There is so much change happening in Newcastle at the moment and one of the most exciting new developments is Intu Eldon Square’s new Grey’s Quarter. Located right in the heart of the city centre, the leisure complex that has seen the introduction of an array of restaurants and bars, including Tapas Revolution, who invited along to an evening of tapas and beer pairing with owner, Omar Allibhoy, and Estrella Galicia.
I arrived and was immediately drawn to the restaurant’s contemporary design. With low hanging lights and an open kitchen, the restaurant is very inviting and provides the perfect informal tapas environment that you would find in any Spanish town. Our host then explained that we would be eating of a specially prepared taster menu that consisted of some of Omar’s signature dishes.
After taking my seat I decided to order a Sparkling Rose Margarita which arrived very quickly and was very nice. If you’ve read some of my previous posts you will probably be aware of my love of Margaritas, but they aren’t usually a drink I’d order with food. Tapas Revolution’s version was very different however, and no where as strong as a classic margarita as it was made with tequila, Aperol, rose water, lemon sherbet and raspberry fizz. It was very nice and will definitely be my drink of choice on my next visit.
We were then introduced to Omar who talked us through his inspiration for the restaurant and the menu he had prepared for us.
During Omar’s talk we were served four beers, which had been chosen to complement our taster menu. I’ve never done beer tasting before so Estrella Galicia’s took us all through how to taste beer and the best ones to pair with each individual tapas dish.
After enjoying some olives and breadsticks and tapenade, our tapas began to arrive. The dishes served were:
Pan de la casa – Toasted bread, tomato topped with garlic sauce and serrano ham
Tortilla de patatas – Classic Spanish omelette with free-range eggs, potato and onion
Croquetas de jamón – Deep-fried Ibérico ham and béchamel croquette
Pulpo a la Gallega – Steamed octopus with potatoes and pimentón paprika
This was then followed by Paella de pollo (chicken, green beans and chicken stock) and a soaked brioche bun for dessert.
We had a range of different beers with each course and although I’m not a big beer drinker they were nice. The food was second to none. I always like to try new things and the octopus was something I’ve never had before – I would highly recommend trying it if you’re looking for something a little different!
Tapas Revolution Newcastle is the seventh to open in the UK and Omar is very heavily involved in every aspect of its launch, from spending a few months working in the kitchen to train the staff to sourcing suppliers who can provide fresh authentic ingredients (all food is cooked fresh which I felt really reflected in the taste). Omar originally trained under Ferran Adria of El Bulli – a world-renowned Michelin star restaurant in Spain – before coming to the UK to manage London-based tapas restaurant that was featured on Ramsay’s Best Restaurant. His cookbook, Tapas Revolution, was also the fastest selling Spanish cookbook of 2013.
Further information about Tapas Revolution can be found at http://www.tapasrevolution.com/. Thank you to Omar and Estrella Galicia for a great night. I will definitely be making a visit again soon!