It’s been quite a year for Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, the chef duo from Joule, which just celebrated its third anniversary. 2010 started with the couple’s appearance on Iron Chef America. In the summer, they had a baby. And now, as the year comes to a close, they have another baby: Revel.
Revel, in Fremont, opens today. Most striking when you enter is the open kitchen and its 24-foot maple cooking station. Whereas at Joule you had to crane your neck while sitting at the counter to check out the cooking action, a counter seat at Revel feels like being right in the kitchen.
And if last night’s sneak peek is any indication, you can expect the food at Revel to be just as fabulous as what Yang and Chirchi have been serving up at Joule–which is one of Seattle’s top three “Most Delicious” restaurants in the recently released Fearless Critic Seattle Restaurant Guide.
The menu: Asian street food with a non-traditional twist. Look for small sections of Asian pancakes (I enjoyed the one with pork belly, kimchi and bean sprouts), dumplings (the short rib dumpling with shallot and scallion has fantastic flavor, though I wish it had just a slightly chewier wrapper), and rice and noodle dishes.
My favorite dish at the preview featured homemade noodles with five-spiced duck balls, lacinato kale, and smoked chili. And I always love Yang and Chirchi’s salads; an offering with spinach, sunchokes and miso vinaigrette offered a refreshing counterbalance to the grilled and pan-fried foods.
Revel will be open for dinner daily, and for lunch Mondays through Fridays. Brunch service will commence January 8, at which time I look forward to trying the Korean hangover soup with black pudding and Swiss chard.
With seating for 45 and then 20 more at Quoin, the adjacent bar where you can sip some infused soju, chances are that tables may be tough to get at times. (The good news: Revel and Quoin will have 20 and 15 seats, respectively, when the weather warms and the outdoor deck opens.) Pointing out the hip art and architecture, Yang told me they anticipate a younger crowd than they draw at Joule. That, combined with all the hard surfaces, translates to a noisy dining room. Hopefully, if Revel lives up to its potential, diners with have mouths full of food and not fill the space with too much noise.