Thursday, 21 July 2016

Tapas Revolution (Birmingham)

Recently hailed as Birmingham Best Spanish Restaurant at the Birmingham Food, Drink and Hospitality Awards, Tapas Revolution is one of the better restaurants to grace Birmingham city in recent years. Located in the much new and improved Grand Central Station, Tapas Revolution is located on the top floor. I was expecting an enclosed restaurant, but the restaurant is an open plan in an almost food court style. There are obviously pros and cons to this layout, I really enjoyed people watching. But I think if you want a more intimate setting, then perhaps the layout may be off putting. But, after all Tapas is all about sharing with family and friends........ 
The concept of Tapas Revolution, Spanish chef Omar Alliboy, wanted to share the traditional tapas in Spanish to the UK. I really liked the Spanish feel to the restaurant, there were charcuterie of meats hanging near the bar area which I think added a unique touch, this is not something I have seen in many restaurants before.

I was greeted by a Spanish waiter (a great nod to authencity) who ushered my friend and I to our seats. Our drink orders were promptly taken, as it's a Spanish restaurant, I ordered the Venta Morales Tempranillo, red wine  (£5.25). Our drinks and food order was taken in a timely manner, which I think is important especially after a long day at work - who wants to wait around for food?
As tapas is all about sharing, we ordered 6 Tapas dishes. I wanted a combination of Tapas food that I have previously tried before and new dishes. I had high expectations having eaten Tapas dishes in Spain.

To kick of the sharing feast, I like to order a combination of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes. First up was the huletas de cordero, (roasted lamb chops marinated with spices and served pink £7.95). This is the first time, I tried eating a lamb dish in a Spanish restaurant. I asked for my lamb to be cooked medium, which it was and I thorughouly enjoyed the lightly spiced and yet moist lamb tapas.

Next up was the Torreznos con mojo dulce, (crispy pork belly with sweet and spicy sauce £5.75), now I LOVE pork belly so I had high expectations. The pork belly was tender, melt in your mouth, succulent pieces of gorgeous pork. I was very impressed with the presentation.


A firm family favourite when eating at Spanish restaurants, calamari fritos (deep-fried squid with alioli £5.50). Another dish that I had high hopes for. This has to be the BEST calamari I've tasted (even better than what I've tasted in Spain), the calamari pieces were sooooo thin. Simply gorgeous.

Patatas bravas (roast poatoes with spicy tomato sauce and alioli £3.95) was a I expected with a healthy dose of alioli, this was a great tapas to compliment the meat dishes that were ordered.  A surprise highlight of the night Tortilla de patatas (classic Spanish omelette with potato and onion £3.95). What's so special about the Spanish omelette, well it was nothing like an ordinary omelette, this was a high rises, succulent and moerish tapas - probably my new favourite tapas. 

To finish off, we ordered the Spanish classic, churros (£3.50). Gorgeous deep fried donuts with a rich chocolate sauce.



Tapas Revolution is open from 10am - 9pm Monday-Friday, 9am - 10pm on Saturday and 10am - 8pm on Sunday. I always ask the same question when I visit restaurants; "would I visit again?". The answer is yes, I loved the food, the service, the atmosphere and the prices are very affordable. 

Poitives: Friendly staff, good food, great atmosphere and a great location. 
Negatives: None that I can think of as of yet.

Disclaimer: I was invited to review Tapas Revolution, all opinions, as always are my own. 

Tapas Revolution Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Saturday, 21 November 2015

Byzantium Mediterranean Tapas Restaurant Review

I love eating out and enjoy trying out new restaurants, new cuisines and new flavours. And why not? If you live in or are closer to one of the larger cities you can try cuisines from all over the world. Mediterranean cuisine is not new to the British High Street, but it is difficult to find traditional, authentic Mediterranean cuisine. I'll put my hands up and say, I have visited Spanish chain restaurants, but when I have eaten at independent run restaurants, the food has always been far superior.
 I was recently invited to Byzantium Mediterranean Tapas restaurant, to celebrate the launch of their upper room (more about that later in the post). Located in the leafy Kings Heath (around 4 miles from Birmingham City Centre), the restaurant is accessible via public transport and also in good company of other trendy independent restaurants.  Following me previewing their new space for parties and larger groups, I was kindly asked to return to review their lunch menu and after a long week at work, a Mediterranean tapas feast was the great way to spend enjoying my Saturday. I visited with my friend and chose to sit near the window (if the weather was better, I would have sat outside) as I enjoy people watching.

Lunchtime Tapas
There are two lunch time menus, one which has the choice of salads, sandwiches and tapas and also a Lunchtime Specials menu, whereby you can chose 3 tapas dishes for £7.95. The lunchtime menu tapas are slightly smaller version of the regular tapas (this it to be expected as it is lunchtime). There is a wealth of food choices from the tapas menu, vegetarian? No worries, there are delightful tapas dishes such as Zalouk (aubergine dip), Spanish omelette and Stuffed Mushrooms, amongst others. As a meat and chicken lover I was spoiled for choice with tapas such as Chicken Skewers, Meatballs and Lamb Koftas. I tried a sample of chicken, meat and vegetarian tapas - well as they say variety is the spice of life. Flatbread, hummus, Meatballs, Patatas Bravas, Stuffed Mushrooms and Chicken Skewers, I was able to sample the wonderful range of Mediterranean cuisine.

First up was the flatbreads, which were perfectly baked and delightful. I loved the charcoal presentation and this was the perfect accompaniment to the hummus. The hummus was moist and a lovely hint of garlic and lemon and the ideal dipping accompaniment. I couldn't go to a Mediterranean restaurant and not sample the Patatas Bravas, crispy diced potatoes cooked in a spicy tomato sauce. There was enough in the tapas to comfortably serve 2.

I'm a sucker for Spanish meatballs, plump and rich. The other tapas dishes which I sampled, I thoroughly enjoyed too, the chicken skewers were juicy and lightly seasoned. The stuffed mushrooms were stuffed with tomatoes, red peppers and Parmesan, a wonderful contrast to the the meat dishes I chose. 






Me a Byzantium

As stated earlier in the post, I sampled some of the tapas dishes that was served in the upper room, perfect for Christmas parties. The food that I tasted was simply divine and I would certainly go back to sample their Tapas range.






Positives: I loved the home cooking /rustic feel, delightful, scrumptious and tasteful food.
Negatives: I was hard pressed on thinking of one to be honest.
Overall: A fantastic authentic Mediterranean restaurant.

Disclaimer
I dined as a guest of Byzantium.

xxx
Byzantanium Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Saturday, 9 May 2015

Olive It with Omar Allibhoy

I was lucky enough to be invited to Olive It event last month, with top Spanish chef, Omar Allibhoy. I never heard of Olive It prior to receiving the email from the PR company promoting this event, but after doing some thorough research, I was more than excited to reply yes and attend the event, hosted at Becketts Farm, Birmingham. Olive It is an EU funded project which aims at promoting and celebrating olives; their versatility and how easy it is to in-cooperate olives into every day meals.
 I have really only eaten olives in restaurants with some crusty bread and on occasion in a Greek feta salad at home, so I was excitingly looking forward to expanding my knowledge on the diversity of olives. Unfortunately, I arrived a little late to the demo (thanks to the M6 motorway) so I missed Omar showing the rest of the students how to make candied pitted olives and cherries in a sweet wine sauce. I know what you are thinking, olives in a dessert sound unusual but they were good and Omar and another chef went through the process of making this unique dessert. Once our desserts were made and carefully put in the fridge it was off for our main course: Queen olive-stuffed meatballs with tomato and olive sauce.  This dish was an eye opener for me; I'm almost an expert in making meatballs, but I loved the method of stuffing the olives inside the meatballs alongside adding the meatballs to the sauce. I thoroughly enjoyed making and eating this, whilst I nibbled on some beautiful European olives. Whilst the meatballs were resting we made the coarse pate, of mixed olives, manchego cheese, and pistachios which we served with fresh crusty bread. The food cooked was delicious and I can't wait to try out more olive based recipes like this at home. There are so many recipes to try and chose why not have a look at the menu.
Here are a few snaps from my time at the Olive It event.


Dessert in the making.


Ingredients for meatballs. 
Meatballs in the making. 

Meatballs pre-cook.

Meatballs cooking. 

Ingredients for the tapenade. 

Tapenade. 

Feasting of my labour. 


Meatballs cooking. 



As you can see from all my pictures I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Olive It event,  take a look on their website as there may be an event near you soon.

Disclaimer: I was invited to attend this event (which I am incredibly grateful), as always all opinions are my own. 

xxx
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Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Win a Tapas Cookery Class for Two with Omar Allibhoy!

I have a fantastic piece of news to share with you all. Next month, myself and a few other bloggers from the Birmingham area will be cooking several authentic Tapas dishes with television chef Omar Allibhoy. How exciting??!!! I've never been to a cookery school so am super excited that The Orange Kitchen Cookery School at Becketts Farm (Birmingham) are hosting cookery school sessions teaching us novices (well novices compared to an actual chef and not a home cook) how to cook a variety of dishes. I've known of Omar Allibhoy for some time as he is the chef behind Tapas Revolution, a book that's been on my to buy list and if I ever get the opportunity I will visit his restaurant. This cookery class is in association with Olive It and will in-cooperate the use of olives in  in new and exciting ways. I've always wanted to create wonderful tasty morsels of Spanish food and receive that hand-on experience with preparing certain dishes. On Friday 10th April 12 noon - 3:30pm  (save the date!) The Orange Cookery School will open it's doors to two lucky competition winners who will receive a pair of tickets and will also be cooking with Omar Allibhoy. 


I have two pairs of tickets to giveaway, to be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets (1 for you and one for your plus one) follow the below instructions.

  • Follow the instructions on the rafflecopter.
  • Leave a comment on this post (THIS IS AN ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENT)
  • For additional entries, follow me on Instragram , join my blog, follow me on Twitter , follow me on Facebook, add me on Google circles and tweet about the giveaway.
  • All entries will be checked and verified.
  • Rafflecopter will need to pick a winner at random.
  • The competition will run from 04.03.15 - 30.03.15.
  • Winners will need to respond within 3 working days.
  • The competition is open to UK Residents only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

xxx
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