunch - pure perfection and well worth the £5.50 price tag.

This meal would have cost us around £45 plus drinks, so you're looking at around £20-25 a head for a tapas meal here however I would say that 8 dishes was bordering on the indulgent side - we could have easily reduced this to 6 dishes and reduced the cost if desired.  I can't say enough about the staff on site, they were incredibly friendly and helpful - offering hints and tips, their favourite dishes and even a little Spanish lesson if you ask how to pronounce your dishes more effectively!
It may seem odd to travel into Birmingham to eat at the station, it felt alien at first but we loved peering over the balcony with our drinks watching the commuters as well as leaving the restaurant to walk straight into a spot of shopping.  Take away the trains underground and you're effectively in a shopping centre with an upmarket food court!  
If you're pushed for time and can't manage a meal then I would highly recommend stopping by the funky bar for a cocktail whilst you wait for a friend to get off a train.  You won't regret it!

Opening hours:
Monday – Friday:  10:00-21:00
Saturday: 09:00-22:00
Sunday: 10:00-20:00

*Thank you to Tapas Revolution for the invite, I was gifted this meal but all opinions are my own.


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