A Night Full of Rum at an Ironic Price? Restaurant Review of Revolución de Cuba

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Summary

High-quality experience, although prices may make it a rare student treat.

80%
80
Awesome

Disclaimer: The views expressed within this article are entirely the authors’ own and are not attributable to Wessex Scene as a whole.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by a pink-flowing alcohol fountain, the unmistakable presence of the legal drug cash-crop that marked the evening as a sort of right of passage in ‘civilised’ society. It was the bar’s opening night; so this, as well as sample drinks such as Cuba Libres, were served free all night. Needless to say, we certainly didn’t take full advantage of the alcoholic sample drinks available we strictly did a restaurant-only review, with no mucking about.

Selfie of Tabassum & Steven | Drinks, politics, and Communism has been the fuel for our long-term friendship since childhood/neighbours, so Revolución de Cuba’s launch party suited us well.

Atmosphere

Steven: The music was appropriately Spanish and upbeat, adding an audible vibrancy to the modern decor as samples of calamari, patatas bravas, and guacamole with tortilla chips were offered throughout the night. An apt party atmosphere surrounded us from the club upstairs, with not just the abundance of colourful cocktails, but a Captain Jack Sparrow impersonator handing out branded hats and maracas – live music came later in the night upstairs. Considering this location includes an upstairs bar and dance/club area, it seems fair competition for the nearby hot-spot Turtle Bay, which has no such area.

Tabassum: The way Revolución de Cuba ran the launch party was very successful and definitely scores brownie points for the club room upstairs, where we not particularly soberly attempted to tango while holding cups of the ‘Fruit Salad Teapot’. There were also live music performances downstairs, consisting of singers, drummers, saxophones, and trumpets. Although, I personally think – to keep it in line with being a Cuban restaurant – they could have moved the decor towards a more authentic Cuban architecture or style, away from its modern aesthetic. Unlike Steven, I think their choice of radio could turn away from chart music and the occasional Spanish song towards simply a full selection of Spanish and Cuban artists that go beyond Pitbull, such as Celia Cruz, Ibrahim Ferrer and Elena Burke. Or maybe I’ll never be satisfied till I hear the restaurant, who named itself from the infamous catchphrase from the Cuban Communist Revolution, play the Cuban Revolution song, or a blatant Communist anthem.

Food

Steven: From the samples of calamari (which I didn’t have as I’m Vegan), patatas bravas, and guacamole with tortilla chips that were offered throughout the night, we can suggest that the food ordered would be similarly well-presented and tasty on another night, hopefully with more generous portions than sample-sizes.

Tabassum: Throughout the evening, as we sat at our little round table, waiters walked around the whole restaurant with trays in their hands serving us plenty of food samples and free drinks. We ate the samples multiple times of course for this rigorous restaurant review, and can safely say that all were absolutely tasty and great quality. My favourite was the calamari, the salty batter of it was delightful and went well with the drinks. I really do hope people invest their money in trying out the food whilst sipping on their rum and coke.

The boujee-looking Polynesian Punch and samples of Nachos and Guacamole and Calamari (if you’re a seafood junkie, you’ll love this) | Credit: Tabassum Rahman

Drinks (Viva Le Rumaholic drinks!)

Steven: As for drinks, they were diverse, colourful and well-made, enough to engender tipsy-induced staggering, but would have been expensive, if it hadn’t been the restaurant’s launch party. This appears to be the case for cocktails generally, and in the normal run-of-things, their Happy Hour includes 2-4-1 cocktails, Mahou Lager for £3 and Teapots (of alcohol, not tea!) for £12 between 3-7pm Monday-Friday and Saturday 5-7pm.

Tabassum: Oh boy, Steven and I definitely had one or two… like nine cocktails from 5 pm till near midnight for our very strict restaurant-review-only endeavours at the launch party. On entry, those who had their tickets were offered a Strawberry Daiquiri that was oh-so-elegantly poured into our glass from a three-tiered fountain. At the table, I ordered the Polynesian Punch, which was my favourite cocktail of all! I loved the aesthetic of it with the edible flowers, pineapple leaves, the green colour of the drink itself and its sweetness. We also ordered the Mango Passion Punch-bowl, which Steven spilt a third of from bringing it to the table, a fruit salad teapot (hold the tea), and I ordered a round of Patron Xo Cafe shots to share. Alongside the drinks we bought, waiters offered us three small free drinks, one of which had a cute mini card attached which I adored – it’s the little things which matter, I find. The quality and taste of these drinks could certainly give Turtle Bay a run for its money if it wasn’t for the price, a price me and Steven joked at the irony of, considering the name of the restaurant.

Mango Passion Punch Bowl (mystery question: Where’s the missing 1/3 of the drink?) | Credit Tabassum Rahman

Conclusion

Overall, Revolución de Cuba is a reminder of how, under capitalism, the achievements of a movement willing to risk everything are subsumed by the spectacle of commerce-manifest, ritualised drinking. The prices are notably high when the cocktail of the Revolution, a Cuba Libre (rum and coke), is £8. Che Guevara’s catch-phrase was ‘Victoria o Muerte, We Will Win!‘, Revolución de Cuba‘s should be: ‘Alcohol or death, we will drink!’

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International Editor for 2018/19 | Currently on my YIE for my BSc Politics and International Relations | Writes mainly International/Opinion pieces

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