Monday, July 21, 2014

The Revel Room

Revel Room on Urbanspoon

Mealshare quite recently added a bunch of restaurants to their charity line-up, and I'm just starting on working my way through the new list -- beginning with the Revel Room.

The menu has New Orleans influences, which is more or less the best you can hope for in Vancouver unless you go to one of the few dedicated places like Ouisi Bistro. The mix of New Orleans, New Mexico, and less adventurous-sounding things like burgers. Vegans look like they may be out of luck, though.

Sinister Chili Fried Shrimp with Honey Lime Dip ($10)
  • Strangely bland, so our experience may have been a fluke kitchen error.
  • For some reason the five "shrimps" (which were fat enough to be proud prawns) had nice crunch and firmness but not a lot of prawny flavour.
  • Honey Lime Dip was also rather tame.
  • Otherwise a decently done tempura. Be sure to use some of the sriracha (?) chili sauce drizzled on the plate.
Duck, Pear & Brie Quesadilla with Red Onion Compote ($11)
  • A bit weak on the duck flavour, but otherwise as advertised. I found the combination too subtle for my preference.
  • Nice syrupy sweet compote that was pretty candy-tasty, but can easily overwhelm all the other tastes.
Revel's Famous Bayou Gumbo of Shrimp, Chicken, Sausage, & Herb Rice ($9)
  • Slightly bitter but otherwise a tasty stew.
  • "Shrimp" were more like thick prawns. Prawny flavour was evident here, so I wasn't sure what happened on those Sinister Chili Shrimp earlier.
  • This was a pretty big and deep bowl of filling comfort-food like stew. Best value out of the three appetizers I ordered and I didn't need to order anything else for dinner. Could probably make for a light dinner all on its own.
Lonsdale ($5) almond syrup, ginger beer, fresh lime, apple
  • This is one of the few non-alcoholic cocktails available on the menu. The ginger beer gives it some bite at the back of the throat, but not too much and it doesn't last very long. Overall, it's a syrup-ed ginger beer, and it is neither a very sweet drink or a very strong gingery one, but something in between. Good if you like ginger beer (not that easy to find in the first place) but don't like them too strong.
Service seemed distracted. The room wasn't very busy but it was strangely hard to catch someone's eye and flag them down for service. Servers were, however, friendly and patient and unobtrusive.

If you have nothing to do (e.g., an awkward silence during the conversation), you can read the blurbs about various curious artifacts in the room and try to spot them -- like a whole shelf of Stay-Puft Marshmallow Men.

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