I was invited down for lunch at Revolucian De Cuba, the new Cuban bar and restaurant in Reading, last week, to experience their new tapas menu and give my opinion on what myself and my party thought.
I haven’t done many reviews recently and I think it is fair to say this has given me a kick in the butt to start back doing what I love best, giving my opinion on things I love. So before I get started, I want to say thank you to the team at Revolucian De Cuba for having me and feeding my love of blogging again.
Before we went…
When I was asked to go to the opening of Revolucian De Cuba, based in the old HMV on Friar Street, Reading, a few months ago I was very excited. Sadly though, the world was against me that day and everything that could go wrong in my house, did. Therefore I missed their big day and I have whinged about it to my husband ever since.
I read a quite damning review of the place in our local rag and I thought it was a bit harsh, new restaurant’s take a while to get into their flow, that is a given, so I was a bit annoyed at the wording. A bad review when deserved is fine, I have given plenty myself, but it seemed this journo was a bit of a pric…. I’ll stop there. Everyone I know that has been in, whether to eat or drink, has given it rave reviews but due to that first report in the paper I know many would have given it a wide birth… well don’t!
What we thought…
Myself, my two cousins and my aunt booked a table for four with my brand new newborn cousin in tow too, pushchair and all. We are four very different people, with four very different lives and four very different tastes in establishments and food. Amongst us was a young picky eater who runs a bar, a business woman from Dubai used to the champagne lifestyle, a local with ties to many groups of other locals and businesses and a blogger who more often than not say’s it how it is and get’s into trouble.
This was going to be a full on workout for this place if they wanted to please us all. Of course they didn’t know this, they just knew we were a table of four who was in for lunch.
**I have sectioned out the review as I write how I talk; and I talk a lot. You can skip the bits you don't want to read... you're welcome!**
When we booked the table we received an email with our confirmation and a link to their menu’s so we could preempt what we might like, this to me is a great addition to their service. The picky eater could then read up and decide what she wanted before she got there, meaning she didn’t feel uncomfortable being the picky one. She was very grateful for that. We also discussed how much easier it was for those with dietary requirements. Having to declare you have an allergy or are vegan etc can often lead to the eye rolling question ‘does this contain…’ or asking the waiter about what you can and can’t eat, delaying the fun part, eating it.
THE KIDS MENU
£5.95 - Main, dessert & drink.
Unlike many of the bars in Reading town centre they do a kids menu too. For me this was a shock, when you walk passed you expect it to be all bar and have licensing issues with kids on site, like the Walkabout for instance, however this is not the case. Their kids menu is as delicious as their adult one and again doesn’t break the bank. The menu includes plainer food for those not quite ready for a full on cuban experience but for £5.95 for a really fresh main, dessert and a drink you can’t go wrong really!
The staff were so attentive, all very clean, young and attractive. I say clean because I have been into a few places in which the waitresses or waiters have looked like they’ve just stepped out of a festival tent so it’s a thing for me now. They served us with a smile throughout and even explained the way the chef makes some of the dishes, which is a talent in itself as I wouldn’t remember all the tricks of the tapas heaven that happens in that kitchen. We all had a giggle which is important, personality gets you everywhere in that job.
The Revolucian De Cuba menu is a mixture of fun and wow. The Tapas part of the menu is the perfect lunch date, girls night, lunch meeting type food. A little bit of everything you love shared with the ones you love… or the ones you work with. They have lot’s of deals on their menu and the Tapas one has to be my favourite. Mon-Sat 3 plates for £14 and Sunday’s are 2for1 tapas. They’re not super small plates either by the way, I think Tapas and I think dinky plates of randomness but these are a decent size for a change. However, they did recommend for 2 sharing, 3 plates for the starter and 6 for the main but if you want to try their famous churros… make sure you save room.
The menu is reasonably priced and offers a bit of everything not just Tapas. They have Burgers, Burritos, Sandwiches, Wraps, Tacos and larger Latin inspired dishes that will make your mouth water. Mon-Fri they have a cool Quick and Fresh Lunch menu for £6 until 3pm and from 3-7pm 2 Courses for £10.95. So it doesn’t have to break the bank to try this place.
All day on Tuesdays you can dine on their £5-10 Taco Tuesday Menu. ‘Taco Tuesday’s’ made me laugh out loud, because I have kids and have seen The Lego Movie more times than I should have but I am planning on giving it a go next just to say I have done ‘Taco Tuesday’.
OK so the cocktail menu. Lets talk about the cocktail menu. Well let’s just tell you what we remember from it, as believe me by the end we weren’t as fresh as their food is, let’s just put it that way. The cocktail menu is a vast improvement on some of the other venues in the area and the fact that their bar staff know what they are doing really helps. The picky eater is a bar manager and knows her cocktails ‘The presentation was as beautiful as the taste and that is often an issue in large bars like this’. The business lady from Dubai is used to a good cocktail or two, as the bars there are all in 5* hotels ‘Sadly I am going home soon or I’d have come and Salsa’d my way through this whole menu with my mates happily’. The local ‘I don’t do lunchtime drinking but I may make an exception every time I walk passed this place, that’s allowed right?’. ME, well I’m a pisshead, I know my cocktails and I know when I’m being fobbed off with a glorified barman instead of a pro, hats off to this place they did a great job. Oh and the adult slushy machine… genius!
The Bar and Restaurant are beautifully decorated both on the outside and the inside making the curb appeal pretty impressive. They have gone all out with the Cuban feel, patterns and colour everywhere, there is so much to look at in this place that you get distracted wandering whether you can recreate it in your home… or maybe that was just me. The lighting isn’t picture perfect as it is quite dark but hey, who else goes in there to do instagram pictures rather than eat? (millennial’s do not answer that). They have created little nooks of seating for friends and couples to have some privacy as well as the open seating areas throughout. Upstairs there is a separate bar with a balcony/smoking area evenly as beautiful in decor as the downstairs but a little more intimate for private events if necessary. The toilets, well, they’re as flamboyant as the rest of the place, flamingoes everywhere, it was ace! They’re large enough for a busy bar but classy enough for a nice restaurant, good work designers. They smelt lovely too, which is weird to say but they did! I didn’t go in the mens; for obvious reasons. I’m sure they were as flamboyant and smelt as OK as a men’s can.
What else does Revolucian De Cuba offer?
Night life, Live music, Cuban themed parties, Salsa classes, cocktail making classes, private venue hire and so much more!
To find out more and how to find your way there check out their website here.
The original review in the local rag was a load of shit. They couldn’t have been to the same place as us, we were hard to please and easy to distract and we had a lovely time with amazing food. I’d recommend it to anyone, in fact I have, regularly since.