It claims to be bringing the colourful, carnival spirit of Cuba to Newcastle’s Cloth Market and fun is certainly something Revolución de Cuba has in spades.
From the retro 50s posters on the wall and vibrant colour scheme to the obligatory Che Guevara artworks and furniture that harks back to the faded grandeur of Colonialism, this is a pretty good effort at recreating the heat of Havana, without leaving the North East.
Bag a spot on the large roof terrace during the summer months – one of only a few in Newcastle – with its tropical vibes and you could be forgiven for thinking you were aboard. Well, almost.
It’s still in use during the winter thanks to a retractable roof and fire pit, and our group of six ate on this third floor area on a Saturday night after a mix up with our booking in the ground floor restaurant. (For those with mobility issues there’s disabled access.)
The mix up was all our fault: we’d made an online reservation for the Nottingham branch, not Newcastle, and that was before we’d even started on the rum! Although there was no room at the inn downstairs, the friendly staff found us a booth upstairs and said we could order from a limited menu on the terrace.
As you’d expect on a Saturday night in the Toon, it was packed to the rafters. It’s not a place for a quiet catch up, but ideal if you want to have some drinks and food, which is served until 10pm, to get you in the mood for a fiesta.
In keeping with the Latin America flavour, the menu has plenty of choice of tacos, nachos, quesadilla, tacos and albondigas, as well as a good choice for vegetarians and a well-priced tapas menu which offers three dishes for £14 Monday to Saturday and 2-4-1 on Sundays. The choice was more limited on the roof terrace, which is primarily a bar area, but it’s fine if you just want some sharer food to get stuck into between you.
We chose the street food feast platter between the six of us. It comes in at £40, but is a massive terracotta dish loaded with chicken skewers, patatas bravas, fried chicken, calamari, cheese croquettes and guacamole with nachos.
It doesn’t look the prettiest with its hues of browns and yellows, but it offers good value for money and is satisfactory for party food.
The juicy croquettes were the first to be devoured as well as a good, chunky guacamole. The rubbery calamari was less appetising, so too the uninspiring fried chicken. We’d ordered an extra dish of halloumi tacos (£5.75) which I enjoyed much more.
The cubes of halloumi, tender butternut squash and courgette worked well together and were lifted by the zing of a chilli jam glaze on soft tortillas. I’d definitely stick to tapas next time.
Drinks-wise, wine drinkers have a limited choice and they only had one rosé available on our visit. It’s cocktails that form the bulk of the menu and are rum-based in keeping with the theme, as well as an extensive range of rare and sipping rums, for those who really want to party like the Cubans.