Revolution in Hockley (Old Revs) invited me down to try out their new menu. Before going I tweeted asking what people’s opinions were and they weren’t positive, the impression that people had seemed to be brown, generic, fast food. This actually surprised me as in my hay day I used to work at Revolution (Cornerhouse) and really enjoyed the food, especially the pizzas. Plus, it’s strange as Revolucion De Cuba (their sister company) don’t seem to get the same bad rep.
Anyway, I noted people’s preconceptions and pushed them to one side, this is one where I thought it should be better.
First Impressions of Revolution Hockley
It’s not changed much over the last couple of years, it’s open as you walk in with a bar directly in front of you. There’s a large shelving unit to the left with board games and plants with a piano just behind it. In terms of seating there’s an array of high tables, low tables and booths. There’s a lot of tiles and wood with gold accents in the bar and some stand out features.
I did notice that there’s now a “gin bar” which is to the right, where they used to have the “VIP area”. We didn’t investigate so I’m unsure what it’s like but I love gin so hurrah!
As we entered there were only two or three tables that were taken in the whole place so we didn’t have to worry about finding a seat. We made ourselves known at the bar and wandered to one of the booths on the left hand side. On the table were menus and cutlery making it easy to start studying to find out what we were going to have. It wasn’t long before a waitress came over to take our drinks order.
We were pretty hungry so opted for some starters, we opted for some calamari with aioli and lemon and popcorn halloumi with tomato and roasted pepper salsa but after a few moments the waitress came back out and said they’d ran out of calamari. We swapped them for sticky chicken skewers with Asian glaze instead.
Both starters came out on some Wetherspoon-esque plates with their own side salad and the halloumi came with the salsa on the side. The halloumi was the first to be demolished and it was delicious. I’m not the biggest cheese lover but deep fried cheese rolled into bite sized chunks is a winner. The salsa was good and the salad had a nice vinaigrette added to it which made it a little bit more interesting. All in all I wouldn’t hesitate to order this again.
The chicken strips were next and they were just as good. They were on small “cocktail sticks”, grilled and really juicy. The Asian glaze on them was sticky and delicious. Again, I would not hesitate to order this next time.
For main I opted for something a little healthier, a superfood salad (smashed avocado, quinoa, lentils, wheatberries, cucumber ribbons, carrot, soya beans, mango and chilli dressing, cumin, mustard and coriander seeds). I added some pulled chicken to make it heartier.
When this arrived it was jam packed with ingredients. There was a lot of sauce going on and I wasn’t really sure where to start but I dug in trying to get a little bit of everything. The mango and chilli sauce on this is really really good! It gave a nice little kick that warmed up the whole dish. Underneath all of the salad on top is where the quinoa and lentils lay, which are great for filling you up.
I’m glad I added the chicken as it was so good. It was pulled so nice and stringy, my favourite way of eating chicken as it literally falls apart! It had a chargrilled tasted which I absolutely love. My only gripes about the superfood salad are that the avocado wasn’t smashed and the cucumber wasn’t in ribbons. It still tasted great but was just a little bit more effort to eat as it required the use of a knife to eat (and not what was described).
The whole dish that seemed to be never ending. I didn’t manage to eat everything as I was way too full from the starters. The best thing about this salad is that I didn’t sluggish afterwards, I felt as though I’d still been out and had a great meal, I just didn’t need a nap to recover
My boyfriend opted for the Brooklyn chicken burger (buttermilk fried chicken topped with smoked cheddar, streaky bacon and chipotle BBQ sauce). Served with big mayo, toasted bun, fries and aioli.
For me this dish was a little boring to look at, it’s probably the “brown” dishes that my Twitter followers were talking about, it was brown fried chicken in a brown bun with beige chips, served on brown paper. Nethertheless I wasn’t eating it so I left it up to my boyfriend to judge. He loved it. The chicken had melted cheese and a lashing of BBQ sauce, you can’t see the bacon in the picture so I’m unsure on the actual portion size of it! The only negative given for this was the chunky chips as he much prefers fries or chip shop style – these were borderline roast potatoes.
We skipped desserts and grabbed the bill, we were way too full to even look at the menu.
I was pretty dead in there I have to be honest, even throughout the whole meal there was probably only one or two tables that came in. We went on a Thursday night so I’m unsure if this is usual. Service was up to scratch based on the amount of people in there so there’s nothing really to report on. I wonder if it would be the same if I went on a Saturday afternoon but, I didn’t so full marks from me.
revolution hockley rating: 8/10
£20 pp/£40 in total for starters, mains and a drink each.
I didn’t think I’d be giving a chain restaurant such high marks but I do believe they deserve it. When Revs De Cuba opened I thought their food was far superior and I forgot about Hockley Revs. Now I’d say that the food here is better than its sister company and I wouldn’t hesitate to go back. It’s cheap, cheerful and really good food that doesn’t seem fast or rushed.
It didn’t get full marks as the atmosphere was flat and the meal wasn’t as described (on one dish), however, it’s a good place to grab a bite to eat in my opinion.
Recommended for: groups of all sizes, young families, simple eaters, gluten and veggie
Not recommended for: posh diners, expecting a full restaurant experience (it’s still a bar)
Why not try: the halloumi poppers!
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Love for you all x