Tapas Revolution, Shoreditch
If you have ever been to, and fallen in love with, Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid you will instantly feel at home in Tapas Revolution. The third eatery from award winning chef Omar Allibhoy sees the chain move away from the shopping-centre leviathans and set up home in the urban yet charming hipster-haven that is Shoreditch. Avoiding the tropes of bullfighting and the Gypsy Kings Greatest Hits, the modern bar with a rustic feel is the perfect spot for a sweltering summer date. Grab a pair of leather stools at the bar, order a bottle of Spain’s finest, and enjoy the bustling view into the open-plan kitchen as they prepare authentic Spanish tapas dishes in this vibrant setting. Assuming you are able to take your eyes off your date, of course.
If you have ever had tapas before you will know, as is tradition, the aim of the game is to order small and lots. The ‘BEST HAM IN THE WORLD’ (Jamón ibérico de bellota Joselito) is exceedingly worthy of its title and melts away like butter in the mouth. The Tortilla with little cubes of delicious smoked chorizo was ‘food porn’ oozy, and will have your date licking their lips. Little plump pillows of steamed octopus served with salty new potatoes and lovingly dusted with paprika was expertly prepared. At Tapas Revolution, you can safely leave any stereotypical concerns of rubbery seafood at the door. When ordering Spanish cuisine it’s easy to default to safe bets (deep fried squid and patatas bravas, I’m looking at you), but be bold with your order and you will be rewarded ten-fold. We ordered the special, a Valencian-inspired Ox-tail Paella dish offered up in a huge clay cazuela, and it was sensational. A luxurious duvet of ox-tail with superb al dente rice, slow cooked to order in a rich umami stock, was comfort food of the highest order. If you are going to eat a lot then prepare to drink a lot. Order a Porron from their extensive wine list, showcasing the region’s best grapes and do not leave without enjoying their red-berry tea infused Plum Gin and tonic as its ruddy lovely.
The Overground is great. A few years ago the residents of Kensal Rise would have to trek for 3 days to visit Wapping and hands up, who knew Turkey Street was an actual place? Head for Shoreditch High Street and meet at Commercial Tavern where you can sit upstairs by the lovely French style open windows and enjoy a cocktail whilst looking at the quirky walls decorated in puzzle pieces. If your date is a craft beer fan, Brewdog, a stone’s throw away from Tapas Revolution, will score you maximum brownie points. If it’s too soon to hop in a taxi back to theirs, hit up Rich Mix. The former garment factory has 3 cinema screens and a 200 seater theatre which hosts gigs, comedy shows and club nights.
4 – Spain is sexy. FACT.
5 – Extensive wine lists, crisp cervezas and a hefty G&T line-up. You’ll be ‘Bamboleo’ by the end.