Revolucion De Cuba is a venue, which has had a few names; it was formerly known as Bia Hoi and a few other things besides…
As the name suggests Revolucion de Cuba is a Cuban themed restaurant which I’ve been to a few times for drinks and food and enjoyed the general ambience of the place and the food on the plates!
It has a relaxed atmosphere with colourful posters on the walls and cushions in the booths, and Cuban inspired tunes.
Both times I have had food here I have enjoyed their tapas offers and gorged on a selection of lovely dishes. Last time we went for food was on a Tuesday evening for an after work meal, the place was not packed but there were enough people there to provide a good atmosphere.
When we sat down, we looked at the menu to choose what we wanted but although there were, waiters and waitresses about our no one took our order until I started heading to the bar with my menu.
We decided to order a selection of tapas on an offer, which came with a complimentary trio of salsas, including a pineapple one, which my companion thought, was amazing.
We ordered Quesadillas, Nachos, Patatas Bravas with Chorizo, Chiles Rellenos, and Sweet Potato & Chorizo Croquettes. This ended up filling most of the table, which is always a good thing!
The highlights of the meal were the Quesadillas with pulled pork in them, although I also enjoyed the Nachos and Sweet Potato & Chorizo Croquettes. My companion loved the Chiles Rellenos, which were jalapeño’s stuffed with cheese and covered in breadcrumbs.
We had a difference of opinion about the Sweet Potato & Chorizo Croquettes though, I enjoyed them but my companion thought they were a bit too fragile and not as flavoursome as he had expected. We both also expected more chorizo in the Patatas Bravas with Chorizo as we only noticed about three bits hidden amongst the potatoes.
Despite these few niggles we enjoyed our meal at Revolucion de Cuba and I have even arranged a work get together here later in the month to sample Revolucion de Cuba’s Mojitos and Burritos!
Revolucion de Cuba is part of a growing mini chain, with restaurants in Manchester, Cardiff, Norwich and soon to open one in Derby. For more info visit their website: www.revoluciondecuba.com
Saturday 22nd Septmber is the Bermondsey street festival, which seeks to promote local talent and creativity, that’s local designers, performers and musicians http://www.bermondseystreetfestival.org.uk
And our friends ’A Grape Night In’ are taking wine to the people!
Not only will there by lots of wine, but also a fantastic afternoon of performances, art, music and food. As the organisers say, the Festival is “the perfect blend of village fete folksiness, with Bermondsey street style”
Find A Grape Night in, in ’The Meadow’and we’ll be selling wine by the glass and bottle to enjoy with the delicious food available at the Festival. Come down and say hi and throw your best tasting note in the ring to win tickets to one of their tastings!
It’s Saturday afternoon at 3pm and you’re starting to get ready for a dinner out with 12 of your nearest and dearest to celebrate two friends turning 21 for the 8th time, when the phone rings……… Breathlessly you are informed that the restaurant that was booked has lost gas and that all of a sudden it’s looking like the choice will either be McDonalds or a liquid dinner. Re-booking dinner for 12 people in central London this late in the day is not an easy task, so where do you go?? Well Bethnal Green of course!
On the outside, Bethnal Green is not known for its thriving restaurant scene. Admittedly, once off the tube and wandering along the high street we were a bit concerned about what was going to be on offer for our dinner. After a ten minute stroll we turned down Wadeson Street where we believed the restaurant was, walked all the way to the end then again once around the block. Slightly bemused and concerned, we doubled back on ourselves only to be rescued by a dashing chef (I do love a man in chefs whites) who asked if we were looking for Bistrotheque? He then pointed us through a white courtyard and up a flight of stairs.
Birstrotheque can only be described as a destination restaurant, and by that I meant a restaurant you go to for an experience despite its rather dodgy surroundings. As we clambered up the stairs, an uneasy feeling settled in as I pictured entering a world exclusively for the beautiful, rich and cool, a member of a club to which I definitely do not belong. However, once the door opened we were greeted by both a white expanse of warehouse and a smiley and welcoming member or staff. As we running a little early we sat down at the bar for a quiet beverage.
The drinks choice is good and the boys in the group chose The Kernal, a very tasty Pale Ale brewed locally in South London.
Once the gaggle had arrived we were ushered to the table with a slight air of urgency and asked to order as soon as possible. Understandably, they had taken us as a last minute booking and admittedly we were running a few minutes behind, however it was felt by a number of the table that this pushiness was a little over the top and lowered my opinion of the otherwise good service.
The philosophy behind the Bistrotheque menu is that they offer seasonal, simple food produced in the spirit of a French bistro. If you visit the restaurant before 7.15pm or after 9.45pm they have a pre fixe menu which is 3 courses for 17.50 as well as their à la carte offering. The great thing about being in a group of 12 is that in a restaurant such as Birstotheque is that you can often get to sample a majority of the menu, and we did! The starter choices varied from ham hock terrine to crab salad, all which came in good sized portions. The ham hock had a good taste without the gloopiness that the gelatine can sometimes offer and there were rave reviews from those eating both the crab cake and asparagus. Main courses however, offered up a slightly different perspective. All of those on the table who went with the pre fixe menu opted for the onglet steak, a long, thin cut of meat which is known for its rich flavour. However, upon delivery the steaks took up a variety of forms in terms of shape and size. Aside from this, all of the steaks were cooked as requested and had the rich and full flavour desired. Trouble however, brewed down the other end of the table when one of the dishes arrived a good few minutes after the rest of the group had been served and a burger which had been requested well done was delivered distinctly on the pink side and had to be returned. Credit must go to the front of house team though who handled the situation superbly, including taking the two dishes off the bill without so much as a whisker of a complaint.
One of the more unusual dish choices of the group, steak tartare, was hailed by our resident expert as being season perfectly and delicious. Somehow we managed to squeeze in desserts including salted caramel tart and chocolate cake, which were all judged as ok but nothing special.
Conclusion: The best way to sum up Bistrotheque is a mixed bag…. Would I go again? Yes. Would I recommend it to others? Maybe. Would I say that it is one of the best dining encounters I have had in London? No. Whilst the experience of going to Bistotheque is an adventure in itself, I couldn’t leave without the feeling somehow the wow factor was missing. The food is very nice, the prix fixe is great value for money, however, without the mystery location it is simply another good restaurant, and one of many others which are dotted all around the London landscape, but if you are in the area it would be rude not to go.
A TweetedReview score of 3.75/5
Niki is a food blogger and currently undertaking the ultimate gourmand (read: greedy) challenge: 365 days of dinner blogging. Follow her journey (and plates) at http://dinneroftheday.tumblr.com/ and http://twitter.com/breakinglon
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Calling all foodies……. Yes once again it is the time of year where we don our urban wellies and head over to Regents Park to celebrate the culinary delights of our fair capital.
Taste of London will be taking up residency from June 21 – 24 in the centre of Regents Park. The festival promises to be assault on the senses, with over 40 of the city’s best restaurants dishing up gourmet plates, talks and words of wisdom from some of capital’s top culinary experts, cooking masterclasses and over 200 food and beverage producers showcasing.
Here at Tweeted Review, we are very privileged to have 2 secret garden passes. These tickets are the VIP of the VIP, with access to a private area, champagne on arrival, a complementary taste recipe book and most importantly £30 worth of crowns per person. These crowns aren’t the wearing type but are the currency of choice for Taste of London and must be used in order to eat or drink from the bars and restaurants. £1 equates to 2 crowns and most of the restaurants will be charging around 8-10 crowns for tapas size dishes.
Having extensively reviewed the menus online, our hot tips for ‘dish of the day’ include;
Club Garçon – “Basque” spicy confit duck, crazy pop corn (10 crowns)
Launcheston Place- light goat’s cheese cream, St Moranzo tomatoes and candied black olives
Patara – Grilled herb-marinated baby rack of lamb with papaya salad (14 crowns)
Yauatcha - Yauatcha steamed dim sum platter (12 crowns)
However, with such an amazing range of dishes available, the world literally is your oyster, lobster or the world’s most expensive Scotch egg, which is priced at a whopping £500
Aside from the amazing food on offer, the festival is welcoming some of the world’s culinary greats, such as: Wolfgang Puck, David Chang, Nuno Mendes, Bruno Loubet, Michel Roux Jr and of course no food related festival would be worth its salt without the visit of the seemingly omnipresent Jamie Oliver. However there is one surprising omission in the form of Gordon Ramsey, who we can only assume is far too busy in prison teaching the finer points of cup cake making. Though to be honest we are just as excited about the possibility of stumbling across the next big thing or an unsung hero than a celeb chef.
Our advice: Tickets are priced from £24 upwards if booked in advance, if you’re on a budget and don’t want to pay full wack for the Secret Garden Passes at £90pp, the best value is the Premium ticket for £40pp. These tickets come with £20 of Crowns, a minimum saving of £4, but be warned you can only book Premium tickets in advance via their website.
Finally don’t forget to come back next week for a full review on all our festival highlights; however we highly recommend a visit to experience the best food that London has to offer. Bon apetit!!!
Find out more at www.tastefestivals.com
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While the Jubilee is over and it is back to normal for most of us, Tea with Rachael takes us on amazing review of her favourite bits. Most of which can be enjoyed at anytime, not just when Queen and country gives us a four day weekend.
It has been a very busy few weeks, out and about for the Jubilee festivities and enjoying our short-lived Summer weather!
Ah, the start of the gloriously summery weekend, which we really made the most of! We ventured outside and sat on a blanket on the riverside outside the wonderful White Swan pub in Twickenham, watching the world go by and drinking ice cold Rekorderlig Strawberry and Lime – what a fantastic summer drink! It was almost like being beside the seaside…
The White Swan 4/5 – great location!
Organic food and drink in stunning surroundings – Ham House and Gardens
Rather disturbed by witnessing a moorhen fight/mating ritual(!), we headed down the riverbank to get the Hammerton Ferry over to Ham House and Gardens, where we enjoyed organic beer and Fentiman’s Rose Lemonade in the sunny gardens of the Orangery Cafe. After a stroll around the kitchen gardens for inspiration, we wandered round the stunning gardens and I managed to get some lovely pictures on this beautifully clear, hot and sunny day.
No visit would be complete without a visit to the gift shop, where I purchased some of the herbs we’d seen earlier, and ones I use regularly in my cooking – Thyme, Lemon Thyme and Tarragon. I will post my recipe for Tarragon chicken, using these lovely herbs, next!
I also got some lovely books: Comfort Food – providing more cooking inspiration – and A Taste of Tea by Brian Glover – a fascinating history of the various rituals associated with drinking tea.
I never go to a National Trust shop without buying Lemon Curd - and this time I bought some Raspberry Curd to try as well! I feel another afternoon tea coming on…
Ham House 5/5 – stunning grounds, lovely cafe and great gift shop!
During the Jubilee weekend, Twickenham was hosting the Charlie Shore Regatta as part of the Twickenham Riverside Jubilee Festival – Twickenham Alive. Always a fun event, this year the festivities were extended to include a craft fair on Church Street and the local church fair. Armed with a large glass of Sangria from Pincho, we perused the stalls and sat in the sunshine watching the river races.
After staying in during the downpour to watch the Flotilla on TV, on the Bank Holiday Monday we met some friends and headed to favourite local Twickenham pubs. The White Swan had a BBQ going and a street party in aid of children’s charity Shooting Star Chase – despite the gloomy weather – where we enjoyed burgers, homemade chocolate cakes and more Rekorderlig! Once it started raining more heavily, we moved on to the Royal Oak to check out the ‘Jumbilee’ in aid of local charity HANDS, where I picked up some fab vintage bargains!
Later in the day, we managed to sit in the sunshine (while it lasted) drinking organic cider outside the lovely old Eel Pie pub, before heading to The Fox for the biggest pie I have ever eaten! We all ordered chicken and cider pie with mash and gravy – not realising you each get an enormous individual pie! It was really tasty – fantastically hearty and quintessentially British in honour of the Jubilee! As we were particularly hungry after all the cider drinking, we ordered fries and chunky chips too, which were also delicious and went very well with the gravy! Heartily recommended!
The Fox 4/5 – amazing pie!
I made the most of my time off over the Jubilee Bank Holidays by drinking lots and lots of tea! As well as my usual stash of Twinings and TeaPigs, I had the privilege of trying a selection of teas from the lovely people at Ahmad Tea, which have very appropriate historical paintings of London on the boxes.
English Tea No.1 is a lovely blend of black teas with Bergamot and is a stylish alternative to Earl Grey. It even has a flotilla scene on it, from the opening of Tower Bridge! Very apt for Jubilee celebrations! Their Earl Grey is also very refreshing, and I particularly like the Darjeeling and English Breakfast blend too!
Ahmad Tea 4/5 – great taste, lovely packaging!
I made sure I had Jubilee-themed biscuits with my tea – I am addicted to Cadbury’s biscuits (favourite chocolate on biscuits – what’s not to love?!) and have eaten far too many over the past few weeks! 5/5
Food, drink and lots of fun at Foodies Festival – and of course tea!
What a grand day out at the Foodies Festival at Hampton Court Green last Sunday! Despite the cold, we enjoyed great artisan and organis food, local produce, fine wines, cocktails, and of course, tea and cake!
Starting with a brief visit to the gorgeous Duckpond Market in Richmond to look at the lovely antiques, homewares and artisan foods (and lots of Jubilee kitch ideas – will definitely be back for some bunting!), we set off from St Helena Pier in Richmond for a leisurely cruise down the Thames on one of the Turks Launches fabulous steam boats. Unfortunately the sun didn’t want to come out to play, but it didn’t rain very much, so we braved the chilly breeze and breathed in the fresh air!
To warm up when we first arrived, I headed straight to the Tea Terrace – a quintessentially English tea room serving proper afternoon teas and a vast array of yummy cakes, pastries and treats! I swiftly downed a lovely cup ofTregothnan English-grown tea and a huge slab of my old favourite – handmade Lemon Drizzle Cake! We then queued up for the Portuguese Hog Roast fromRoast Hog, which was well worth the wait! Then it was time for some organic fruit cider to wash it down, and more warming up with some sizzlingly tasty sausages from the Great British Sausage Company.
After a peek at the amazing Hendrick’s Gin Curiositorium and their bath full of Gin (here I am next to it with my organic cherry cider!) and a delightfully bubbly organic Kir Royal, we went to taste some cheeses at the award-wining Cheshire Cheese Company. Being a Cheshire girl, I particularly enjoyed sampling their massive range of cheeses – especially the award-winning four-year aged Vintage Gold extra mature cheddar! We are now official members, and once the copious supplies of cheese we bought have run out, we will definitely be buying more online! Like Wallace and Gromit always say, you can’t beat a bit of cheese!
We then wandered over to the chef’s theatre to see the lovely Beverley Glock compering (in a beautiful Fifities’ style dress – she must have been freezing!), and watched wonderful local chef Greg Malouf of Petersham Nurseries show us just how it’s done.
Then we strolled down the Street Food Avenue, sniffing and tasting so many great foods from around the world, and sampled a few wines at the wine village. A real favourite for me was the aged Parmesan, and I bought an enormous chunk to take home!
All aboard for PIMMS O’Clock – CHEERS!
Whole Foods Market had a nice big stall, with some great (and bargainous) organic Prosecco, fruit and sauces. We bought the red pesto, which is absolutely delicious on pretty much anything!
We brought back so much lovely cheese, bread, olive oil and artisan treats – they should keep us going for a long time (or at least until the next Foodies Festival)!
I am definitely going to try to get to more of these fantastic festivals, both in the North and down South – my friends and family love these sort of food events and we like to try different shows in different places!
The next Foodies Festival is at Brighton Hove Lawns next weekend (May 25,26,27), with festivals taking place up and down the country throughout the summer.
Other Foodies Festival Dates from July onwards are:
Tatton Park Cheshire July 6/7/8
Bristol Harbourside July 13/14/15
Edinburgh Aug 10/11/12
London Battersea Park Aug 17/18/19Oxford South Parks Aug 25/26/27
Until next time, enjoy your tea break – and cheese! CHEERS!
The highlight of the weekend was visiting Colonna & Small’s in Bath, an espresso café and brew bar, it is renowned because of his co-owner Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood, recently crowned UK Barista Champion 2012.
I saw Maxwell compete at the UK Barista Championship in London last weekend: in 15 minutes he prepared and served 4 espressos, 4 cappuccinos and 4 espresso-based signature drinks. His performance was flawless, the audience was silent and in awe!
After watching the UKBC and with my trip to Somerset already planned, a pit-stop in Bath to visit Colonna & Small’s was a must!
Maxwell and Lesley Colonna-Dashwood source their coffees from four main roasters: Origin Coffee, Square mile Coffee, James Gourmet Coffee and Hasbean. All have direct relationships with growers, and the focus is on the flavour diversities and varietals grown. The types of coffees are changed every week and with the changing seasons, and the choices are written on a chalk board. [quote from The Foodie Bugle]
The essence of this shop is not only making good coffee but most of all helping the customers understand more about coffee and how to drink it best: the walls are decorated with information about processing and brewing methods; the barista recommended us not to add sugar to our coffees to really feel the taste; they have a space downstairs for coffee tastings and there’s even a coffee flavour wheel on the toilet wall!
Maxwell was not in the shop when I visited, but all the baristas at Colonna & Small’s are experts and will help you choose your coffee. We ordered Hasbean Rwanda SACOF Rulindo Cup of Excellence, hand brewed with the Clever Coffee Dripper; a Piccolo made with Sidamo coffee from Ethiopia and a Flat White made with a blend of Brazilian coffees (70% Mariano and 30% Das Almas).
The space is beautiful and bright, with white walls and lots of light. The blue cups and wooden furniture add a warm touch to the interiors. The table and bar stools were full, mainly with couples or lonely guys and their Macs.
There are plenty of reasons to visit Bath and Colonna & Small’s is certainly one of them!
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So it seems that the humble café is no longer enough. The café, the restaurant, they have to do more than just serve us food and drink. Themed venues are popping up everywhere (although I’m still waiting for New York’s very cool Ninja Restaurant to transplant itself onto these shores) and it probably won’t be long until London has its own Japanese inspired maid café. It was in one of these more-than-just-a-café (minus the maids) in King’s Cross that I spent a Saturday afternoon recently, celebrating the birthdays of a couple of friends. Drink, Shop & Do, as the name suggests is more than just a place to get some tea and cake (perish the thought!) Before entering the café you walk through a shop full of fun, handmade and locally designed gift ideas; cards, stationary, home ware and jewellery, and if that doesn’t tempt you then why not try the ‘Do’ part of the name. This café organises (often craft-based) afternoon and evening activities. Any of these take your fancy: balloon bending, ‘Transport Origami’, ‘Papier Mache Monster Mash’, or other fun times, including, ‘Adult Colour By Numbers’, ‘Musical Bingo’ and the saucily named ‘Vintage Pin-Up Porn Dot-to-Dot’.
If you, however, as we did, find yourself at Drink, Shop & Do on a lazy Saturday afternoon when there may not be any activities organised, then there are tons of board games to keep you occupied. We were sucked in by those old favourites, Jenga (I was terrible) and Cluedo (far better. For once it wasn’t that poor misunderstood Miss Scarlet). I’m a huge fan of board games in cafés and bars and I wish more places had them. They’re great fun, and before long a few tables had taken our cue and started playing. It’s a win win for the venue too. A lengthy Scrabble match may lead to you ordering more than just the one coffee. In fact it took us a fair while to work out it was that sneaky Mrs White after all!
The Drink, Shop & Do cafe area has that cute, slightly kooky vintage vibe that everyone seems to love; ice cream colours, mismatched chairs and crockery, cakes on the counter and old collectibles artfully dotted everywhere. It was this look presumably that the contestants on The Apprentice were trying to achieve a few weeks ago, but threw dead leaves over everything instead. Though the set afternoon teas sounded delicious (love that they have a guy-centric one with pork crackling and scotch egg) we’d come just for cake, it was a birthday after all. I’d been lusting after macarons after spotting them on the menu but they were sadly out of them, so I went for the cheesecake instead which tasted just as good as any I’d eaten in New York. The Nutella milkshake was delicious, although I requested it minus the malt as I feared it may have been a little too sickly. The Victoria sponge and passion fruit meringue pie also come highly recommended by the rest of the group, as well as the brown paper bags full of your old favourite sweets. More nostalgia came in the shape of the mismatched crockery, including one particular 80s side plate which lead to unexpected delight in memories of sugar bowls and milk jugs from that particular tea service.
As far as the loo review (I know, sadly omitted by most mainstream reviews), Drink, Shop & Do was exemplary. I particularly loved the hand wash and moisturizer combo and we were all intrigued by posters advertising the upcoming ‘The Mixtape Club’, an indie speed dating night with a twist. Couple that with the ‘Lunchtime Disco’ that they run on a Friday, yes you read that correctly, no more boring lunch breaks at chain sandwich shops for you, Drink, Shop & Do is pretty much guaranteed a revisit.
Tweeted Review Score: 3/5 Tweet
Niki is a food blogger and currently undertaking the ultimate gourmand (read: greedy) challenge: 365 days of dinner blogging. Follow her journey (and plates) at http://dinneroftheday.tumblr.com/ and Follow @breakinglon