NEW Tapas Revolution Restaurant in Bath

 

FIRST LOOK INSIDE TAPAS REVOLUTION BATH

It was lovely to be invited to Tapas Revolution Bath last week ahead of their opening. We were greeted by the chef and founder Omar Allibhoy who has seven tapas restaurants over the country. This restaurant is his biggest restaurant so far. He has been a busy man, releasing his second cookbook alongside launching Tapas Revolution in Bath. Whilst sipping on their range of different gin and tonics drinks and nibbling on small tapas plates we were introduced to Omar.

We were then taken into the kitchen to get our hands dirty. In groups of three we made our own paella, following a traditional recipe. Omar talked us though the ingredients and cooking techniques used to make a glorious, flavoursome paella.
Omar’s Top Tips for cooking a traditional paella
A few things surprised me…
  • Seasoning the pan first, which I have never done before.
  • Not stirring the chicken, searing it instead to keep in moisture.
  • Finally, the technique I couldn’t get my head around, because it goes against everything I have learnt whilst cooking – STIRRING THE PAELLA ONCE! YES, ONCE!! Instead of stirring we occasionally shook the pan. Omar told us that the more we stir the dish the most starch will come out of the rice, making it sticky.

The weird rabbit face you pull when you think you’ve done something wrong and messed up the dish… 😉

 “With paella there is no exact recipe – it’s all by eye” Omar Allibhoy

Paella de pollo: Chicken, green beans and chicken stock.

We then sat down to enjoy our delicious paella and were served lots of other tapas plates. The ham and cheese croquettes being my favourite (Croquetas de jamón: deep-fried Ibérico ham and béchamel croquettes). These were little melt in the mouth joys! Not too stodgy or rich – so you can end up eating them VERY quickly. According to Omar, you can judge how great a tapas restaurant is depending on how good their croquettes are.
Classic Patatas Bravos

Pulpo a la gallega: steamed octopus with potatoes and pimentón paprika.

First time trying octopus and it was delicious! 
Not only were we served a moreish selection of tapas dishes, we were given endless amounts of cocktails to try. Yes, that is three cocktails in front of me… I tried them all 😉

The restaurant will also serve breakfast and lunch.

Finally, finishing our meal with a sweet treat.

Torrija, caramelised brioche bun soaked in custard, served warm. This was extremely moreish and actually surprising light.

I love that this restaurant is suitable for all kinds of occasions, casual drinks and a few tapas dishes sat at the bar, breakfast (very intrigued to find out more about the brekkie dishes), or a full sit down meal. Sharing paella and a jug of sangria. What is also very helpful is the set menus, a ready-made selection of tapas dishes – because if you are like me it would take a year to choose just a few of their delicious dishes to try.

Thanks again to Omar Allibhoy for giving us a tapas masterclass. Cannot wait to go back and eat that paella again.

 

Absurd Bird Bath Cocktail Masterclass

ABSURD COCKTAILS & THE BEST PANCAKES EVER

Back to Absurd Bird Bath for an evening full of tasty cocktails, melt in the mouth pancakes and good ol’ Deep American South soul

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I was invited back to Absurd Bird Bath for a cocktail masterclass – to taste a few of their new cocktails and learn how to make them. The theme was Mardi Gras – the table was decked out with colourful party necklaces and masks to wear. The dressing up, cocktails being shaken and the live band playing definitely got you in the party mood.

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Celebrating Mardi Gras with some lovely chickies last Tuesday.

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And wow, are these cocktails something! Absurd Bird really do make some tasty cocktails. I love the food AND drinks here but I would happily come here just for a few drinks with friends.

(FYI: Happy hour 5-7pm)

My particular favourite Absurd Bird drinks contain Moonshine – I am a massive fan of moonshine. MASSIVE fan! It is a shame you can’t buy it in supermarkets… (Read more about Moonshine cocktails in my previous blog post here). However, the cocktails we made this night didn’t contain Moonshine but were equally as delicious.

The talented mixologist Nicole showed us the ropes, making us a selection of different cocktails. With help from Absurd Birds Bath barman Palo, I had a go at making two classic New Orleans cocktails.

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Bottles of Hooch

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Staying with the Southern spirit, all of Absurd Birds cocktails compliment the flavour of all their dishes – always sticking to the American South theme.

Starting with Hooch, made up of lemon juice, saint german, traditional lemonade, simple syrup and vodka. In New Oreleans it would usually be made with Moonshine, but we used vodka. It can also be made with bourbon, gin or elderflower. This was the welcome drink given to us which didn’t taste alcoholic at all – but trust me, after a few it did!

The first cocktail we learnt to make was the Hurricane. Nicole gave us a quick run down the the history of this cocktail and informed us that this drink was developed in World War II. With this cocktail Nicole told us that they would usually only add a dash of orange juice in bars in New Orleans, however, we used more orange and cranberry juice in the Absurd cocktails. (I would have been happy with just a dash of juice – but it’s probably safer to add more). We garnished the drink with a slice of orange and a sweet cherry on a stick.

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The second cocktail was called Hand Grenade!

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This cocktail was made famous in a bar called 717 in New Orleans. A celebrity wanted a cocktail stronger than the Hurricane and this is when the Hand Grenade was created.

The true cocktail contains 200ml of alcohol, which an illegal amount of alcohol to sell in bars here in the UK. However, five bars in New Orleans can serve this cocktail with the traditional measurement of alcohol. This cocktail is made up of 15ml gin, 15ml melon liqueur, 15ml (of something I can’t remember right now), 25ml orange juice and 25ml of cranberry juice.

 “It looks like a cos-mojito…” – as said by my pal Rosie

Full of bad jokes that girl 😉 But it did… it did look like a combination of both those cocktails. It was a lovely refreshing cocktail, the melon liqueur really stood out, giving it a fresh, light taste and making it taste slightly creamy too.

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Now not only did they supply us with a selection of delicious drinks but they then brought out a plate of American pancakes with fried chicken on top and a drizzle of maple syrup.

(There was more syrup on the table, don’t worry, a drizzle of syrup is never enough for me).

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I know this blog post is about cocktails but MY GOD WERE THESE PANCAKES AMAZING! Fluffy but a little crispy on the edges, just the right amount of thick pancakeness. A melt in the mouth delight. Once we all received our food the conversations stopped. I can truly say they were the BEST PANCAKES I’ve had in a VERY LONG TIME! Best pancake day ever!

Two extra little cocktail masterclass tips I learnt:

  1. You can tell when the cocktail is ready and shaken well because the shaker will become frosty on the outside- making your hands extremely cold.
  2. The garnish on the side of a cocktail glass is usually placed by the straw so you can smell the garnish as you drink; to compliment the flavours of the drink.

Amazing music duo!! The Belle Adventure

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If you haven’t visited Absurd Bird yet GO! They currently have four restaurants around the UK: Bath, Soho & Spitalfields London and Exeter. Insta: @absurdbirduk Website: www.absurdbird.com

Absurd Bird Bath

NEW! Absurd Bird Bath

I think I’m ready to say this will be my favourite restaurant in Bath!

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I was invited by the lovely people at Absurd Bird to a cookery demonstration ahead of the opening of their new restaurant in Bath. This was opportunity to try some of their delicious ‘Hero’ dishes and cocktails. But this wasn’t just a sit down and watch demonstration, no no, they got us involved. Not only did a few of us go up and help spatch-cock a chicken – chef Andy made it look so easy! We also helped to make some of the melt in the mouth jalapeno biscuits. We were encouraged to come up with cringey chicken related puns throughout the evening, and the best pun would win something at the end of the night.

THE FOOD!


This restaurant is all about the American South. Southern spirit oozes from all the dishes and drinks. After each dish we got to try them and by the end of the cooking demonstration we had a feast of food to indulge in.
We tried multiple dishes including;
 Mac and cheese Absurd Bird
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Mac and cheese with their ‘house spice’, topped with Cheeto crumbs, panko bread crumbs and parsley. Moreish, creamy but not too heavy like some mac and cheeses can be. I just wish I didn’t have to share this dish with the other guests that night.
Mac and Cheese Absurd Bird
Dish 2 – Spinach and Artichoke dip with fried tortilla chips. This dip was creamy and  very addictive. Again I wish I didn’t have to share it with everyone else.
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Dish numero 3 was the Jalapeño cheese biscuits – not something I would look at on a menu straight away but these are little melt in the mouth moments, very much like scones.
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These biscuits had a hint of spice and heat but nothing too over powering. The warm biscuits were served with a delicious apple butter which added the right amount of sweetness.
Then onto the chicken, the main contender. The skin was crisp, not too thick or greasy with a selection of different sauces on top. My particular favourite was the Smoked Garlic and Parmesan chicken wings.
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Me attempting to cut up the wings – and yes, I did about 4 in the time the girl next to me did about 10! And I thought I was a good cook.
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To quench our thirst we were served two cocktails by the lovely Nicole and Ed – Kentucky Barn Dance and Ol’ Blue Eyes. For each cocktail Nicole explained how she made it and provided us with great knowledge of where Moonshine came from and how it is made.
The first, Kentucky Barn Dance, tasted like eating apple pie, not too sweet to have with a meal but full of flavour! The second is for the person who enjoys a strong, musky taste of whisky, includes Jack Daniels, apple and cinnamon Moonshine, lemon juice, simple syrup and a dash of Angostura bitters.
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We then had a chance to taste the fried chicken wings in ‘Dirty buns’ garnished with spicy sriracha mayo and a pickle on top. Plus two of their salads on the side, Quinoa and Mango salad and the Watermelon and Feta salad. Perfect to refresh the palette after all these strong spiced flavours.
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A BIT OF SWEETNESS


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Dipsy Buns – these are like brioche but with a little extra sugar in. They were steamed rather than baked making them a light fluffy texture. Served with a creme anglaise on top and two dipping sauces, chocolate and caramel, on the side.
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And finally with the Dipsy Bun dessert we were served the final cocktail of the night – the Mississippi Mud Pie cocktail. Made up of vanilla Moonshine, chocolate sauce and cream. This was so delicious, you really couldn’t tell you were drinking a strong alcoholic spirit.
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The dish that stood out to me was the chicken, which isn’t a surprise when Absurd Birds’ main focus is on great cooked chicken. You could tell the chicken was prepped for hours as it was so succulent and tender, and the sauces sticking to the thin crispy outer layer were delicious.
My friend and I could NOT stop talking about this chicken for the rest of the evening, we just wanted more!!
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Ever since this event I have raved too all my friends about how they need to try all their food. I think I’m going to have A LOT of food on my table when I visit – don’t judge me.
It’s indulgent but not as naughty as it may sound to some of you who are more health conscious about fried chicken. All the dishes tasted light, and that’s why I could eat a lot of it!! The chicken didn’t feel greasy, it was all prepared and cooked to a high standard, so you would never feel guilty about treating yourself to some fried chicken.

As Andy the chef said, this is ‘In your face street food’. Nothing too fancy but just prepared well, flavoursome good food.

So I would recommend visiting the restaurant as soon as you can, I think this is going to be a popular foodie destination in Bath so get in quick!

Start prepping for your visit now and take a look at the menu.

Thanks again to Absurd Bird Bath for the invite and for Hobson’s Choice showrooms for hosting us all that evening.
Jamie's Italian

Reviewing Jamie’s Italian New Menu

The mid-week treat you don’t have to feel guilty about
Menu Review: Jamie’s Italian NEW Evening Favourite’s Menu
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I was invited by Jamie’s Italian to come and review their new Evening Favourite’s Menu. Of course I said yes, anything to do with Italian cuisine and I’m there! Jamie’s Italian, offers good quality food, a great variety of dishes, and I knew I was in for a treat.
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And what a lovely surprise it was, to find out that this menu means you can have a three-course dinner for £18.95! Bargain! This is the ideal menu for anyone who, like me, doesn’t want to feel guilty for going out for a meal. I always love when restaurants have offers like this as I know I can treat myself to a starter, main and dessert. I brought my lovely chum Rosie along for the three-course dinner.

Down to business… what we ate!
STARTER
Mmm, yum! Even thinking about it all now makes my mouth water all over again. We decided to share two starters as we just couldn’t choose between the two. And these starters were incredible! I wish I could eat it everyday! We had the Tomato and Ricotta Bruschetta and the Truffle Tagliatelle. The bruschetta was topped with a whipped buffalo ricotta, sweet slow roasted tomatoes, basil and with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Sometimes, in other restaurants, they can skimp on the toppings on a bruschetta, but they definitely didn’t here. It was the perfect ratio of ricotta, tomato and toasted Italian bread.
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Now the Truffle Tagliatelle… (I know what you’re thinking – very fancy – which is was). It was INCREDIBLE! This might be going a little over board but I really have never had anything like it before. We both said that we would both be happy if this dish was a main, we just wanted more and more of it, making it very diffcult to share! (Tip: Don’t share this dish with anyone!). The truffle flavour was delicious, it wasn’t too strong but had a strong enough hint of truffle flavour. If you are not a massive mushroom fan like me, don’t be put off, try it! Especially if you haven’t tried truffle before.

There was a good amount of pasta, but not too much as it was a starter. The tagliatelle was tossed in a light truffle sauce and decorated with a few truffle shavings, as well as a good amount of parmesan cheese. The ultimate indulgence!

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MAIN

For the main course we had one of Jamie’s artisan pizzas and their famous prawn linguine. The pizza was great, as a huge pizza lover I am very fussy about pizzas. My version of a perfect pizza is a good amount of sauce, a good thickness easy enough to cut into, and a cheese full of flavour. This pizza ticked all those boxes.

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As soon as it arrived I thought “Yes, I can even see there is a good amount of tomato sauce on that pizza”. Easy to cut into, you can find some places that make pizzas so hard on the bottom you are struggling to cut into it, but not here. Even though the pizza was a margerita, which was some might think is “boring” (not for tomato sauce lovers like me) it was topped with Italian herbs which gave the cheese a lovely rich flavour.
Rosie had the famous prawn linguine. At first I wasn’t sure if I would like it, I didn’t know if it would be too fishy, however I was pleasantly surprised. The pasta was tossed in a tomato fish broth, which offered the perfect amount of fish flavour and fennel, saffron and chilli complemented the overall flavour of the dish.
img_1447 img_1455I would to say to anyone looking at this dish not to be put off by the strong flavours listed on the menu. It was delicious!
DESSERT
Finally, the dessert, this was a hard choice to make! I had the Vin Santo Tiramisu and Rosie had the Baked White Chocolate Cheesecake. Again, this menu had a great selection of puddings which made it very hard to choose. I swear we sent the waitress away twice as we just couldn’t make our minds up!
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Now, this might be a bit much but honestly, THIS WAS THE BEST TIRAMISU I HAVE EVER HAD. The combination of dark and white chocolate shavings on top and a sprinkle of fresh orange zest tasted amazing with the creamy coffee dessert! I didn’t even think of putting orange with tiramisu but it really added a lovely fruity flavour. Sometimes tiramisu can be quite heavy and sometimes too sweet, but this dessert was surprisingly light, the whipped filling and the coffee soaked sponge was perfect. Adding the chocolate shavings and orange zest on top was a stroke of genius!
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Rosie’s Baked White Chocolate cheesecake was delicious too. Jamie’s Italian offer classic, traditional dishes but seem add a slight twist to them. The cheesecake was accompanied with fresh raspberries, a drizzle of raspberry compote, and broken up amaretti giving it a sweet almond taste. The cheesecake was creamy and light, with a hint of white chocolate.

I really think we might have to go back and have it all again! Or maybe go back multiple times because I want to try nearly everything on this new menu. One thing I would love Jamie’s Italian to do, in relation to the desserts, is to offer small tasters of all four puddings on one plate. As it really was too hard to choose between them all. But if not, well, I guess we’re going to have to have two desserts each!

This menu offers a selection of traditional Italian dishes with a contemporary twist. It really is amazing value to get, a normal portion size, three-course meal for £18.95, and I’m not just saying that. This menu would be great for occasions out, especially if there are a large number of you dining, but also great for that mid-week treat!
Jamie’s Evening Favourites Menu – Monday – Thursday from 6pm

Thanks for reading! I hope I have made you hungry for Italian food! I’m now off to plan my next visit to Jamie’s. I want to try their Super Lunch Menu – again, similar offer, two courses for £10.95. Or maybe I will just go back in to order another Vin Santo Tiramisu…

 

The restaurant is located in Milsom Place which is a lovely hidden oasis away from the busy high street.
Click below to see another NEW menu at Jamie’s Italian:

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Milsom Place