The Tapas Revolution
Once called the “Antonio Banderas of cooking” by Gordon Ramsay, Omar Allibhoy is the creator of Tapas Revolution offering tasters of Spain in the heart of London’s Westfield Shopping Centre with its sister-branch at Bluewater. This 27-year-old chef, with experience having been trained at the famous El Bulli restaurant by the legendary Ferran Adria, comes up as quite revolutionary in his actions by opening up his restaurant amidst the sterile, white-washed wonders of Westfield.
It seems to work here, perched on stools overlooking a counter, with views through hanging decor and displays of Spanish produce, evokes fast food fiesta style, serving up hot and cold tapas varieties. The menu offers dishes between £3-£7 each, reasonably priced, with a choice of Pescado (fish), Carne (meat), Vegetales (vegetables) with a Jamon Iberico, Charcuteria and Serrano section where ‘Iberico’ pigs are a unique breed that roam freely in the woodlands of Spain eating acorns and herbs. The meat is then cured for 36-months to develop its delicious flavour.
And if that was not enough to get your mouth watering, over a Spanish beer and a milky almond flavoured traditional Horchata drink, we kicked off with a creamed, al dente seafood paella, delicate and perfectly seasoned. This paired with Chicken in Saffron (Pollo en Pepitoria) a spiced curry-like stew flecked with almonds and hints of cumin. The patatas bravas, a carb-staple of crisp potatoes sunken in rich tomato sauce and aioli could have you greedily debating on whether to order another portion.
The highlight was the Vegetables de Temporada con Manchego, pan-fried seasonal greens with triangular sliced Manchego cheese, flawlessly cooked marinated vegetables soaked in an olive oil dressing, which was only missing some bread to mop the plate clean. The Calamares en Salsa Americana, squid that is cooked in a lightly-spiced sauce with white wine, simple in flavours, was our least favourite dish. However this was redeemed by the curved shaped Churros con Chocolate, cinnamon dusted and crisp, with chocolate dipping sauce.
A favourable pit-stop for lunch while perusing the shops, after trying out the menu, it’s unavoidable to order ‘just one more.’ You may even just meet the chef himself, sitting next to you or asking how your lunch is, reminiscent of the comfort of eating at your friendly local. Well worth a visit.
The Tapas Revolution: 48/60
For further information and to look at the menu click here.