I was recently invited to review one of the newest editions to the Bath food scene, Tapas Revolution – brainchild of Spanish TV chef, Omar Allibhoy. He’s been dubbed the ‘Antonio Banderas of cooking’, so it was hard for me to say no to the offer.
I’m always a bit dubious when it comes to chain restaurants because it often seems that decor and marketing are top notch at the expense of the food, which is often flavourless and boring. Thankfully, Tapas Revolution is not one of those and I was very pleasantly surprised with the whole package.
Located in Southgate opposite the Bath Spa train station, it has a really great position to greet passers-by and draw them in for a drink and a few bites. The decor is light and welcoming, with a few Spanish touches here and there. You’re eating in a modern restaurant with cultural roots that go back a very long time.
We were seated in a quiet corner booth so we had time to mull over our food choices. It was also a good spot to view the rest of the restaurant from (who doesn’t like to people watch!).
We were offered water and then the waitress let us know that it was happy hour so quite a few drinks were two for one. I thought the drinks list was quite good, without being overwhelming. A good range of wines, cocktails and non-alocholic options options are available, including some Spanish gins, which we decided to try. The Galician Nordes came out in a large glass with plenty of ice and a Mediterranean tonic – I learnt something new because I didn’t know there was more than one kind of tonic!
After asking the waitress for her recommendation, we picked options from almost every part of the tapas menu. I tried to pick a few I’d had before as benchmark and some I’d never had to really see what was on offer. We tried:
- Pan de la casa – toasted bread, tomato topped with garlic sauce and serrano ham
- Croquetas de jamon – deep-friend Iberico ham and bechamel croquettes
- Altas de pollo a la miel y limon – marinated crispy chicken wings with lemon and honey dressing
- Albondigas en salsa de tomate – beef meatballs in a vegetable, tomato and white wine sauce
- Chorizo a la parrilla – bread with grilled smoked sausage, piquillo pepper and cider reduction
- Torreznos con mojo dulce – crispy pork belly with sweet and spicy sauce
- Calamares fritos a la andaluza – squid strips tossed in flour, deep fried and served with alioli and lemon
- Berenjenas fritas con miel – crispy fried aubergine with a spiced honey and thyme dressing
- Patatas bravas – roasted potatoes with spicy tomato sauce and alioli
I’m pretty terrible with numbers and didn’t intentionally order so many dishes, but everything that came to the table was so different and really gave us a good idea of how good the rest of the menu is.
The standout dishes for me were the Chorizo a la parrilla and Berenjenas fritas con miel. The flavourful, only slightly spicy Chorizo was served on fresh bread that was fluffy in the middle and crispy on the outside and a lovely sweet cider reduction, which worked so well with the spice of the dish. The aubergine, was, as promised, crispy, sweet and a little spicy – having never tried crumbed aubergine, it was a really nice mix of textures and I couldn’t get enough of the honey. The only thing I wasn’t a big fan of was the crispy pork belly because there was so much cinnamon in the sauce and even though I like cinnamon it was a bit much for me – in saying that, this is me looking for problems!
My dining companion, despite not being a huge seafood fan, really loved the calamari and was singing its praises on the way home later.
The best comparison I have for Spanish restaurants are the ones I’ve been to in Australia and they tend to be expensive and the portion sizes small. So, it was with great surprise that we received huge amounts of food and couldn’t finish it all. I also thought the prices were very reasonable, even more so when you get delicious, good quality food.
Overall, I really enjoyed my evening at Tapas Revolution and I’m looking for excuses to go back to Bath so I can have dinner there again.
Mon-Fri: 10am – 11pm | Sat: 9am – 11pm | Sun: 10am – 10pm