Tapas Revolution
Lee rekindles his 'fond belly memories' at Tapas Revolution

Tapas Revolution

Mon–Wed 9am–9pm; Thu–Fri 9am–10pm; Sat 9am–9pm; Sun midnight–7pm

I’m not big on Westfield. This temple devoted to the dubious pleasures of capitalism leaves me cold and usually, given it’s enormity, knackered. Having an authentic Spanish Tapas bar there seems the very definition of incongruous. Omar Allibhoy of El Pirata de Tapas has set it up, promising, ‘Everything at Tapas Revolution will be as authentic as if you were back home in Spain’. Having fond belly memories of a week pottering around Andalucia, I was hopeful of him fulfilling that promise.

The concession is located on the mezzanine of the shopping centre, a bit away from the rest of the clutch of restaurants. Diners sit around an oval-shaped bar and first impressions were encouraging – there were hams hanging over our heads and churros, the doughnut strips the Spanish like for breakfast, dotted around in glasses. In the vast hangar that is Westfield, you still feel a little like you’re at an airport though, killing time before a flight. An aperitif of sweet Pedro Ximenez sherry, served generously (and traditionally) with a couple of ice cubes, kicked off proceedings. They also have hard-to-get-over-here items such as Horchata (tigernuts drink) and Cola Cao (basically, Spanish Nesquik).

We started with incredibly flavoursome, almost-sweet acorn-fed Iberian ham (£8.25) taken from one of the hanging legs. It was a knockout. Chorizo al horno (£5.50) was robust and soft – not like the rubbery variety you find in some tapas bars. Pinchos Morunos (£5.75) were the best steak skewers I had ever torn through. The bartender recommended the slowly cooked marinated pork cheeks (£5.75), which fell apart in a swoon with a tickle of the fork and were wonderfully tender. You might have noticed a theme by now; this is not a place for vegetarians.

For a change of pace, we tried the anchovies marinated in olive oil, garlic and parsley (£4.50). They turned up in one of those rubber sealed glass jars, were very cold (which seemed right), zesty and fresh tasting; almost like they could have been swimming only hours previously. There are no desserts to be had and though we didn’t really have room, the bartender insisted we try the chocolate con churros (£4.50). The ridged churros were crunchy then soft, the chocolate thick and the right kind of hot (not so much you’d burn your tongue) and moreish. Perfect, in other words. Suffice to say that, the next time my better half wants to come to Westfield, I’ll be happy to sit here and eat while she shops.

Food for two with drinks and service around £55.

Tapas Revolution, The Balcony, Westfield, London, W12; www.tapasrevolution.com

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