Revolution – Bar/Pub – Nottingham
When I told Alec I was going to be writing a review of Revolution, his response conveyed the impression of someone with their eyes falling out their head in equal amounts of disbelief and disgust. And in fairness to Alec, rather than just branding him a snob and being done with it [Alec: “I’m not that bad…but it wouldn’t be an unfair comment!”], I can understand. For those of us of a certain age, Revolution will forever be the place that served vodka shots filled with chunks of Dime Bar (evil) or chilli (really evil) to the Nottingham youths who could still get the bus on a child’s fare. However, this Saturday, the husband and I ended up having dinner there by virtue of having seen various dishes emerge from the large rectangular hatch whilst imbibing a pre Gone Girl beverage. The food looked pretty good, and sizeable. Two unbelievably polished ladies welcomed an impressively golden and fresh looking fish and chips, and a hot dog that would pass for regular size in the States, it was that massive. And yes, there were various pink t-shirted hen dos and a majority of clientele who seemed incapable of talking below ninety decibels, but maybe it was worth a try.
Three and a half hours of darkness (in several senses of the word) later, and following a quick scoot to the ever loungingly excellent Pepper Rocks, we consciously walked back to the Cornerhouse to see if we could get some decent quality bar food. The answer? Yep, even on a Saturday evening, even with the same hen dos still staggering about and the volume now on Spinal Tap levels. As a venue, this Revolution is rather attractively executed. The high ceilings and massive open plan are an acoustic nightmare but they give the place an airy feel and someone with a good eye for design has executed a great refit, particularly with the large green tiled wall around the kitchen area. As is increasingly common in bars doing food, you can see into the kitchen, and nothing witnessed by these two eyes was of concern.
A winning note to start with was having table service, provided by one clearly assigned waitress who was cheerful and more charming than I would ever be in her position. The menu is exactly what you would anticipate a 2014 bar menu to be: pizza, burgers, hot dogs, the obligatory pulled pork and BBQ beans with everything. Prices were all around the £4 mark for starters, £2-£3 for sides and about £9 for mains, and it is worth bearing in mind that Monday night sees entrees at two-for-one, making this an excellent value place for those who have burnt themselves out on the weekend. The drinks menu requires a review in itself but since revolution is a vodka bar above all its other functions, it would be churlish to complain about having too much choice.
So, the food. I went for the vodka chicken pizza affair, whilst the husband went for a chicken burger with fries. Speaking of fries, if anyone can make sense of the concept, ‘BBQ lusted fries’ I would be interested to hear from you. Maybe I’m just hopelessly out of step with the hipsters. Anyway, hipness be damned, the food arrived in fifteen minutes flat, hot and fresh and smelling good. Smelling of vodka. Just how I like my pizza. There’s actually something about vodka and tomato that is meant to be, as Homer Simpson found with nuts and glue. The pizza base was almost pillow soft and a little chewy, and had not been cooked in a gates of hell pizza oven, yet it held its own.
The San Fran chicken burger was a further happy affair, in the now clichéd brioche bun (although this works much better with chicken than beef), and accompanied by a decent portion of decent fries. This was slightly disappointing given the giant hot doggery witnessed earlier, but as it went the fries were easily plenty, especially accompanied by the smoky Revolution ketchup. The coleslaw was however too meagre to really act as an accompaniment, and was too mayonnaised to be anything other than an anonymous gloop in an industrial egg cup.
Two main meals and a non-vodkaed energy drink for £20 on a Saturday night in town? I’ll take that. We were served politely, we ate well and we were spared each others’ prattle thanks to the din of Nottingham’s less dressed drinkers. There are better bars for character and feeling cool in, certainly, but if you want crowd pleasers at prices that are not going to upset those on a budget, there are many worse places you can go.
Restaurant website: http://www.revolution-bars.co.uk/bar/nottingham-cornerhouse/