Review: The New Menu at Revolution, Birmingham

If you’ve never been to Revolution before you’d be forgiven for dismissing it as a slightly tacky bar on Broadstreet that is only good for flavoured vodkas – however this reputation is steadily being shaken off thanks to a fantastic cocktails menu and the fact that they are now putting a lot of effort into their food. I’ve always been a big fan of the creative and quirky cocktails on offer (see my previous review here), so when I was invited down to try their new menu last week, I was interested to try their new drinks and see if they could work the same magic in the kitchen.

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We visited late on a Friday afternoon, and though very quiet when we first arrived, it was soon buzzing with people out for after-work drinks and the odd hen party starting early! We were seated in a cosy booth downstairs and were waited on by very friendly staff who were happy to recommend certain cocktails.

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The first thing that we noticed about the menu was that there wasn’t an awful lot of choice for veggies. Fortunately I do eat fish so I ordered the lobster ravioli as my main, but you’d be a little limited on choice if you are fully vegetarian. Jack opted for the ‘Bean Dreamin’ bean burger, stacked with homous, salsa, betroot and pea shoots and served with sweet potato fries and coleslaw. Unfortunately there was nothing exciting about this burger. Despite the toppings it was still a little on the dry side and lacked any stand-out flavours. The sweet potato fries however were top-notch and there was a particularly generous serving of these.

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My ravioli, stuffed with fresh lobster and ricotta was beautiful, as I had really been hoping it would be, however the portion size was so small that I immediately regretted my choice. This was definitely more like a starter, and though I was asked if I’d like to order a side to go with it once it had arrived, I would have preferred to have been warned when I ordered. This dish also came in at £10.50, which considering you can get a whole fresh lobster at Nosh and Quaff for £20, seemed a little steep. In fancier restaurants of course the price does not need to reflect the quantity of food, but Revolution is no such place.

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Next we shared a dessert, and went for the Gnocchi Dolce: gnocchi stuffed with hazelnut chocolate and drizzled in dulce de leche. Though a little on the stodgy side for us, these would go down a treat with doughnut lovers as they were doughy, dusted with sugar, and went really well with the sauce. These were also reasonably priced, especially considering that they were filling enough to share between two.

Though the food was slightly hit and miss, I’m pleased to report that the cocktails were up to their usual high standard. First Jack went for the ‘It’s a Rum Ting’: Sailor Jerry and Wray and Nephew rums, Cointreau, passion fruit puree and Ting, served in a Ting can and garnished with mint and a raspberry. The presentation was great and the blend of fruity flavours with the rum was always going to be a winner. My first cocktail was a ‘Blank Canvas’, basically a Tom Collins where you can add your chosen flavour from their vast vodka selection with a pipette. Admittedly the menu made this sound way more exciting than it actually was, but it was still a great tasting cocktail and a fun idea.

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Finally we decided to get ourselves a couple of ‘specials’ from the 2-4-1 menu and went for the ‘Half-baked Martini’. The combination of vodka, Frangelico, lemon juice, egg white and sugar syrup created a divine lemon tart flavour that I could have drunk all night. The egg white gave it a silky texture and that ‘half-baked’ feel which worked so well. If we were being picky we’d point out that there was significantly less in the glass than the picture on the menu, which was only so disappointing because every sip was heaven.

Overall, though Revolution’s cocktail game is still as strong as ever, we left feeling that the food still needed some work. The menu definitely felt geared towards meat eaters, so perhaps these dishes are more successful, however neither of us would have ordered what we’d had again. Thank you to Taylah and all the staff for having us down, we’ll be back for more half-baked martinis soon!

*We were invited to dine complimentary at Revolution for review purposes. We purchased our own 2-4-1 cocktails. This does not affect my honest opinion

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