Of all the restaurants that have recently opened in Eldon Square, Tapas Revolution was the one we were most looking forward to trying. It’s one of a group of seven restaurants run by Omar Allibhoy, the award winning Spanish chef on a mission to bring the best Spanish food to the UK.
We visited at lunchtime on Easter Monday. The restaurant has been decked out tastefully and had a real Barcelona tapas bar vibe to it.
We were keen to sit by the window but were told we wouldn’t be able to have the full menu if we sat there as it was the bar area (which was a shame as there was no one sitting there!)
Taking a seat at one of the yellow leather booths we checked out the menu. It’s made up of bread and cheese, vegetable, fish and meat tapas as well as larger sharing dishes, steak and paella.
Deciding to stick to soft drinks we ordered morello cherry & ginger homemade juice topped with ginger ale (£2.95) which was delicious. One of the friendly waiters brought us some sobrasada (a soft chorizo paste from Mallorca) and bread sticks while we selected our dishes. The chorizo paste probably would’ve been better spread on bread rather than as a dip as it was very sticky, but we persevered as it was tasty.
We decided on a selection of tapas and paella all to share of course, and in true Spanish style they came out individually when they were ready. The first one came out after just a few minutes.
Beef meatballs in a vegetable, tomato and white wine sauce (£6.25) were succulent and came in a thick well seasoned tomato and veg sauce. A couple of the meatballs were pink in the middle but not overly so, one was well done and unfortunately one was so pink inside that we decided not to eat it.
Next came the ‘Pan de la casa’ – toasted bread and tomato topped with garlic sauce and serrano ham (£4.25), which was thick, crusty and worked really well with the tomato and good quality serrano ham.
Our waitress had recommended the ‘Huevos rotos con chorizo y gambas’ – free-range eggs with potatoes, prawns and spicy chorizo (£6.50) and we were pleased we went with it. It would make a great brunch dish with the combination of potatoes, eggs and chorizo working really well together.
Little Dude ate most of the calamares fritos (deep-fried squid with alioli, £5.75) which was well cooked (not chewy) and in a nice light batter.
The piece de resistance arrived last – the ‘Paella de marisco’ consisting of squid, pink prawns, mussels and lobster stock (£28). It was a big dish for two people (especially when those two people have already had several tapas!) Sadly it lacked the pizzaz you’d expect for a dish of this price. There were some decent prawns and squid in there but we didn’t spot any mussels and the lobster stock was overpowered by saffron. It would benefit from some shell on prawns or mussels, and some peas or green beans (they were available in other paellas from the menu, but still). For a dish that costs £28 you just expect a little more.
Tapas Revolution is focused on simple, well cooked food which it delivers, but it wasn’t as revolutionary as we were expecting.
I think this is a very cool spot and a great place to visit for drinks and tapas with friends. The food is simple and while I understand that this is what they’re going for I think it could do with a little something to elevate it above other tapas restaurants and live up to it’s name.
Tapas Revolution is located at INTU Eldon Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7JB.
We were provided with a complimentary meal for the purposes of this review, however the opinions expressed in this article are honest and true to experience.