FOOD REVIEW: Revolver — 'The Gruyère-filled naan is designed to turn heads'

·Lifestyle Contributor
·5 min read
Interior (PHOTO: Revolver)
Interior (PHOTO: Revolver)

SINGAPORE — New kid on the culinary block, Revolver, is testament that grilling as a cooking method has fervently gripped Singapore by its proverbial neck. On their Instagram page, Revolver describes itself as a bold, refined grill that laces Indian cooking sensibilities with international flair and ingredients. As I would soon find out over lunch one day, all that is true, with nary an exaggeration. I would go as far as to say there’s a slight understatement in these parts because the food at Revolver is not just merely grilled—it’s impeccably elevated.

There are seats in the restaurant by the walls that are well away from where the main action occurs. If you’re on a date, head for those. If you’re a gastronome, pull up a chair by the counter and watch the magic unfold right before your eyes. It’s truly spellbinding to see raw ember leap and dance before duly tamed under the watchful eye of the chefs tasked with transforming meats into brilliant works of art.

Stuffed Courgette Flowers (PHOTO: Zat Astha/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)
Stuffed Courgette Flowers (PHOTO: Zat Astha/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)

I’m here today to have a go at the Experience menu, priced at S$199++ for a 9-course extravaganza. It will take you about three hours to enjoy this meal, so timing is key. It starts with a pair of Stuffed Courgette Flowers where the head has been stuffed with Paneer mash while the stem is glazed with tomato chutney. This has, of course, been fiercely grilled till a heroic char appears on the surface, as with everything else I’ll be having today.

This is followed by an easy-to-eat Boneless Wings and Necks served with a dollop of Yuzu Aioli. Executive Chef, Saurabh Udinia, tells me that chicken chunks are marinated with yoghurt and then drizzled with India’s best produce, Garam Masala, or powdered gold as I’d like to call it. Bold and beautiful on the outside, while juicy inside, these are grilled poultry with a touch of savouriness in the meat.

Stuffed Paneer (PHOTO: Zat Astha/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)
Stuffed Paneer (PHOTO: Zat Astha/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)

From the Tandoor oven comes the Stuffed Paneer served with a slick of Goan Sambal. Stuffing is a thing here, and it’s easy to see how effective it is when properly executed. Here, fresh paneer is stuffed with Indian milk fudge, cashew nut, and green chillies before it is marinated in turmeric yoghurt—all beautiful Indian ingredients that truly set my heart racing. It’s milk on milk action that contrasts poetically with the char that coats its facade. Don’t fear the Goan sambal. It’s not of the spicy varietal, having been cooked with lots of bulb vegetables and aromatic curry leaves.

Barramundi (PHOTO: Zat Astha/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)
Barramundi (PHOTO: Zat Astha/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)

Main courses come by way of a fillet of Barramundi fish that needs little introduction and can do no wrong. This has also been cooked in the tandoor, which is exciting since this fish absorbs all that smokiness so readily. Cooked, the outside turns a shade of noir with a fierce seasoning that I can’t quite place. It’s okay. A little mystery never hurt anyone. The server tells me that this is sprinkled with raw mango dust, which, though artistic, lends little flavour to the entire presentation.

Wagyu Scotch Egg (PHOTO: Zat Astha/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)
Wagyu Scotch Egg (PHOTO: Zat Astha/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)

Elsewhere, there’s a Wagyu Scotch Egg topped with Caviar—my second scotch egg this month, which made me wonder if it’s making some sort of resurgence. No matter, REVOLVER has taken this culinary classic and turned it on its head. Gather around please and partake in this egg wrapped in a Wagyu paste, sitting on crispy potato ribbons as if to mimic a nest. It’s the first textural dish this afternoon, and it comes with all the traditionally rich things in life, each in small amounts so as not to be too overwhelming. And that turmeric aioli? Gorgeous. Tart with just a hint of salt.

Lobster with Pepper Garlic Butter (PHOTO: Zat Astha/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)
Lobster with Pepper Garlic Butter (PHOTO: Zat Astha/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)

I’m less enthused with the next two courses, but only because I’m critical and it’s a job hazard. The Lobster with Pepper Garlic Butter presents itself with much drama topped with a masala sauce that’s all sorts of savoury. But it’s lobster, you know. One can hardly complain. The Silere Lamb Chop doesn’t pretend to be anything else but lamb. It’s tender, gorgeously charred, and served sans sauce—which is brave. I understand its treatment, though. Lamb has much too much personality to exist with anything else. So this presentation, while predictable, is entirely to be expected.

Pulled Pork and Gruyère Kulchette (PHOTO: Zat Astha/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)
Pulled Pork and Gruyère Kulchette (PHOTO: Zat Astha/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)

I reserve highest praise for the Pulled Pork and Gruyère Kulchette, which, based on looks alone, could hardly stand up to the rigour of the dishes before it. Yet, when compared, flavour against flavour comes up tops—easily. That pulled pork is the result of a laborious three-day process—and it shows. It’s been brined for 24 hours, cooked solely for another 24, and then pulled and tossed in a coconut masala. This sits on a Gruyère-filled naan with lovely patterns of char which have spoiled future visits to my favourite naan place, Usman, for life.

Berries, Cream and Almond Tuille (PHOTO: Zat Astha/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)
Berries, Cream and Almond Tuille (PHOTO: Zat Astha/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)

Lunch ends with a dessert of Berries, Cream and Almond Tuille, which my dining partner saw on the menu and cast premature aspersions on. She would soon be proved wrong as this is an impressively light dessert with a mild touch of sweetness and lots of textures and flavours. The saffron-hue cream is a by-product of a traditional Indian sweet called Rabri, made by reducing milk slowly over heat. It’s also known as the dulce de leche of India and has an intoxicating caramel flavour. There’s a surprise raspberry centre in this and a sprinkling of black cardamom icing sugar which means you need to eat this from the inside out to enjoy all that flavours. I couldn’t think of a more fitting ending to lunch at Revolver.

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