Tapas Revolution

April 13, 2016 at 5:23 pm | Posted in Restaurants | Leave a comment
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Hands up if you remember the La Tasca that used to be in Meadowhall? I spent many a happy afternoon there back in the day, using their legendary ‘Tapas for a Tenner’ offer as an excuse to eat as much patatas bravas as I could get my hands on, washed down with a few cheeky glasses of sangria.

So when I got an invite to check out the new Tapas Revolution restaurant that’s just opened in Meadowhall’s food court, it made me feel pretty nostalgic and excited to relive my Meadowhall-and-tapas years.

Now I’m not much of a Meadowhall fan – I wouldn’t even hazard a guess when I last paid a visit to everyone’s favourite Sheffield shopping centre, but the food court isn’t how I remembered it at all. My memories of the Oasis are all plastic McDonald’s trays and jacket potatoes in squeaky styrofoam containers, so I was surprised to see so many new restaurants in the Oasis, including a few I’d have been tempted to pop into if we didn’t already have a table booked at Tapas Revolution.

After wandering around for a bit, we discovered Tapas Revolution on the second floor of the Oasis. It’s a nice, modern looking eatery with an enclosed seating area that makes it feel separate from the rest of the food court, so it has more of a ‘restaurant’ vibe.

Despite the fact that we were visiting Tapas Revolution during their opening week and at an odd time (2.30pm on a Monday afternoon, to be exact) there were quite a few people eating there, which is always a good sign.

Taking a look at the drinks menu, I saw that Tapas Revolution offer the usual vino, cider and sparkling wine – plus, what would any self-respecting tapas restaurant be without sangria? Tapas Revolution also serve a very tempting-sounding homemade saffron lemonade that you can order with your choice of gin or vodka, which sounds like the perfect thirst-quencher if you’ve had a particularly tough day of shopping.

In the end, we went with a bottle of house white wine at £15.95, which is pretty reasonable considering you’re always going to pay a premium for food and drink in Meadowhall.

But our Tapas Revolution trip wasn’t just an excuse to drink at lunchtime (although that was an added bonus) we were here to try some tapas as well! There’s really only one way to enjoy tapas: order a bunch of dishes and then share them between the table, so that’s exactly what we did.

I barely had the chance to tuck into my pre-tapas nibbles of bread and alioli dip (£1.95) before the tapas started to arrive. First up was something that no Spanish feast should be without: patatas bravas (£3.95).

patatas bravas

Patatas bravas is my favourite tapas so I was really looking forward to this one, and Tapas Revolution didn’t disappoint. The potatoes were on the al dente side, which gave them some nice added crispiness and bite, served in a rich and fiery tomato sauce topped with lashings of cooling aioli.

I feel like patatas bravas is the thing everyone orders when they go out for tapas, but sometimes patas bravas can be a bit boring, to the point where it’s really just potato wedges served in a terracotta dish. This definitely wasn’t the case here, as Tapas Revolution served up the best patatas bravas I’ve eaten in ages. I’ll definitely be ordering this again!

The second tapas to make its way to our table was gambas al ajillo (£6.50), aka juicy tiger prawns dressed in garlic and chilli oil.

gambas al ajillo

The oil was very light but packed with flavour. I was glad I hadn’t had the chance to finish off my pre-tapas bread, as it was just the thing for polishing off every last drop of this delicious chilli and garlic oil.

Continuing the seafood theme, next up was some very exotic-sounding Buñuelos de marisco (£4.75) also known as prawn, cod, mussel and potato fritters.

bunuelos de marisco

Tapas Revolution didn’t skimp on the seafood, which was a pleasant surprise considering things like potato are sometimes used as a cheaper, filler ingredient. Although I loved the strong seafood taste, I wasn’t overly keen on the texture so out of everything this is the one thing I probably wouldn’t order again.

Things quickly got back on track with another tapas from the ‘Seafood’ section of the menu, this time a portion of steamed octopus with potatoes and pimentón paprika (Pulpo a la Gallega, £6.95).

pulpo a la gallega

The potato and octopus were covered in that light, flavour-packed oil that Tapas Revolution do so well, but this time with the addition of lots of smoky paprika.

Like the patatas bravas, the potatoes were on the al dente side, but the best thing about this dish was the steamed octopus which was served complete with skin and suckers. While this might be a little unnerving for some, it did give the octopus a unique texture and consistency, not to mention a much stronger taste, which I loved. This is a must-try if you’re a seafood fan who isn’t squeamish about the thought of eating octopus that still looks like octopus.

We did order some meat inbetween all the seafood, in the form of Chorizo a la sidra (£5.50).

chorizo a la sidra

This is spicy sausage roasted in cider – doesn’t that just sound like the perfect winter warmer? I don’t eat meat, but my dining companion confirmed that both the chorizo and the cider sauce were seriously spicy, so this isn’t food for the faint-hearted.

We finished things off with some lightly-battered, peppery calamari (£5.50).

calamares fritos

For tapas, this is a large portion that’s perfect for sharing. The calamari came with a lemon wedge plus another helping of Tapas Revolution’s creamy aioli sauce. These were the perfect accompaniments, and there was more than enough calamari to put both the lemon and sauce to good use.

But the feast didn’t end just because we’d polished off the final helping of tapas. Throughout the meal, I’d been eyeing up the second part of the Tapas Revolution experience: a takeaway churro bar on the other side of the food court.

This is a genius idea, as not every Meadowhall shopper is going to be in the mood for a sit-down tapas feast, but surely a cone full of churros and chocolate dipping sauce is something everyone can enjoy?

So after we’d eaten all the tapas and drunk all the wine, we nipped across the walkway to grab a cheeky portion of churros and sauce. I’d completely demolished mine before I’d even made it out of the food court!

churro

These churros were grease-free and crunchy on the outside, but light and fluffy on the inside – just as all good churros should be! The accompanying chocolate sauce had a lovely, silky texture and actually tasted like freshly-melted milk chocolate, rather than heated up chocolate spread or sauce from a packet (yuck!)

If you’ve had a hard day of shopping and fancy a sweet treat, then definitely stop by Tapas Revolution’s churro bar. It’s quick, tasty and something a little bit different from the donuts and super-sized cookies every other vendor seems to be selling in Meadowhall.

And if you’re in the mood for something a bit more substantial, then Tapas Revolution serve up some pretty tasty tapas, including the best patatas bravas I’ve ever eaten and delicious (if a little frightening) steamed octopus.

The only downside for someone who isn’t really a big Meadowhall fan is that I wish Tapas Revolution were based in the city center, so I didn’t have to catch the train for my tapas/churro fix!

four-stars

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