Into the fifth season of its rotating seasonal menus, progressive Indian restaurant Revolver continues to hit the target with its fiery flavours and beautiful presentation.
Indian comedian Vir Das once joked that Indian cuisine “all looks like you digested some other cuisine”. His words, not mine. It’s the tastiest food on the planet, Das added, just not the best-looking cuisine the world has to offer. Hard to disagree there.
But if the comedian ever deigns to eat at Revolver, he may hold a different opinion.
Opened in October 2021, the progressive Indian restaurant on Tras Street made a fiery entry into Singapore’s dining scene with its contemporary take on classic Indian cuisine revolving around a custom open wood-fire grill. Its rotating tasting menus – comprising a wide swathe of dishes incorporating seasonal ingredients, but with a unique south Asian twist – quickly became the stuff of gastronomic legend, as much for how pretty they looked on the plate as those flame-kissed flavours.
It’s the modern Indian version of Burnt Ends, if you will.
Currently in its fifth edition, their tasting menus – there’s the six-course Discovery, and eight-course Experience and Vegetarian menus for dinner, as well as a five-course Lunch menu – all feature beautifully-presented dishes by Revolver’s executive chef Saurabh Udinia.
Our meal – we had the Experience, but of course – started off with a bang, the first course coming as courgette flowers stuffed with minced zucchini and cheddar cheese, flame-grilled for a smoky char and then brushed with tomato pickle chutney.
Then there’s paneer roasted in a tandoor, and topped with spiced caramelised onions. Nothing fancy here, but those paneer cubes – flown in fresh from Delhi – are more flavourful and texturally indulgent than any you can find in town. What followed was a piece of grilled spiced barramundi, roasted at a high temperature to seal in the juices and impart a lovely smoky flavour to the fish. Its base of an Italian-style salmoriglio was surprising, but the lovely tangy and herbaceous notes of the sauce were playful in tandem with the spices that marinated the tender fish.
If there was a signature dish at Revolver, it would be lobster. Here fresh Australian rock lobster is grilled to perfection on the custom grill, then smothered with a paste made from smoked Naga chillies that’s indigenous to northeast India. And while it’s one of the hottest chillies on the planet, here it’s skilfully tempered so it won’t overpower the juicy sweetness of the crustacean.
It goes on. Throughout the meal there were many gasps of surprises – some from a surprising combination of explosive flavours, others when a work of art is presented to the table. The beef kerala pepper rice – which came in a banana leaf parcel – elicited surprise for both reasons. This was slow-braised beef brisket that’s then pulled to shreds and served atop Kerala-style black pepper rice.
While contemplating (the good) life as we sipped on a fiery El Diablo – Revolver does offer an extensive wine and cocktail list – at the end of our meal, we espied yet another artfully-plated dish emerge from the kitchen destined for another table. Damn, but that Japanese eggplant creation from the vegetarian menu does look good.
Vir Das would totally eat his words here.
Address 56 Tras Street, Singapore 078995 (Google Maps link)
Opening Hours 6pm to 12am on Wednesdays; 12pm to 3pm and 6pm to 12am on Thursdays to Sundays; closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
Tel (65) 6223 2812