Spanish chef Omar Allibhoy, a man on a mission to bring authentic tapas to the UK, is to open his 8th Tapas Revolution bar and restaurant at Westfield Stratford this autumn.
Opening on 7th October, Tapas Revolution Stratford will become the group’s flagship site and their largest to date, making Tapas Revolution the UK’s biggest Spanish restaurant group. The Westfield Stratford site will also include the group’s first dedicated Cava Bar that pays homage to Spain’s signature bubbles. Offering an extended choice of 24 Cavas by the bottle and five by the glass, the Cava Bar will be adorned with an impressive wall of Cava bottles and include two VIP bodega booths complete with a ‘Press for Cava’ button.
Inspired by the bustling, well-heeled bars and restaurants of Omar’s hometown in Madrid, Tapas Revolution Stratford fuses the contemporary look and feel of a modern Spanish restaurant with the authenticity and charm of a traditional tapas bar. A 2,600 square foot restaurant with outdoor terrace, the site will accommodate over 100 sit-down covers plus standing at the bar, offering guests an authentic taste of Spanish in one of London’s busiest shopping destinations.
Its high ceilings provide a light and airy feel whilst the bold and vibrant colours throughout inject a sense of passion and vitality that Spain is so renowned for. There will be al fresco dining and drinking opportunities on the outdoor terrace and a beautiful handmade tiled mosaic wall inspired by Estrella Galicia. Of course, no authentic Spanish bar and restaurant would be complete without the nation’s famous Jamón Ibérico (cured Iberian ham), made from acorn-fed black Iberian pigs, and Tapas Revolution Stratford will characteristically feature the group’s largest display.
Open all day every day, Omar’s latest opening will take inspiration from the family recipes he grew up with and Spain’s culinary culture of sharing, socialising and eating. The menu will feature a wide array of traditional Spanish fare alongside Omar’s critically acclaimed signature dishes, such as his ever popular slow-roasted Iberian pork shank served with roasted piquillo peppers and tomato tapenade (Codillo de Cerdo Asado) or his pan-roasted loin of cod served with slow-cooked red peppers and green olive salsa verde (Bacalao con Piperrada y Olivas). There will be a selection of Paellas on offer (available in two sizes) to share amongst friends, including the classic Valencian
Arroz Negro made with black rice. Each Paella will be made with rice from the Albufera wetlands, handmade stock, saffron, smoked paprika, and served in the traditional wide-bottomed pan from which the dish gets its name. Tapas Revolution has also tripled its options for vegan and vegetarian diners, with a vegan Paella on offer, crispy fried aubergines with spiced muscovado syrup (Berenjenas Fritas) and Vegan Alioli (unique to Tapas Revolution), all to be enjoyed in Westfield Stratford.
The drinks menu will include an extensive range of premium, small-batch Spanish Gin Tonics served in the traditional Copa de Balón (balloon glass), and a selection of Spanish craft beers, including Estrella Galicia 1906. A selection of Sangrias and a carefully curated wine list from a small number of Spanish producers will also be on offer, plus the group’s largest array of Cavas by the bottle and by the glass, including those from Codorníu, pioneers within the Cava industry and the oldest and most prestigious producer in Spain.
Westfield Stratford is Europe’s largest shopping and leisure destination, but there are many other interesting things happening on the horizon in E20. A new cultural powerhouse, the V&A East are set to open two new sites in Stratford and a short walk away will be the new Sadler’s Wells dance theatre, BBC studios for performance and recording and a brand new site for the London College of Fashion. Stratford is a very accessible destination, served by the Jubilee Line, Central Line and Overground trains.
Omar says: “I’m excited to be launching our flagship Tapas Revolution in one of the most up and coming neighbourhoods in London. The new restaurant will offer a truly unique and authentic experience and feature a menu offering a great selection of delicious dishes using ingredients from the finest Spanish suppliers. I’m also excited to unveil our new Cava Bar and bring this drink to the forefront of our offering.”
The food of Spain has become one of the most beloved cuisines in the UK and it is rare to find a local high street or foodie quarter without a tapas bar. The Spanish chorizo sausage was even voted as the food that most Brits had never heard of 10 years ago but could now not live without in a poll by Olive magazine. Restaurants across the board have embraced a more informal eating style resulting in the explosion of small plates replicating tapas style dining.
Having launched eight restaurants across the country and through his regular TV appearances, Omar is a key figure in spreading authentic Spanish cuisine in the UK. The Madrid-born chef is well on his way to complete his original mission of providing great, affordable tapas for all and has even been named as a ‘crusader for Spanish food and culture’ back in his home country.