Shopping centres and train stations aren’t usually places you’d associate with good food. Though, if I’m honest, the food offerings at Grand Central above Birmingham New Street station, aren’t your average shopping centre eateries.
Take Tapas Revolution. The brainchild of Omar Allibhoy, Spanish celebrity chef and alumni of elBulli, Tapas Revolution sits proudly in the middle of Grand Central, with delicious aromas emanating from its open kitchen. I was invited there a couple of weeks ago to review, so I took Vicky from Brumderland for a blogger date.
We were welcomed into the restaurant and swiftly shown to a seat looking into the kitchen. We ordered a jug of Sangria to share and pored over the menu. With both of us incapable of making a decision, we decided to go with the set menu Del Chef, with 6 plates of their recommended specialities.
It didn’t take long for the good to arrive, which is good firstly because I’m greedy and impatient, and secondly because if you’re dining in a rush or waiting for a train, you don’t have to wait long for your food.
First to arrive was the pulpo a la gallega, or Galician octopus on a bed of potatoes, seasoned with paprika. This is one of my favourite tapas dishes and I order it whenever I go for Spanish food. This dish did not disappoint, the octopus was beautifully cooked, with a satisfying bite and not too much paprika so you could taste everything. A good start by all standards!
The calamares fritos were next, strips of fried squid in a light, crispy batter which were tasty and moreish, especially with the accompanying aioli. The last few dishes arrived soon after, tortilla de patatas, croquetas de jamon, pinchos morunos and pan de la casa.
The pinchos morunos were a real treat, with tender beef skewers and a smoky barbecue flavour. I enjoyed these much more than I was expecting to.
The tortilla de patatas is a classic, more often known as a Spanish omelette, but sometimes the simple things done well are the best, and this was no exception. A lovely, simple dish, perfectly executed.
The croquetas were a really flavoursome mouthful, with a hot, creamy, cheese sauce literally bursting out of the crispy coating, and salty ham once you got into them. Real comfort food. So tasty in fact I’d eaten my share before I realised I hadn’t photographed them!
Finally the pan de la casa was a great accompaniment, chunky cut bread with delicious serrano ham on top.
Vicky and I polished off the entire meal, including the jug of sangria, in almost no time and both of us really enjoyed every dish. Vicky commented about how fussy she is with octopus but couldn’t fault any of the dishes we’d shared.
There is a lot of competition for tapas in Birmingham, from the sophistication of Amantia to the homely authenticity of El Borracho De Oro, and Tapas Revolution sits comfortably between them as a relaxed, casual dining experience with a menu of familiar dishes done particularly well. Though it is a chain, you can tell these chefs really care about the food they produce, which is a welcome change from the usual high street restaurants. I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to Tapas Revolution for lunch or light bites with friends.
I was invited to review Tapas Revolution at Grand Central, my meal and drinks were complimentary, many thanks to the team there. My opinions are, as always, my own, and I was under no obligation to leave a positive review.