RVLT at Carpenter Road began in September 2016 as a pop-up at Killiney Road called Wine RVLT. It is opened by Ian Lim, Alvin Gho, and Manel Valero with the intention to serve wine with a “non-stuffy attitude” as stated on their site. At their (hopefully long-term) permanent restaurant now, natural wines are poured into normal glasses, not proper wine glasses with stems (sacrilege, right?). There is no wine menu, and you head over to the shelf of wines to pick a bottle or you can order a tasting flight ($40 each), which consisted of 4 glasses of different wine the night we visited. Not sure if this rebellion against the rigid structure of the wine world is a good or bad thing yet; I shall withhold judgement although the night was plenty fun.
But even as the trio rebel against tradition, they have accumulated an impressive resume between them. Gho has won several sommelier awards, and I heard from some foodies–although I couldn’t find any information online–that he won the best sommelier in the world. Valero, formerly from Foodbar Dada and Moosehead, helms the kitchen and continues the tapas/small plates formula. The menu changes regularly depending on the availability of freshest ingredients.
The beef bone consumme ($18), with kale and poached egg floating in it, is surprisingly sweet. Kale, the most disgusting vegetable ever, is sweetened and softened with the broth, and provides some texture to the soup.
The house-cured duck prosciutto ($16) is plated prettily and while most people around the table praised it, I found it too salty. We had the same dish at Salted and Hung half a year ago (also house-cured), and S&H’s version is more balanced, with a firmer bite.
Covered in salt, vinegar, and leek ash, the spring onion tempura ($14) is addictive and would go very well with beer, but Mr Fitness notes that at the end of the day, it is just spring onion and paying $14 seems extravagant.
The shiitake salad ($16) is Japanese-inspired with its wafu dressing (a type of vinaigrette). It comes with melon, apple, kaki persimmon, and mizuna (like arugula but sweeter). It is a smart and innovative combination that works well and allowing you to forget that this is a vegetarian dish.
Burrata, anchovies, salted almond ($24) – Have you ever had a bad burrata?
The only thing I didn’t like that night was the uni pasta ($38) that comes with fresh tagliatelle and harissa. The uni tastes slightly fishy and Japanese-Middle Eastern combination doesn’t quite work. Uni itself is already a light and premium ingredient, and should be allowed to stand on its own without adding harissa to it.
Fermented potato focaccia ($8) to mop up the burrata and the cured sardines
Cured sardines, tomato confit, piparras ($18)
On the whole, the food is not bad… but many dishes are prepped beforehand and not cooked a la minute; a la minute is something I expect from a good restaurant. Furthermore, with the restriction of pairing food with natural wines–that is, any food must be able to complement any wine due to the restaurant’s “non-stuffy attitude” towards wine–Valero has scaled down much flavours from his previous endeavours; the food has taken a backseat to wines, and thus it has lost the boldness and originality found in his previous restaurants. The food is still good, just that it is not as memorable as Foodbar Dada and Moosehead where he worked before RVLT. You win some, you lose some. We paid $274 for four persons.
38 Carpenter Street, Level 1, Singapore 059917
tel: +65 93881436
You may be interested in…
–La Cala, Duo Galleria: Fantastic Spanish Food, Probably One of the Best in Singapore
–Pura Brasa, Tanjong Pagar Centre: Spanish Restaurant Created by THE Josper Grill Company
–Tapas Club, Orchard Central: Affordable Spanish Food by Binomio Chef Jose Alonso and Michelin Starred Chef Manuel Berganza
–Ola Cocina Del Mar, MBFC: Steep but Superb Spanish Food by Alumnus from 3 Michelin-starred Santi
Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.