When I told CS of this new place I wanted to try in S Maison, he was a bit hesitant at first when I told him what Carnivale's specialty is -- BURGERS! But being the ever supportive partner when it comes to my food cravings, he gave in and we found ourselves sitting inside the restaurant's playful interiors. From the same brilliant talent behind Locavore's well-loved Filipino food with a twist, Chef Mikel Zaguirre's latest venture takes these fast food favorite to a whole new level and a complicated marriage of flavors you can only appreciate once you get a taste of it.
What we ordered
|Fries - Php120.00
Because burgers are best enjoyed with fries on the side! I love that its crispy, thick, not greasy or soggy and well seasoned -- if only if it was cheaper, we'd definitely order more because one is not meant to be shared. Good thing I'm dining with a health buff so more fries for me!
Their menu is by far the most complicated burgers I have ever seen! It took us a long 10 minutes to decide which ones to order out of the 8 burgers that Carnivale is offering. And why not? The descriptions are not your everyday ingredients that I had to google and see what's in each burger.
|Gravlax - Php370.00
Carnivale's Gravlax Burger is a stack of house cured salmon gravlax with cream cheese, smoked salmon mousse, fresh rocket leaves, pickled red onion, honey mustard glaze and onion tuile in butter toasted squid ink brioche bun. I love bagel with smoked salmon but this is the first time I tried salmon as a star of a burger. One bite led me to an exciting fusion of flavors that I just kept going and going until there's a little piece left to share. The bun may have a strong dark color but the squid ink's flavor was as subtle as it can be to avoid overpowering the other ingredients. A must order if want to venture out of the ordinary but wants to play it safe.
|Lamb - Php420.00
Sous-vide ground lamb shoulder patty with yogurt, mint and garlic dressing, fresh rocket leaves, compressed watermelon, fattoush salsa and feta cheese was Carnivale's take on the French method of cooking. Sous-vide refers to the vacuum-sealing of food and cooking it in a temperature-controlled water bath to retain its moisture and ensuring that all parts are cooked evenly. It was also our first time to order a dish cooked in this method that we initially thought that the lamb patty was under cooked. It was an acquired taste and not my type, at least for this type of dish.
Carnivale may specialize in burgers but its nothing close to any fast food meal out there. Worth a try if you fancy a burger but be prepared to spend more because it doesn't come cheap!
2/F S Maison (below Conrad Manila)
Seaside Blvd. corner Coral Way
Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City
Metro Manila, Philippines