Maybe we’ve watched too many episodes of Kitchen Nightmares, but these days when we see an extensive menu at a bar or restaurant, it fills us with dread.
Besides the fact that having too many choices will make it harder to choose, we also wonder how fresh the food can be for such a wide variety of dishes. And so it was that us three Saucy Ladies nervously cast an eye over Revolution’s new menu, all 13 sections of it; *deep breath*: Snacks, Sharing, Pizzas, Burgers, Sandwiches, Flatbreads, Dogs, Mains, Small Plates, Burritos, Fresh Salads, Desserts and Sides – each section with at least a couple of choices.
Obviously Revolution are trying to show that they’re as serious about food as they are about cocktails and vodka, but at first glance the amount of dishes on offer is quite befuddling. It’s well-marked for vegetarian, gluten-free and low calorie dishes though (you can filter the choices on the online version too), which is helpful, and no doubt some people will love having so much to choose from.
We looked at the menu dozens of times in the days leading up to our visit, but still hadn’t decided what to order when we arrived. Luckily, we were pointed in the direction of Revolution’s well-known cocktail menu upon arrival, so we happily sipped away at a selection of Pornstar Martinis (passion fruit, vodka and bubbly – yum!) and Sours whilst continuing to peruse the menu.
The interior of Revolution is large, spacious and funky – it’s got some nice booths to sit in, high tables if you’re just having a quick drink with friends, or long tables if you’re coming with a larger group, plus a nice cosy seating area on the upstairs balcony if you want somewhere a bit quieter.
There are fairy lights and chandeliers dotted about the place to keep things well lit without being too bright. Now, enough with the interior design stuff, on to the food!
I decided to be the bravest of our group and go for the most bizarre option on the menu, the Hell Fire Fizz Bomb – it contained spicy pork n’duja (think of falafel, made from chorizo) with smoked cheddar cheese, roquito peppers, Revolution’s suicide sauce, Big Easy mayo and to top it all off, popping candy. Yes, popping candy. On a burger. (There’s also a burger that comes with Wotsits, which I’ve heard isn’t as unpleasant as it sounds).
The burger was hefty without being too intimidating, and the flavours were a great mix of picante sweetness and meaty savouriness. The popping candy didn’t have much impact – it was more like slightly sweet, creamy butter and tasted okay alongside the richness and slow-rising heat of the n’duja. On the side were a decent portion of fries and a token amount of slaw – the fries were fine, but I would liked to have had a bit more slaw. I love slaw.
I also asked for a selection of Revolution’s sauces, being the resident Queen of Condiments in our group – their house ketchup was smoky and the right level of sweet, with a detectable amount of paprika; the Smokinaise was light, creamy and flavoursome; the bourbon sauce was sticky and rich without being sickly, but my favourite was the chorizo ketchup – it reminded me of the spicy tomato bravas sauce you get with Spanish food, and I polished it off happily with my fries.
I ended with another brave choice, The Chocolate Fluffwich: ‘Fluffy dough, sandwiched together with chocolate and fluff marshmallow in a sweet batter, served with blueberry sauce’ – it didn’t look the most appetising when it appeared, but the minute we each took a bite we exchanged looks of guilty pleasure. It was Good. My word, it was filthy, but it was good.
Served warm with chocolate and marshmallow still oozing in the centre, the whole thing felt like swapping bodies with Junk-Food-Era Elvis. The blueberry sauce cut through the intense sweetness perfectly, making this just the right side of indulgent. Despite this being one of the richest desserts I’ve ever had, I’d definitely order the Fluffwich again – it has to be the ultimate dirty, sweet comfort food out there.
As my only experience of Revolution is downing lines of sickly sweet shots in my uni days, or the worst new years eve of my life, I didn’t really know what to expect from Revolution.
I opted for The Bourbon Bad Boy described as ‘Double beef burger basted in bourbon chipotle sauce stacked with bacon, American cheese, vine tomatoes and onion rings. Served with a mug of Cajun dusted skin-on fries.’ Burgers are one of my favourite foods, and bourbon chipotle sauce sounded right up my street.
Unfortunately this burger didn’t deliver in promise or taste, but then there is a lot to live up to with places like Byron, The Burger Joint and The Hobgoblin in town. The sauce was absolutely delicious – smoky and spicy with a real kick, but instead of the meat being basted in it, it was simply served on the side. This was great for dipping the chips in but left a very meaty (and overcooked) burger behind with no flavour.
The fried pickles were the highlight of the meal for me. Cooked in a crispy coating whilst maintaining their salty crunch they were absolute heaven. I would never have thought to serve them with a blue cheese mayo but it worked really well.
The pudding I went for was the trio of mousses including Mojito, Chocolate and Strawberry. Each flavour was served in shot glass and looked promising but again I was disappointed.
The Mojito mouse was definitely the most flavoursome but paled in comparison to the Chocolate Fluffwich, which was one of the most disgustingly delicious things I have ever eaten.
Of course I had to have the Crab Mac’n’Cheese, OF COURSE! Nothing is more comforting than a bowl of pasta and cheese and some premium seafood. The mac’n’cheese was actually quite light despite its heavy reputation and there was a good amount of crab meat to get a good flavour and texture from it. The only drawback was that it could have been cheesier, but I always love things cheesier.
I ordered a side of fat chips to try out all the dips. They were super nice, crisp and fluffy and were perfect for dipping an unfair amount of smokenaise.
After such a massive meal, I thought opting for cookies and milk was the best option. The cookie was nice, nothing out of the ordinary but the strawberry milk was quite lovely and I would have liked a little more of it.
I enjoyed my meal but would probably only go for a main as their meals pack a punch and fill you up. I didn’t need a breakfast the next day!
The Final Verdict
Overall, Revolution are doing their best to re-brand and in terms of menu and interior they are doing a good job so far. With a crowded market for burgers in Bristol, it’s probably best to be different.
We loved the chorizo balls but weren’t quite sure about the meat-heavy Bad Boy. We hope their new menu gets off to a good start as it was evident they took their time to really think about their menu offerings – just make sure you don’t take along an indecisive person!
19-21 St Nicholas Street, BS1 1UA
0117 930 4335
Disclaimer doodle: This meal was provided free of charge, but we were not asked to write a positive review, or asked to send any copy in advance, or do anything else that would compromise our mega integrity and professionalism*.
*We all had heartburn the next day from eating too much :*(