I’ve eaten at Westfield London twice now. First at the east Westfield at the ever lovely Franco Manca and this time on the west side as a guest at Tapas Revolution, the tapas bar come restaurant of Omar Allibhoy and his beautiful hair (check it out here, it’s amazing). On both occasions, I’ve relaxed into it over long lunches managing to blot out the fact that I’m in a shopping centre. It got a bit weird when Victoria Beckham sauntered past us last weekend but hey, who says that couldn’t happen in my local Brixtonian pub? We can but dream. Tapas Revolution in Westfield London is laid out like a sushi bar with linear high counter seats fixed to the floor parallel to a long serving bar. Staff converse in fluent Spanish whilst they carefully coordinate the preparation of food and drinks in the very limited space they have to work in. That side feels social and relaxed, but the fixed stools on the dining side make sharing and chatting to more than one person quite challenging. Despite this, there were a few groups like us who were there to relax over the food but the majority of diners were there to make a pit stop, refuel and then carry on with their shopping.We started our meal with some deliciously dry pink fizz (£24.95 a bottle), torta de atun (which gets served with all boozy drinks) and a bowl of juicy mixed olives. Then came a constant flow of tapas dishes that seemed to go on and on, they may have limited space but their menu is pretty long and varied. Plates of meats and cheeses included some melt in the mouth lomo iberico and delicious spicy chorizo and a healthy slab of crumbly manchego served with a quince jelly. Pisto, a sort of spanish ratatouille was tasty and fresh and went really well with a light but generous portion of tortilla. Huevos rotos, chorizo with potato and a runny egg was a bit bland and the chorizo tasted like it wasn’t of the same quality as the slices served on the meat plate. Pinchos morunos, beef skewers were nice and spicy if not a little on the cold side. Onto the pescado and a plate of prawns in garlic and chilli oil were ok although the herbs tasted a little artificial. A much better dish was the octopus with potatoes and paprika, a traditional Galacian dish which combines soft sliced octopus with paprika, salt, good quality olive oil and slices of cooked potato. By this point the fizz had run out and the waiter recommended a bottle of white Cuatro Rayas (£18.95), a refreshing and dry white wine that I could have drunk all day and night. With this, we were served some salty padron peppers and two portions of paella, neither of which were particularly good. Each paella was lacking in flavour and the additions of either mixed fish or chicken did nothing to pick it up. It’s a little unforgiveable to get this dish wrong, especially when the waiter spoke so passionatley about it as a traditional dish to be proud of. The final round of plates included a portion of chicken with raisins, pine nuts and what tasted like sherry which was overly sweet and only palatable in small nibbles and some fabada, a pork and bean stew which was really simple and utterly delicious. For afters, we shared churros con chocolate which were tasty but the accompanying chocolate sauce was too watery, a crema catalana similar to creme caramel with lovely hints of vanilla and lemon and a cold rice pudding which was nothing out of this world. We washed it down with an indulgent Cafe Bombon, a rich espresso served with sweet condensed milk. All in all, it felt like the ingredients used in the tapas were good quality and authentic but the final results were just a bit up and down. The staff were really friendly and knowledgeable and I loved the authenticity of the bar, but I have to ask myself the question, would I go Westfield just to eat here? No I wouldn’t make that journey. But would I eat here if I found myself at Westfield? Yes I would, I’d most definitely stop for a glass of wine and a plate of that octopus.
Check out other food options at Westfield London here.