Out For Dinner At Revolucion De Cuba, BelfastPublished On Sunday 24 Feb 2019 by Sticky Beak
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Whenever I find something good I like to spread the joy – I’m a nice little birdie like that. The Man Bird and his colleague had to go to Belfast on business, so myself and the Better Half (BH) of the Work Slave (WS), His Nibs’ colleague, tagged along (a) to keep them on the straight and narrow, and (b) to do a bit of sight-seeing.
Having settled ourselves in at Jury’s Inn and unpacked, showered, and titivated, it was time to do a little exploring and experience some of Belfast’s Craic. First up was the National trust-owned Crown Liquor Saloon Bar; a swift Irish Gunpowder Gin and pints of Guinness went smoothly down and we then headed to our main focus of the evening, dinner at Revolucion De Cuba.
When we stepped inside, the Belfast folk were already in post-work, relaxation mode and the atmosphere was fairly lively for a mid-week evening. Wherever you looked, people were deep in conversation and the steady hum of chatter and laughter could be heard above the upbeat salsa music. There was a good mix of diners in too; groups celebrating, couples catching up after work for a tasty bite without the hassle of cooking at home, and smaller mixed groups like us. Some people were having the total gastro experience, others were simply having a drink and some Tapas dishes; that’s what’s great about Revolucion de Cuba though, you can dip in or out as much as you fancy depending on circumstances and finances.
One of the things I love about RDC is that they are always located in spectacular buildings, and the one in Belfast has amazing high ceilings, huge pillars, and mezzanine at one end with gorgeous iron balustrades. As with other RDC premises, the vast space still manages to be friendly and welcoming, with a level of cosiness that you wouldn’t expect at first glance.It also has fantastic servers, and the guy we had was great; nothing was too much trouble and his smile was soul-warming.
At the moment I am addicted to the Super Stoked Cherry Coke cocktail at RDC, and His Nibs loves the Raspberry Mojito; WS had a Mojito and BH had a Zombie. Our companions have never visited an RDC before (!) so as we perused the menu, I ordered some Tortillas, Smoky Tomato Salsa and my absolute fave Guacamole (no-one does it better in my opinion, than RDC) for us all to nibble on. WS and BH were instant converts to the Guac – result!!
With our initial hunger pangs quelled, we sat back and waited for our starters to arrive: Chorizo Croquetas, Pork Belly Skewers, and Crispy Squid Tacos for The Man and me, Halloumi Tacos, Gambas Pil Pil, and Jerk Fried Chicken for WS and BH.
Presentation-wise, the food was as superb as usual; lots of colour, fresh herbs, and careful placement of all the elements were all there to see. WS was impressed by the Halloumi Tacos; the Chilli Jam glaze really brought the Halloumi, Courgette, and Butternut Squash to life on the palate. The Gambas Pil Pil hit the spot with the new RDC converts too, but let’s face it, these bad boys are real crowd pleasers with their juicy flesh covered in garlic and chilli buttery yumminess.
The Jerk Fried Chicken pieces were deemed to be delicious too; the Chicken was nice and moist, with a great crunchy outer that was amped up with Cajun spices to get the taste buds tingling. Revolucion De Cuba’s Rum Mayo waded in to add even more flavour, and these little minxes soon disappeared.
His Nibs and I tucked in to our starters with our usual gusto; he focussed his attentions on the Chorizo Croquetas, whilst I concentrated on the Pork Belly Skewers – covered in RDC’s signature Spicy Rum Sauce (god, I love that stuff!). The Crispy Squid Tacos were magnificent in their flavour-behaviour! Rings of crisp Calamari are placed on circular Corn Tortillas and topped with pickled Chillies and fresh Coriander, and it makes for a lovely light, vibrant starter. Seafood fans will really enjoy this.
WS and BH were more than happy with their initial impressions of RDC and His Nibs and I were relieved – it’s hard when you love a venue that you think everyone will love, and then they don’t; but thankfully they are of the same mindset as us.
For main courses we chose Chicken Enchilada for WS (a great entry-level dish for newbie’s to RDC), Cuban Cheese Burger for BH, the Cuban Hot Burger for His Nibs, and Grilled Swordfish for Yours Truly. BH had the premium 8oz Steak burger rather than the Jerk Fried Chicken option, as did His Nibs with his burger, and I had the Zesty Rice with my Swordfish rather than the crispy Patatas.
Service was pretty prompt as always, and we only had about 20 minutes to wait between starter and main – just a nice interval to finish one drink and order another. Same again please, Mr server-with-the-dazzling-smile!
WS was agog at the size of her Enchilada; oh yeah, I forgot to say that they like to feed you at Revolucion De Cuba – my bad!! She really loved the amount of filling in the soft Tortilla and the nice tang from the Chilli Cheese baked on top. Given the amount of spiced Black Beans on her plate, I was pitying My Man the next day, having to share a taxi ride to the work exhibition! Mind you, The Man was having Jalapenos and Spicy Rum Sauce on his Cuban Hot Burger, so maybe I should’ve been pitying WS instead!!
And what a meaty beast both burgers were! Packed full of flavour and topped with a duo of cheeses, they certainly satiate the heartiest of appetites. They have a wonderfully dense texture that more than matches the depth of taste the beef has, and the fries that come with the dish taste just as lovely.
I had a marvellously thick Swordfish steak that had been beautifully chargrilled to give it a smoky hint without drying out the fish; as you know, I have a real pet peeve about over-cooked, dried out Fish! Thankfully, I’ve never been disappointed at RDC. The Tomato, Garlic, and Salamanca Olive sauce was nice in texture, and fabulously punchy – just the ticket to go with Swordfish; the charred mixed Peppers and chopped fresh Spinach added more colour and flavour to this great dish. I really like RDC’s Zesty Rice too – every time I’ve had it the rice has been nicely cooked (not firm, not soggy) and the fresh herbs give it a great brightness on the palate.
Normally, His Nibs and I would partake of dessert but our companions were full to bursting and it was our first night in Belfast, so we wanted to go out and explore a bit more. We had all had a great time at Revolucion De Cube, Belfast, and we spread the word to our taxi drivers too – neither of them had heard of it! As with the RDC’s here in Blighty, there are the same incredible deals to be snagged such as 2-4-1 cocktails, special menus for Vegans, and 2-4-1 tapas on Sundays.
Hot Wings for the RDC Belfast team, your hospitality was full of Irish charm.