Bar Review – Revolution, Clapham Junction.
Guest Feature by Natalie York:
Throughout my student days I was always aware of Revolution as a decent place to go, try lots of flavoured vodkas and get pleasingly smashed. Apparently they’ve been serving food for a while now but with the launch of their new menu I think they are clearly trying to get away from the image of being “just a bar” and become the sort of place you can happily go for a meal with a few friends. The menu plugs firmly into the comfort food trend with burgers, chicken wings and macaroni and cheese featuring heavily on the list.
I headed along to the big Revolution in Clapham Junction to try it all out. The bar itself feels a bit like the great glass elevator with floor to ceiling windows giving the space a bright, open feel. The interior walls are plastered in huge photos of retro film stars and the general vibe is youthful, noisy and fun. I went along with a friend and we spent a very enjoyable few hours gossiping over dinner and cocktails.
We started out with fried chicken with blue cheese sauce and meatballs with brioche in a rich tomato salsa. This set the tone for the rest of the meal, messy and hands-on, hitting just the right note of straightforward tastiness whilst avoiding anything overly fussy. Continuing on to the main I had a Dirty Dog, a fairly massive bockwurst sausage covered in crispy onions and chipotle pulled pork served in a brioche bun. I’m not someone who would normally order a hotdog so I was being a little bit adventurous here but it definitely paid off, with soft and spicy pork contrasting with the tangy hotdog this was an indulgent treat, although definitely not for everyday (there’s only so much meat I can handle!). My friend had the classic burger (from a list that included a vodka burger which neither of us were quite brave enough to plump for…), this she declared to be uncomplicated but well executed, just what you want from a burger really. Another highlight from the menu was the deep fried dill pickles which came in a crispy batter with a blue cheese dip. Having never tried, or even heard of deep fried pickles before this was a bit of a punt but I would definitely recommend them even if you are just popping in for a drink as I imagine they’d make a great bar snack. Sour, salty and still crunchy on the inside with a crisp outer shell these were very good.
Now along with our meal we were enthusiastically trying out Revolution’s cocktail list, these are resolutely ballsy affairs, sugary and colourful, priced affordably and fun and easy to drink. Our favourites included The Midsummer Mule which mixed strawberry infused vodka with lime juice and ginger beer and the Absolut Passion combining mango vodka with rum and Cointreau infused with lemon and passion fruit. Drinking here is unpretentious and over the top but fun for a night out with the girls, or the boys, so long as you get into the swing of things. One thing that I didn’t try but I thought looked quite fun are the cocktail boxes where you can order a box with spirits and mixers for friends to try out making their own, they come along with instructions and I’m sure you could always call a bartender over (they were all very friendly) if you got stuck, if I went back I think I might give that a go.
Overall I was impressed with Revolution, so many chain bars provide food that seems halfhearted at best but here they really are trying to do something a bit more punchy and exciting, if you are looking for a fancy place to sit and have a quiet dinner then this is not the bar for you but for a group of friends looking for a fun and affordable night out with a lively atmosphere this is a good choice.