In the past two years or so, I have passed the want and need to visit every new restaurant, go out to fine dining places on my weekends, and ream my bank account to have a good time. My new goals when choosing a place to dine lately has been to ask myself, “what is affordable, healthy, and the best in town?”. This is where I turned to Asian cuisine, almost everyday. My favorites are quickly becoming traditional cuisines of Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese. The flavors are intense, often healthy, and full of history with every dish.
I have frequented Kimchi Bistro in Capitol Hill the most for my Korean fix for dol sot and ‘fish cakes’. I am always on the hunt for a new Korean restaurant in the downtown area so yesterday for brunch we visited Revel, located in Fremont, created by husband and wife chef duo Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi who also own the amazing Korean-French restaurant, Joule, located in Wallingford.
Revel is easy to miss when walking past if you’re not sure what to look for. The outside is weathered metal and wood. An old bed frame with a mattress of sorts made of grass sits on the front porch. The decor is stark but comforting: simple lighting, metal accents, seating at a large wood counter doubling as a workspace for the kitchen, and interesting local art.
The brunch menu is seasonal and quaint, with two options under categories such as ‘Eggs’, ‘Savory Pastries’, ‘Yogurt’, ‘Soup’ and more. They also offer an intriguing Kimchi Bloody Mary and an extensive wine list. We chose the kaffir lime yogurt with mango and puffed black rice, the spicy apple breakfast patty with salted maple syrup, cold smoked escolar with soft-boiled egg and pickled shallots, and both savory pastries of smoked pork belly galette with sauerkraut and arugula and the bacon & gruyere biscuit with baconnaise.
Kaffir Lime Yogurt with Mango and Black Rice, House made chili sauces
Bacon & Gruyere Biscuit with Baconnaise, Pork Belly Galette, Spicy Apple Pork Sandwhich with Salted Maple
The combination of flavors with the right balance of Korean and French influences in the dishes was a success for the most part. We loved the few pieces of kimchi in the smoked escolar salad, and their dumpling basket full of house made chili sauces. My impression of Revel before dining there was that it had a heavier influence of Korean street food so I was a little disappointed on my expectation of the menu items, which were heavier on the French influence therefore a little heavier on the belly. However, everything we had tasted amazing, was cooked very well and I am excited to go back and try the other half of the menu!
We sat at the counter but there is a back porch which we were informed will be open for Korean barbecue, ‘gogi gui’, every night, starting next week. Joule also started doing Sunday Korean barbecue last night. Adjacent to the dining room is their bar named Quoin, open nightly serving conventional cocktails and infused sojus.
Honestly, I have never had Korean barbecue from the lack of one in the greater Seattle area. I am very excited to go back to Revel in the approaching summer, sit on the patio in one of my favorite neighborhoods on a warm night, eat bulgogi beef and kimchi, sip sojus cocktails and wonder why the hell I hadn’t been here sooner!