05 May 2012 • 408 reviews • 13 followers
How time flies! Our first dinner at Carnivore was five years ago, when we foolishly filled up on salad and didn’t try much of the meats since the passadores came around too late. Ironically, it’s the salad bar that enticed me back again. I really miss Ponderosa!
Churrascaria is Portuguese for a Brazilian barbecue restaurant, where knife-welding passadores go from table to table carving rotisserie-roasted meats from large skewers. In this rodízio-style restaurant, diners are given colored cards to indicate if they want more meat or not.
We arrived early for the dinner buffet on Friday ($47++) and promptly made a beeline for the salad bar after getting a table. The artichoke dish I was looking for wasn’t available anymore. Nonetheless, it’s well-stocked with hot and cold salads as well as appetizers. I counted 17 in total, not to mention there were 10 dips to please every palate.
There’s also a gigantic bowl of mixed salad (cabbage, carrot and lettuce) alongside alfalfa sprouts, olives and silver onions. Olive oil, vinaigrette and ground pepper were thoughtfully provided to spice up any DIY salad.
The spread was delectable, except the coleslaw and beetroot salad which were too sour.
We hadn’t even started eating when passadores began making rounds (pork, chicken and fish) and this time we didn’t miss much, only a few beef items!
The variety was generally tender and deeply-flavored. A couple of cuts were a tad dry (especially the fish) but there’s nothing the dips couldn’t help. My favorites were chimichurri, pineapple sauce, onion sauce and farofa. The molho campanha was too vinegary and the salsa salu, while interesting, was kinda bland.
Shortly into our meal we were presented with cheese bread. Served piping hot, the crispy shell was very dense, enveloping a molten centre of salty melted cheese.
I tend to avoid pineapple due to a traumatic childhood experience. The mere sight would send my salivary glands into overdrive as I recall the extreme sourness of an unripe fruit, so raw it cuts the sides of the mouth. However I became curious about the roasted honey pineapple when a passadore went around with two golden fleshy fruits on a skewer.
I was prepared to dump the slices on my makan kaki’s plate but ended up getting a few more during the second round. They were just too darn sweet, tender and juicy! An excellent complement to the meats as the sweetness helped temper the heaviness.
The meal certainly was hearty and we finished up with some fruits before we got overstuffed. Service was obliging and friendly, and our water (with lemon!) was constantly refilled and dirty plates cleared.
Note: Weekend dinner buffet $47++. UOB cards offer 15% discount till 30 December 2012.