I’ll be honest with you, I ended up in Revolucion de Cuba because it started raining but I was glad I did, because the food, service and atmosphere were all wonderful. Plus, it was good value for money, my final bill (including four dishes and a drink) coming in at under £20.
So, that was the review for the internet generation, who prefer not to linger too long in one place, lest they have to begin using anything but short-term memory. For the rest of you, read on.
Revolucion, as I’m going to call it, if only because I like the way the word rolls off the tongue (especially if you pronounce the ‘c’), is what I imagine a slice of Havana looks like. Baja Mexico is probably the closest I’ve been geographically to it and I image the real thing to be something along those lines, except with older cars and Cuban people instead of drunk Americans with red necks. Revolucion has lots of kitsch: sun-bleached wooden freight boxes, candles, lowlights, colonial paddle fans whirling ever so sedately, wooden window blinds that make the world outside look like a movie set and wistful sepia and black and white framed pictures of, you guess it, Fidel. Well, it’s not just Fidel, there are many other pictures, all evoking that kind of sun-drenched pre-war era when everything seemed so much simpler.
When I get there at just after 1pm, there’s just a handful of people in but judging by the galleries on their website, this place gets rammed to the rafters come Thurs/Fri/Sat nights, when it’s open ‘til 3am (2am other nights). Heck, they even run salsa classes for beginners here. I forgot to ask if they sell the cigars but how much more Cuba do you want?
It’s a big old space too, occupying the corner of Call Lane and Lower Briggate, so ideally situated to take advantage of all those people on wild nights out at Fibre, Smokestack, Mr Nobody etc… inside, the bar front seems to go on forever.
There’s lots of tapas and a fast n fresh £6 lunch selection with things like pulled pork sandwich and halloumi wrap, there are large meals (lime & chilli salmon steak, £13.50) and burgers etc but I went for three tapas dishes (honey roast veg, deep fried calamari and pork skewers (three dishes for £14), plus properly seasoned skinny fries (£2.50), which were excellent and a pint of Mahou, a nice, crisp Spanish pale ale at £3.20. The waiter recommended a bottle of their rum sauce and I tried it but it lacked any real kick, which was the only (minor) disappointment. All in all, though, it’s a super place, open from 11.30am every day except Sunday (9.30am), it’s spotlessly clean (toilets too) and has to be on my list of places to try again the next time I have a night off.
Revolucion de Cuba, 64-68 Call Lane Leeds LS1 6DT