I'd often seen folk queuing on a Saturday night in the rain and wondered what all the fuss was about. It looked nice inside, but was it really worth queuing round the corner for? A couple of weeks ago my friend Lee and I were asking ourselves that very question as we wandered off for posh tequila at Mr Coopers Bar like a pair of old lushes. Then, like fate intervened, I had a lovely invite from Revolucion de Cuba to sample their new menu. I had to take Lee.
We picked the wettest day since records began (only a slight exaggeration), and turned up with soaked kecks and cold feet. We were welcomed in and seated in a spacious booth by the window. We sat and defrosted as the lovely front of house staff started to bring dish after dish of deliciousness to our table.
Crispy tortilla chips with guacamole: The best guacamole I have ever tasted. Fresh and zesty with a chilli kick. Devoured in about two minutes flat.
(Clockwise) Patatas bravas, cajun chicken quesadilla and cajun cream mushrooms: I fear fungus at the best of times. I was feeling brave and plunged into the cajun mushrooms first. Amazing. This is my perfect kind of food; lots of things to pick at with big flavours. Perfect for sharing.Chimichurri rump steak: Served beautifully rare with a drizzle of chimichurri sauce and more of those crispy patatas bravas. Heavenly.
Paella de Cuba: I never order paella so was really pleased when this rocked up. The rice was beautifully sticky and there were big chunks of prawn, chicken and chorizo hiding underneath.
Churros and Columbian chocolate brownie: I've got that thing again where I get angry because I was too full to polish these off, but could just eat them now. This is the curse of the food blogger. Churros are one of my favourite things in the whole wide world. I could have kissed their faces when these arrived. They came with the most delirious chocolate and rum caramel dips too. The brownie was as light as a feather and went perfectly with that vanilla ice cream, which was strangely soothing in our gluttonous state.
We ordered some hot drinks in an attempt to revive our sorry-selves. Hot chocolate possibly wasn't the best option for someone semi-comatosed by food. Perfect for those with a sweet tooth like me though! Lee sampled one of the new coffees which seemed to do the trick!
Now then. Cocktails. This is where it got interesting. It started all sophisticated-like and ended in getting papped by a group of rowdy Norwegians. Actual truth. I recall having a Zombie and an Apple and Cinnamon Sour. That's about the measure of it. I remember them being sensational though!
Then this happened. 'Would you like to come and learn how to make cocktails?' Yes. We were then introduced to the wonderfully charming Eamonn. He said we could make something off the menu or pick anything else we liked. I went off piste and insisted on making a Drumstick Lolly (my absolute fave) and Lee opted for a Nuclear Daiquiri. As you can see from the photos below, we are clearly naturals and folk in there should fear for their jobs...We then went on a tour of the private bar area downstairs with the manager Ronnie - what a lovely bloke! I really should have taken some photos, but I was far too giddy. Eamonn showed us how to make the most magical gingerbread concoctions I have ever tasted. I remember talk of £200 shots of rum, Cuban drinking games and stories which will never be repeated. We also met Manchester's most fragrant doorman. That was nice.
I can't even tell you what a great time we had. We left rabbitting on about how Eamonn and Ronnie were our new besties and plotting our return with our other pals. Not only was the food outstanding, but we sampled a gorgeous array of rum based goodies and had a really good laugh with the guys who worked there. Today I found myself recommending it to a lovely lady who works in Dunelm Mill...
I urge you to go. It's the perfect place to go as a group and have a giggle with friends. We spent all afternoon there and laughed all the way home. Perfect.
Disclaimer: I was invited to sample the new menu at Revolucion de Cuba with my friend Lee. I'm not sure if the PR company ordered those lovely men to charm us, or whether they did that of their own accord. Either way I was under no obligation to write a nice review or drink so many cocktails. I'd also like to apologise to Eamonn for being a pair of drunken buffoons and insisting we will be attending his recital. We still plan on doing.