It was the hottest day of the year when my friend and I headed to the equally smoking new opening Tapas Revolution Bath, the seventh outpost of Madrid-born Omar Allibhoy’s acclaimed casual, all-day restaurants, and the weather certainly helped to transport us to the food and culture of Spain far more easily than a grey, rainy day might have done. Sangria, yes please! The perfect antidote to a heatwave.
Located in the relatively new district of Southgate where famous brands rub shoulders with trendy restaurant chains, Tapas Revolution Bath benefits from an inviting outside terrace and a large open-plan interior and bar area which shouts of summer holidays, from bold Moorish-style tiles, vintage travel posters and an open pass where a joint of precious Iberico Jamon can be seen, ready and waiting to be carved to order.
Alongside a variety of paellas to share, the tapas menu is laid out in sections to make life easy; Iberico Y Queso (ham and cheese), Carnes (meat), Pescados (fish) and Verduras (vegetable). Around three tapas are about the right number per person, or at least to start with. After all, the concept of tapas is all about taking your time, enjoying some good wine and conversation with friends, and grazing the whole night through on delicious dishes that give you a shared food memory.
We ordered a couple of dishes from each section, beginning with my all time favourite ‘Croquetas de jamon’, deep fried croquette balls filled with Iberico ham and rich bechamel and ‘Albondigas en salsa de tomate’, the rather exotic name for beef meatballs in a vegetable, tomato and white wine sauce, and boy were they satisfying. ‘Pinchos morunos con mojo picon’, marinated beef skewers cooked over charcoal, were served with a spicy dipping sauce that offered a welcome kick and an evocative taste of summer bbqs.
To avoid meat sweats we hit the seafood and tried the traditional Andalusian dish, ‘Calamares fritos a la andaluza’, tender strips of squid (almost as thin as French fries) tossed in flour, deep fried and served with aioli and lemon – heaven. Next, ‘Gamas al ajillo’, were juicy tiger prawns cooked with garlic and chilli oil in a traditional clay pot and presented sizzling to the point where I thought they might actually jump onto my plate.
Both the ‘Tortilla de patatas’, a classic Spanish omelette with free-range eggs, potato and onion, and the ‘Ensalada de tomate con queso de cabra’, red and yellow tomatoes, goat’s cheese, olives and red onion salad worked well with everything else, as did the vibrant white Rioja, Vivanco Viura Malvasia Tempranillo, with its clean, crisp apple notes.
After chatting and grazing for a couple of hours, we were ready for a sugar-fix and the ‘Torrija’, a warm caramelised brioche bun soaked in custard, topped with a thin, hard caramel similar to a crème brulee, and the ‘Churros con chocolate’, Spanish crispy doughnuts tossed in cinnamon sugar and served with hot chocolate dipping sauce, were the perfect way to conclude a fun, flavourful evening celebrating Spanish culture and cuisine.
Whether you’re 8 or 98, Tapas Revolution is for everyone. From children enjoying an after school treat of homemade limonada and churros, single guys opting for a cold beer and a few tapas on the bar, girlfriends on the terrace sharing a jug of sangria, or couples sharing a celebratory paella and a bottle of Cava at a romantic table for two. Even if it’s raining it will always be sunny in this corner of Bath. Viva tapas!
Tapas Revolution Bath, 20A St Lawrence St, Bath BA1 1AN. For more information and reservations please visit the website.