Whenever we head out for a meal, I often prefer to order a few nibbly plates and mains to share – and Revolucion de Cuba is the perfect place to do just that.
I was invited along for a meal to celebrate their 1st birthday last weekend, and having never visited before I was unsure of what to expect – and ended up being very pleasantly surprised by just how much we enjoyed our evening.
Revolucion de Cuba is located in the Above Bar area of Southampton, a short walk along the high street if you’re coming from West Quay. With three floors catering for food, dancing and rooftop views, it’s a venue that’s great for any occasion – especially parties.
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The atmosphere inside Revolucion de Cuba was energetic (and loud) with music playing, a live musician and a busy bar – an excellent turnout for their 1st birthday celebrations. The decor was inviting and comfortable, with lots of Cuban influences.
You’ll notice that the menus are presented as newspapers, which we thought was quirky and unique. A lot of focus across the food and drink menus is given to rum inspired recipes, and with over 20 varieties of rum on offer it was hard to resist a tipple!
On the menu are tapas, a range of mains and sides – which you can share or just order for yourselves. As we generally like to share our food (only when pre-agreed, of course!) we decided to order lots of tapas for the table.
When we arrived happy hour was in full swing, so we ordered cocktails (and a mocktail for me) which arrived fairly promptly considering the busy bar. Our waiter was energetic and helpful, recommending the best cocktails to try – one of which was the new sangria with a drop of merlot, an interesting combination that worked surprisingly well.
The cocktails have all been designed to complement every dish on the menu, with a special focus on rum – of course.
Our impressive selection of tapas (too many for the table, as it turned out!) arrived after about half an hour, and everything was well presented and looked delicious.
Ropa Vieja Tostadas – slow cooked beef with guacamole, spring onions, coriander, sour cream and red chard. The beef was tender and the flavours went together well.
Chicken Rumba Skewers – chicken skewers marinated in dark soy sauce, lime and pineapple juice. These weren’t my favourite, as I’m not normally a fan of sweet & sour flavours – but I am assured that everyone else at the table enjoyed these.
Calamari – crispy fried squid, served with aioli. A classic combination, and one of my favourite things to order – and they were delicious.
Shredded Beef Chilli Nachos – topped with manchego cheese sauce, mango salsa and guacamole. These were nice, but I personally prefer a more traditional chilli on my nachos.
Gambas Pil Pil – King prawns tossed in a buttery, chilli and garlic sauce. These were delicious. Beautifully buttery and decadent, I could have eaten these all night.
Chicken & Cheese Quesadillas – topped with onion & peppers and encased in crisp tortillas, these were spicier than I was expecting, but very tasty.
Jamon Croquetas – crispy Iberico ham croquetas served with mixed peppers and aïoli. I love a good ham croquette, and these were excellent – no spice at all, so good for those who aren’t a fan of heat.
Cheesy Cuban Fries – paprika dusted fries topped with Manchego cheese sauce. These were a little disappointing actually, which was a shame – there was the tiniest amount of cheese sauce on top that was barely noticeable. I wouldn’t order these again – but there are plenty of other dishes to try.
Jerk Fried Chicken – Chicken pieces coated in cajun spice and a jerk crumb, lightly fried and served with rum mayo. Regular readers will know just how much I love fried chicken, and this offering was very tasty. Succulent and crisp chicken pieces which we ended up fighting over – better than KFC!
Our tapas feast left us with just enough room to share a dessert – and the obvious option was to order the churros. We ordered the portion of 10 which came with a trio of sauces to try – chocolate, rum caramel and strawberry. Churros are always good, and these were the perfect way to end our meal.
Revolucion de Cuba would be a great choice to have a party, or head out for dinner before going out with friends – if you like a vibrant, loud atmosphere and good tapas, you’ll love it here.