With its laid-back vibes, early week drink promos and weekly Taco Tuesday celebration, Revolucion de Cuba is determined to tempt you out on a school night.
The Glasgow branch of the Latin-inspired cocktail, cantina and party joint opened on Renfield Street –
within site of the office – late last year, so what better excuse for a rum-fuelled visit than my first day back at work after my holidays?
The first part of the Revolucion de Cuba menu is tapas-style. While I’m sure you’d be welcome to pick your favourite as a conventional starter, with so many interesting-sounding dishes on offer it just seems sensible to pick a few as sharing plates.
Completely unintentionally, Stringer and I opted for one each from the meat, veg and fish sections of the menu: the pork belly skewers, charred halloumi and tapas favourite “gambas pil pil” (sizzling prawns (probably not an exact translation) (don’t @ me)).
Tender, tasty pork belly is one of my favourite things to eat and these bite-sized skewers were an excellent example of the genre, cooked in a sweet, slightly spicy rum sauce and covered in tasty pico de gallo salsa. In fact, I was pretty impressed with all three of our choices. You can’t really get gambas pil pil wrong, to be fair, but these were decent regardless; while the charred halloumi was really cleverly presented with butternut squash, courgette and a sweet chilli glaze.
Tuesdays are for tacos at Revolucion de Cuba, and I figured it was pretty rude not to indulge. The “Taco Tuesday” deal gets you three loaded tacos with your choice of filling and a mug of fries for only £6, any time of day – or mix and match any of the four potential filling combinations with 12 tacos for £15.
As temped as I was by the prospect of a “cheeseburger taco” (burger mix and melting Manchego cheese), I played it safe and stuck to the pulled pork, served with salsa and a sweet punch of caramelised pineapple. The menu also features that incredible charred halloumi combo for the veggies among you, or a crispy squid option for the pescetarians.
Stringer, of course, went for a burrito, since he’s never one to be told what to do and there were burritos on the menu which meant he had to have one. This came in a toasted tortilla served with tortilla chips and a little dish of black beans on the side, and might not have been much to look at but, I am told, was tasty and filling. While Stringer admits to preferring a street food-style burrito to the sit-down dinner type, he was impressed enough to eat every bite.
Before we go on to talk about dessert (because of COURSE there was dessert), a quick word about Revolucion de Cuba’s cocktail menu: it’s excellent. So dessert… oh, you want to hear more? Caribbean vibes are, of course, the order of the day here, so think rum punches, mojitos and the odd twist on a classic – like the Rum Old Fashioned that Stringer enjoyed, with Appleton Estate rare blend 12-year-old rum in place of the usual whisky.
Cocktails are priced around the £8-9 mark, which isn’t the cheapest (albeit fairly typical for city centre locations using premium spirits, fresh fruit and other decent quality ingredients) – but if you visit Sunday-Wednesday you’ll find a good chunk of the menu on offer at £4.50. All the more reason to enjoy some Caribbean spirit on a school night![NB, employers: Last Year’s Girl neither encourages nor endorses rum-based hangovers in the office.]
With so much going on in the way of tapas, mains and drinks, Revolucion de Cuba could be forgiven for leaving dessert as a bit of an afterthought – but with both churros and my current obsession, coconut ice cream, on the menu as well as some more substantial dishes I have no intention of complaining. The churros were light, crispy and came with both chocolate and dulce de leche dips; while my ice cream came, to my amusement, in a cute teacup and topped with grilled coconut shavings and pineapple.
And while we didn’t order coffee, it’s worth mentioning that you can order all your favourites made with Cuban beans – and served with a little piece of chocolate brownie.
Service-wise, we found the staff at Revolucion de Cuba friendly, knowledgeable, efficient and, above all, fast. Our visit may have been on a Tuesday night, but the place was hardly deserted – no wonder, on Taco Tuesday!
While I can’t speak to the authenticity of Revolucion de Cuba’s cuisine, the vintage photographs and Cuban film posters lining the walls definitely got us into the spirit – something that I’m sure big Fidel would be delighted about. And with its convenient location and that £6 Taco Tuesday deal, this place is definitely in with a good shout of becoming my new favourite haunt for after-work drinks and dinner dates.
We were treated to a complimentary meal and drinks for review purposes, but all views are my own and unbiased.