Wine RVLT review: The gastro bar's new food menu that's grounded on local influences and flavours
If there had to be an underdog to rule the gastro-bar scene, Wine RVLT would come up top. While it's only been three years since they emerged on Carpenter Street, it certainly feels like they've been running the show longer. With an anniversary to celebrate this year, comes a brand new take on the food department in line with a born-and-bred Singaporean name.
Don't worry, their sourdough — quintessential for the drinking hole — isn't going anywhere. Think of it as an initiation slathered with their seaweed butter, coupled with a splash of wine. More bread ensued, but not the kind one would expect. Head chef Sunny Leong injects a fun spin in what is dubbed as dashi crystal bread — an illuminating block where a spread of spanner crab seasoned with green apple, seasoned kefir, cream cheese, mint, and fresh lemon juice sits perfectly. Not forgetting the generous garnish of caviar to finish it off. Veering into molecular cuisine, this weird-wonderful "bread" was made by dehydrating a dashi stock — boiled with kuzu (a natural root starch from Japan) and katakuri (a sweet type of mountain vegetable). There's also an Asian take on beef tartare — with the midas finishes of ginger scallion pesto. Two vital ingredients to any Chinese stir fry we can find at our local zi char haunt. This beef striploin sphere is cured with fine salt and elevated with a cured egg yolk and a rice wine dressing. It had all the makings to lighten the dish, resulting in the recurring itch to go back for more.
Another playful starter to split with your squad? Their version of McDonald's McNuggets. Although just because they taste uncannily similar, we might just opt for Macca's rendition instead when the munchies hit. They're after all, a quarter of the price here. However, we did enjoy, between bites, a glass of Clos de Tue Bœuf Romorantin 2018 white.
Next up, fresh leeks are served, in a pool of vegetable stock. They're first simply brined in sparkling water and kelp before joining a potato-leek sauce and jazzed up with buah keluak coulis, roasted pinenuts, and raspberry vinegar-pickled pearl onions. A good way to fulfil the veggie quota, without even realising it. For an umami-loaded platter to split of course, their wagyu striploin is marinated in shio koji beef fat for a full two days. The heady chunks come with a bit of a chew, and paired with eggplant pickled in caramel sugar, white wine vinegar, sake, and more. To cut through the fat, you'll find respite in the side salad of fresh kale and Asian seasonal vegetables — holding that crunch of zing.
If it was up to us, we'll give the taro dumplings a miss — its skin was missing a good spring, to which it fell pretty flat alongside the stuffing of local eringi and shiitake. On that note, the new chapter also marks the end of a beloved pasta — fettucine in uni butter sauce and Argentine red prawns — which might dishearten some diehard fans. But it also brings forward a new buckwheat signature with monkfish liver sauce to look to. It's set to be the next star dish, laden with smoked Bouchot mussels and avruga caviar. As far as natural wines go, trust the somm at RVLT to come through. Yes, some might bear a resemblence on the nose to a dingy alleyway, but they taste vastly different. Our favourite fell on Wildman Wine Piggy Pop Pet-Nat 2019 — a sparkling burst of black cherries and plums that we carried through the entire meal.
38 Carpenter St, #01-01, Tel: 6909 5709
Opening hours: (Tues-Fri) 4pm-10.30pm, (Sat) 1pm-10.30pm