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Having cut his teeth on big shopping malls (there are Tapas Revolution branches in Bluewater and Westfield), Spanish chef and TV personality Omar Allibhoy is going it alone by opening in Bethnal Green. Allibhoy is a keen advocate of tapas, and given his training with the legendary Ferran Adrià, we had high expectations. The extensive menu encompasses the expected classics; jamón Ibérico was good, but a small portion for £10.95. Steamed octopus, however, was chewy and flabby, and the texture of tiger prawns with garlic and guindilla chillis also disappointed – and £7.25 is steep for just four. More amenably priced were the fresh, enjoyable anchovies marinated in garlic and parsley. For a well-priced alternative to tapas, choose the £10 daily special (paella on Thursdays). Puddings such as flan de huevo (crème caramel) receive favourable reports, and the Spanish craft beers, served at the big copper bar, are also worth attention.
So when we found out that head chef and founder of Tapas Revolution, Omar Allibhoy was opening a ‘proper’ restaurant in Shoreditch we couldn’t wait to pop in. The open kitchen and Jamón prep area adds some theatre, with its flashes of flame and clattering of pans. But it’s the long bar that takes centre stage – we absolutely love the bold copper lighting above it. There’s a row of tightly packed high tables and chairs next to the bar that give the feel of an authentic Spanish tapas bar. Saff appreciated the tiles in the toilet so much that she came back for her phone to take a picture...
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