Join the rebellion | Tapas Revolution, Upper Mall, Bluewater, Greenhithe, Kent DA9 9ST
We have a problem when it comes to the weekend. Our local town is god awful and there’s literally nowhere to go out to eat. Whilst we watch in envy as people bombard Twitter and Instagram with tweets about lazy brunches in cafés, Saturday morning food markets and even the simple pleasures of a decent pizza.
For our local choices consist of an Indian and Chinese takeaway, fish and chips or a tolerable pub. If we want to go to an actual restaurant we jump in the car to Bluewater. Now, eating in a shopping centre is not ideal but the choices there are getting better – although I will never forgive them for getting rid of Chilango.
A new(ish) addition to Bluewater is Tapas Revolution, which we’ve been eyeing up for a while but usually end up at Wahaca or Byron. We finally gave it a try when we were off work at Christmas and the thought of travelling back into London was far too much to bear. The restaurants (there’s also one at Westfield in Stratford) are the brainchild of Omar Allibhoy, who was trained by Ferran Adrià of elBulli.
We really should have done this sooner. Despite the fact we were sat in a booth parallel to TGI’s, watching teenagers fritter away their precious Christmas money on overpriced mediocre food, we really enjoyed the contents of every little terracotta dish put before us. Although we would have been better off sat at the counter, if we squinted and covered one ear we could pretended we were in Madrid.
They even had a drink with me in it, Limonada casera, homemade lemonade with a touch of Saffron £2.25. What a great mix with the spice adding a mellow flavour to the citrus. One of our favourite Spanish foods to eat is Pan con tomate – toasted bread, garlic, tomato and olive oil £2.95. When it arrived it did concern us slightly, the tomatoes looked pretty anaemic and no sign of the bright red flesh we were treated to in Barcelona. Looks can be deceptive, it still tasted delicious so I put it aside to eat last. There’s always one dish you have to save for those final moments, right?
My least favourite dish was the Croquetas de jamón £4.50, crunchy little nuggets filled with Iberico ham. But only because they were too creamy for my taste buds, they don’t take too kindly to anything buttery. Good news for Ade though as it meant he had them all. But he played fair and let me have the rest of the Carrilleras – pork cheek braised in Pedro Ximénez sherry £6.85, super tender flaky meat in a rich boozy sauce, exceptional. A simple Paella Valenciana £4.50 of chicken and Saffron was very good too, as was the staple dish of Patatas Bravas £3.50. Fabada Asturiana £3.75 a pork, chorizo and white bean stew was hard to share, next time we’re really going to have to double up on some dishes.
The good (and bad) thing about tapas is that it’s pretty impossible to get full. I have never left a Spanish restaurant with a swollen stomach and feeling slightly sick. So we shared the Churros and chocolate £3.50. We had gone off churros a bit after visiting the famous San Gines Chocolateria cafe in Madrid where we ate so many we had to go back to our hotel and lay down. Luckily here they don’t overwhelm you and a portion to share was the ideal amount. Ade also finished off with a Café bombón – coffee with condensed milk £2.25. What a great coffee, too good to come in a teeny espresso cup, especially when your wife steals sips when you’re not looking.
We headed back to Bluewater today and found it very hard to walk past Tapas Revolution. We ended up popping in for a cheeky couple of dishes and a Café bombón. I love bold flavours, meat and comfort food, all my boxes are ticked here, even if I do have to eat it in a shopping centre.
Upper Mall, Bluewater
Greenhithe, Kent DA9 9ST
Opening hours: Mon – Fri: 11.00am – 10.00pm
Sat: 10.00am – 10.00pm
Sun: 11.00am – 8.00pm
Nearest station: Greenhithe