Food and Cocktails at Revolucion de Cuba, Derby


I remember when Revolucion de Cuba first opened in Derby - it was exactly what was needed to inject a bit of life back into the city.

I was bored of the 'club scene' and £1 VK Blues, but still wanted somewhere I could go and have a dance, with good food and good drinks to keep me occupied. Revolucion de Cuba was - and still is - the perfect place to do that.

When we lived within walking distance, we'd go down on a Sunday to take advantage of their 2-4-1 coffee and tapas deal, but since moving out of the city centre, we haven't visited. So when an email popped into my inbox inviting us down to try their new menu, I jumped at the chance.

If you're a local and you haven't been here before, or you're a fan of tapas and find yourself in the area, then it's worth a visit for the building alone. High ceilings, authentic Cuban decor, and ALL OF THE RUM.

Naturally, we settled down with Mojitos and Pinchos: pork crackling, olives, spicy mixed nuts and sweet banana chips.

The team had so kindly invited us to take part in a cocktail masterclass which I was so impressed by. The staff are genuinely passionate about their work, and boy do they know their stuff. Ben chatted us through what makes each cocktail, from the way it's shaken, stirred and in some cases, set on fire. 

If you have a special occasion coming up and want an excuse to have a fun, boozy get together, then I'd definitely suggest booking a masterclass. In fact, it's something I'd quite like to go back and do for my hen party in summer. 

Once we'd learned a thing or two, and sipped on more cocktails, we sat at our table ready for some yummy tapas.

After nachos and some of the tastiest guacamole I've ever had, we were served the glazed chicken with Romesco – pan fried chicken thigh served with smoky roast tomato and pepper sauce, smashed with almonds and hazlenuts for that extra punch of flavour. 

Then out came the pork and chorizo quesadillas – crisp grilled flour tortilla with roasted pork belly, smoked chilli jam, chorizo, cheese and sour cream. I think these could have done with more filling, but hey, I'm just greedy.

Albondigas – homemade meatballs made with beef, pork and chorizo, served in a rich tomato sauce.

My personal favourite and one for you veggies out there: cauliflower wings. I'm not usually a huge fan of cauliflower, but they've put their own naughty spin on it here. The cauliflower florets are lightly fried in mojito batter, and then served with a creamy goat’s cheese and honey sauce and a smoky tomato salsa. SO GOOD. 

Roasted butternut squash with peppers, smoked chilli jam and a goat’s cheese and honey sauce.

And finally, a couple of delicious grilled sardines topped with a smoky tomato salsa.

You don't think that's it, do you? You should know me better by now.

That was just the starters.

More cocktails please...

And then on to the mains. 

There was one in particular I'd been looking forward to: the flaming albondiga burrito – homemade pork, beef and chorizo meatballs, spicy rum sauce, jalapenos, sour cream, bird’s eye chillies, smoky tomato salsa, cheese and spicy tomato rice wrapped in a flour tortilla and served with nachos and retried beans. 

We were warned that this was 'not for the faint hearted' and so most of our table shyed away from trying it. I'm a huge fan of spicy food, and I don't know if I've just had one too many madras-hot curries at the local balti, but it wasn't that spicy. 

It was tasty, don't get me wrong, but don't be put off because you think it'll be too hot. It's got a nice little kick, but nothing you can't handle, trust me.

Then we tried a few burgers, my favourite being the classic pork and chorizo burger – flat iron beef burger combined with pork and chorizo, topped with smoked cheddar and caramelised onions, served with fries and aioli, obvs...

By this point, I was obviously ready to burst, but with the promise of a CHURRO CHEESECAKE (you heard that right) and sweet nachos, I just had to keep on fighting on.

And boy am I glad I did!

If you're out for cocktails with the girls and you have a bit of a sweet tooth, order some sweet nachos IMMEDIATELY. I've been craving them ever since and will definitely be trying to recreate these at home.

The churro cheesecake was obviously amazing too, but verrrry sweet and sickly when youve just devoured pretty much everything on the menu, so probably one to order after a light lunch. 

With Cuban coffees to finish, we headed out into the bitter cold to walk off all of the amazing food we'd just eaten, and I got that lovely warm fuzzy feeling you get after your Christmas dinner, or your mums Sunday roast.

You know, I'm a bit of a "chain restaurant snob"; I love finding indie, up-and-coming restaurants that no one knows about. But there's something to be said about Revolucion de Cuba. The staff are so unbelievably passionate about what they do; it's not just a bar or waitress job to pay off their student loans. They're turning it into their career, and I love that.

The managers go out to Cuba to try the authentic food so that they can recreate it in their kitchens, and they care about providing top-notch customer service. 

One thing I didn't know, was they they have quite an extensive brunch menu. Will I be heading back for breakfast burritos? 100% yes.

Thanks so much to Revolucion de Cuba for having us - and for the straw hats too...

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