Tapas Revolution @ Westfield
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Deep in the shopping metropolis of Westfield lies the newly open Tapas Revolution, part of a one man (Omar Allibhoy, pictured above) mission to bring authentic Spanish cuisine to the UK. So committed is he, that he took to his motorbike and travelled for two weeks, literally bringing his wares to the mouths of our nation. With a successful chain slowly taking hold, it's a little easier to sample these classic mini dishes.
The meat and cheese platters are perfectly suited for 1) Rioja red wine and 2) conversation, and the seating arrangements add to that sense of sitting down for a gossip. In fact all the food lends itself to both a quick fix and a leisurely catch up, being rich but picky - as in, you cannot stop picking at it until it's gone. The patatas bravas were especially moreish, and we could've easily eaten two bowls to ourselves. For a dessert, the chocolate and chorros immediately invoked the feeling of the fairground, hitting the perfect balance of sweet and doughy, to the slight bitterness of cocoa.
We spoke to the head chef Omar Allibhoy who explained where everything comes from: Spain. Literally everything (except the water) comes from his sunny clime, from the oranges they freshly squeeze on the premises, to the authentic stubby rustic glasses they serve their drinks in.
What is surprising is how quickly you forget you're sat in a massive shopping centre. In fact, it's quite a shock when you happen to look up and see overloaded shoppers descending an escalator, or a dip in conversation reveals one of the ABBA backing cds being pumped around Westfield. Of course, the benefit of being in a shopping centre is that you can pop along pre or post shopping binge, and as such we were loaded up with a goody bag of trinkets, scarves and fake nails, which provided hours of entertainment on the way home doing alternating impressions of Paris Hilton and Tubbs from The League of Gentlemen. Which is definitely the sign of a great night out.
A new branch of Tapas Revolution will be opening at Bluewater on 11 November, Tapasrevolution.com