Review: Revel (Seattle)

9 Jan

Last night, we went to a new restaurant in Fremont. Called Revel, the restaurant’s website boasts of “Urban. Comfort. Asian. Street Food.”

The first thing to note is the somewhat unorthodox layout of the restaurant. We initially tried one door, but feared we were entering the wrong side because the kitchen was in plain sight. Actually, the entire restaurant (kitchen, tables, waiters) operates from one large room. Half of the tables are traditional, but the other half are located along a wooden bench which offers a complete view of the kitchen. No screen or anything. Chefs use the table to slice meat and cut vegetables, while diners enjoy their selections in the same space. The entire space contains about 50 people at most.

A view from the wooden table into the kitchen at "Revel"

Especially impressive was the seasonal, but limited, menu. Food appears to be a happy medium between tapas and normal restaurant fare. We were quite satisfied with three selections for three people (to be shared), but another party might opt for 1 or 2 more. The menu is divided into rice, noodles, dumplings, salads, pancakes and other broad asian food categories. We selected a pancake (with pork belly), a rice dish (with short rib and jicama) and a dumpling dish (with chorizo). The clear winner of three was the rice dish. Of the three, the pancake was the least memorable. Each dish comes with four sauces for accompaniment, which were quite good. Chopsticks are the utensil of choice at Revel.

All and all, I appreciated the novel organization of the restaurant space. The menu offered ample selections, while utilizing enough restraint to allow the chef to master each dish. I thought the pancake needed some work, but generally enjoyed the experience. Each dish averages around $10, so it’s not unreasonably priced either.

Recommendation: Go there!

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