Westfield London is quite dangerously on my way home from work each day and once in a while, Blai and I meet there for dinner at the Byron there. We’d tried other places there but they were all mostly grim and so burgers were the only thing we ate at Westfield. We had spotted Tapas Revolution right smack dab in the middle of the mall but didn’t have much confidence in a mall tapas bar. It took an invitation to have dinner there one night (a blogger event) for us to finally try it.
Tapas Revolution is owned by Spanish-born and El Bulli trained Omar Allibhoy. He first worked at a number of restaurants upon his arrival to London before launching El Pirata de Tapas (he is still executive chef there). In 2010, he opened his own place – and that place was Tapas Revolution. During our meal, he took the time to inform us about the tapas we were eating as well as answer our questions about his time with the Adria brothers. He is extremely friendly and welcoming and clearly very hard working as he dealt with us while ensuring that all his other customers were also taken care of.
How thrilled I was to see horchata on the menu! And yes, while everyone was sipping on cava and sangria, I happily stuck to my non-alcoholic horchata. I’m always glad to see interesting non-alcoholic choices on menus.
Our tapas dinner was going to feature items off their soon-to-be-launched summer menu and started off with one of my favourite things ever: Jamon Iberico de bellota de Guijuelo.
Pan Con Tomate (the Catalan pa amb tomàquet) was delicious with excellent olive oil drizzled on top. I draped my ham on top and… sigh….I’m drooling as I type this.
Gazpacho de sandia was a unique spin on the traditional cold soup, here with the addition of watermelon.
Boquerones (anchovies) were fat and fleshy and fantastic.
Croquetas de gambas, vieira y tinta de calamar (prawns, scallop and squid ink) were the most unique croquetas we’d come across and I loved their striking black interiors. Delicious too.
Calamares Fritos (fried calamari) were freshly fried and I loved that they included the tentacles (so many places just serve the rings).
Pulpo a la Gallega is a traditional Galician preparation of boiled octopus and potatoes drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with paprika and the version here was excellent.
Croquetas de Jamon were another, more traditional, version of their croqueta and equally as good. It’s always good to see a well made classic.
I was surprised that we were served Fideuà, the Valencian noodle classic that’s cooked similarly to paella. It’s just not a common dish in tapas bars here (well, at least I’ve not seen it) and it was quite good here with plenty of seafood scattered through the noodles.
Espárragos con romesco were nicely grilled asparagus but unfortunately the Catalan romesco sauce was too vinegary and not nutty enough – the traditional preparation has a great balance of nuts, roasted chillies and tomatoes. This I think was the only dud of the evening.
Pinchos Morunos con mojo picón were grilled beef skewers served with a spicy sauce from the Canary Islands. Well, I say spicy but it’s mild for us and perhaps it is spicy for Spanish standards! These were great and were possibly the most popular tapas that night (not for me…you can’t take my heart away from jamon and croquetas!).
Of course, what else were we going to have for dessert but Churros con chocolate! We dunked these cinnamon dusted fritters into a milky hot chocolate and after those were gone, I drank that chocolate straight up.
Overall, an excellent and very fun meal. The prices are in line with other tapas places in London – each dish costs between £2 and £7. The location of the tapas bar does make things a bit noisy and a bit draughty but hey, it’s in a mall and allowances must be made.
How wrong it turned out we had been about this place! It turns out that mall tapas can indeed be very good (this almost reminds me of the fantastic eateries in Asian malls). Thank you very much to Omar and Emma from Neil Reading PR for the invitation!
There’s also a second Tapas Revolution at Bluewater.
London W12 7SL