Posted on | January 11, 2011 | 7 Comments |
Revel is the latest Seattle establishment by the celebrity chef couple Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi who appeared on Iron Chef America early last year. I love their other restaurant Joule in Wallingford and used to be a fan of Cremant before that. Unlike Joule which is French-Korean fusion, Revel is just Korean, well Korean street style food with a twist as they call it, but nothing French about it. The one page menu is divided into six categories – salads, pancakes, dumplings, Rice, Noodles and Ice Cream Sandwiches, three dishes each in each category, including a vegetarian dish in each, except for the Noodles, there was no veg option there.
Before I get into the food details, I’ve got to say how much I enjoyed the layout of the restaurant. We entered the restaurant through their bar called Quoin, it looked super cool, definitely would like to sit there and sip a few drinks before going into Revel next time. But this time we were there at 8:45pm on a Sunday night and the kitchen closes at 10pm. So we skipped the bar and went straight into the restaurant. Revel’s dining room is huge and the open kitchen with a long butcher block counter spans the entire length of the room. I love restaurants with open kitchens where we can watch the chefs in action. And the whole room is so well-lit that my pictures turned out great without those ugly flash glares. Our waitress was super friendly and attentive. All in all, I fell in love with the place before we even took the first bite.
Revel drink menu has a bunch of infused soju cocktails which looked extremely interesting. But it was a Sunday after all and we didn’t want to drink too much so we opted for a bottle of wine instead. Since the menu wasn’t super long, the food selection was pretty easy. We decided to share a few items, and after peeking at the nearby tables to figure out the portion sizes, we settled on a pancake, a dumpling and a rice bowl.
The pork belly and kimchi pancake was the first dish to catch our eye, but there was a mix up with the order and instead of making us wait the extra 10 minutes to get our order ready, they gave us a potato pancake instead, on the house of course. Potato Pancakes with garlic chive and crème fraiche ($7)
While this was nice, we didn’t want to fill up on potatoes, as we were hoping to save some room for dessert. So we slowly nibbled on this till our pork belly pancake arrived.
Pork Belly, Kimchi and Bean Sprout Pancake ($10). Now this is what I call a pancake! The succulent pork belly pieces with the kimchi tasted so good in this pancake with the most deliciously crispy edges. How much I’d like to have one of these for breakfast every day!
Then came our Chorizo Dumpling with Jicama and Cilantro ($9).
There are 5 dumplings in an order, which can be a little too much for two. It was kind of a novel taste and texture combination in a dumpling, but it was surprisingly good. Along with it came the four sauces – salty, sweet, savory and spicy, for us to customize and create a dipping sauce for the dumplings.
Then came the rice dish. Rice Bowl with Short Rib, Sambal Daikon, Mustard Greens and Egg Yolk ($14)
This is Revel’s version of the Korean Bibimbap, where you can add in sauces and mix all the ingredients along with the broken egg to create a mixed rice dish. The short ribs were so juicy and tender, and the daikon almost tasted like mangoes, with that spicy kick of the sambal. My only beef with this dish (pun intended) was that there wasn’t enough meat, or rather, there was too much rice for that much meat. But I must say that it tasted heavenly!
I think the extra pancake ruined any chances of us having a dessert. The dessert section entirely consists of ice cream sandwiches, and there were some interesting choices, but we decided to leave it for next time. Yes, there will definitely be a next time. They just started serving weekend brunches too, so we will be trying that out sometime soon too.
If you follow my photo-a-day blog, you might already know that we went to Revel to celebrate Siv’s birthday. He had a great time and an amazing meal and our friendly waitress offered to take our picture without us even asking. Thank you Revel for a memorable night!
Update: 1/29/2011 – Brunch
We went back to Revel to try out their brunch menu, and they blew us away again.
Quoin Royale, Quoin Mimosa, Kimchi Bloody Mary.
Kalbi Burger with bacon and Shallot Pickle
Porridge with Andouille, shrimp, ginger-scallion
Pancake with Bittersweet chocolate, kumquat, basil cream