Seattle's culinary scene includes many East and Southeast Asian food establishments: authentic mom-and-pop places in the ID (International District), "fusion" joints (whatever that means), and everything in between. Revel is Korean-inspired, and Chef Yang's heritage plays a big role in the dishes, while her husband's French-trained culinary education finds its way through the food as well, albeit subtly. I rarely venture from my predictable menu choice here, and consistently order the short rib rice bowl for dinner. I'm not too tempted to try another main course, not because I don't think I'll like them, but because the rice bowl is precisely why I go to Revel. It balances five main ingredients: daikon, short ribs, mustard greens, rice, and an egg so that each flavor and texture lends itself to the next. The crunchy, pickled daikon complements the tender, cooked-to-perfection short rib, and the rice and egg round out the dish. Before digging in, I judiciously slather the red hot sauce over the rice and stir my bowl, making sure the egg has coated everything evenly (the above picture is how the dish looks when ordered).
The short rib rice bowl at Revel is a dish that I crave quite often. Luckily for me, it's a menu mainstay.I do like to be more adventurous when it comes to side dishes and recently tried a seasonal carrot pancake when ordering take-out from here. It came with a lemon-yogurt dressing and was the perfect fall appetizer. You also can't go wrong if you order the corned lamb salad with spicy nuoc cham dressing.
The other highlight of Revel is their dessert selection. They base each month around a theme: candy, cookies, etc. I always look forward to the new dessert menu because I know that it will feature something I've never seen before in Seattle. With the recent departure of the insanely talented pastry chef Laura Pyles (she's off to open her own place!!), I hope that the new creations will be just as exciting and delicious. If last month's menu is any indiction (chai semifreddo with poached pear and fried chocolate), I don't think I'll be disappointed.
Revel is located at 403 N 36th St. in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood