TAPAS REVOLUTION, NEWCASTLE

We enjoy a true taste of Spain at Newcastle's new, celebrity-made tapas bar and restaurant...

Hang out

One of the latest additions to Eldon Square’s swanky new dining quarter, this time paying homage to Spain in the form of a new tapas bar and restaurant. Created by TV chef, Omar Allibhoy, in his bid to bring authentic tapas to the UK, the venue has been designed – and is operated – like the lively, atmospheric tapas bars you’ll find all over Spain, open for brekkie, lunch and dinner. The staff greet you in Spanish and speak the language among themselves – we loved it – you’ll feel like you’re on your holidays.

Decked out

It’s a good-looking joint – very ‘Mediterranean’, without being gimmicky. Think traditional Spanish tiling (every single one has been imported from over there – dedication or what?), vintage Spanish prints and posters, zingy bursts of colour in the form of zingy yellow sofas and red booths, a mix of marble and minky-coloured wood, and a very chic bar. We couldn’t help take lots of pics for Instagram.

Sip

You can sip on a selection of Spanish craft beers, including an exclusive draught craft beer from the famous Rioja region and a monthly rotating draft beer from Wylam Brewery. Honouring Spain’s position as the biggest consumer of G&T in Europe, it also serves the only exclusively-Spanish gin menu in the country. We tried a few – big thumbs up from us.

Food matters

The menu is inspired by Omar’s family’s recipes and Spain’s culinary culture of sharing, socialising and eating, offering freshly-prepared dishes cooked with the finest ingredients sourced from small artisan producers in Spain. The menu guides diners on a culinary adventure across the sunny country and is divided into fish, meat and vegetable sections, complemented with the best Spain has to offer in terms of charcuterie and more. Expect all the classics, such as paella, calamari, chorizo cooked in cider and freshly-made churros, too. You’ll also find large tapas dishes to share – ‘platos’ – including rib-eye and sirloin steak from 10-year-old, grass-fed cows in the Basque region of Spain. Kids and gluten-free diners are catered for, too.

We ate

We did what you any diner should do here – and that’s order as many small plates as your stomachs (and your wallets) can handle and mix, muddle and share everything. It’s the only way how. For us, that meant a mix of meaty, veggie and fishy goodies. Firstly, Spain’s version of a caprese salad, a fresh and colourful mix of red and yellow tomatoes, a salty scattering of goat’s cheese, earthy olives and crunchy red onion, joined by a wonderfully tender cod loin, roasted and juicy, with slow-cooked red peppers for smokiness and yet more olives. Then there were the chicken wings, crispy and golden (but not oily, thankfully), smothered in a sweet lemon and honey dressing to tickle the tastebuds. So good, we’ve been making our own version of it at home ever since. The meatballs were also a hit; big, beefy and well-seasoned things, bathing in a creamy and slightly spicy tomato and white wine sauce. The tiger prawns won us over; plump and fresh, prepared the traditional way in a terracota dish, with plenty of garlic and sizzling chilli oil. We made these ourselves at a recent tapas masterclass held here – the best prawns we’ve ever had – and these ones didn’t disappoint either. For desserts, we demolished the ‘crema catalana’ – the Latin equivalent of the classic crème brûlée – made with cinnamon and lime, and a crumbly, stodgy slice of pear and almond tart, served with a boozy scoop of rum and raisin ice cream that really packed a punch. No complaints from us.


tapasrevolution.com

Find out more about Tapas Revolution here

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