Thursday, July 19, 2012


Hello, and welcome to Carnivore.

Is this what heaven looks like?
The waiting – over! Finally crowned by the a night of meat-eating. 

I know it looks amazing, but for a short time I was hesitant about going. Don’t go there, it’s not what it used to be, said some of the reviews I read. This is an experience, you must do it, said others. The contraditctory reviews are one of the main reasons i find Trip Advisor of little use. What really got me to go in the end were two things: (1) my roommate and her boyfriend were in town and we had talked about going there for quite some time, (2) my brother considered flying to Nairobi from Tanzania just to go to this  place.

Oh and fyi, people writing bad reviews, it’s not the same because in October 2004, Kenya banned the sale of game meat. And while I would have loved me to try some wildbeest or antelope, I’m totally fine eating what we can bread. Next time before bitching about it read the little explanation cards on the tables.

Enough background, let’s move on to the substance. If you’ve ever been to a Brazilian stakehouse, which are quite similar to Carnivore, you’d understand why I’m about to speak about strategy. Going to such places requires planning along three dimensions: mental preparation, strategy and pacing. Mental preparation is necessary because of the number of dishes and some of the things you might see. My first Brazilian stakehouse experience brought me face-to-face with an entire cow wheeled to our table on a cart. It was so startling, I couldn't even answer the simple question of "Would you like some?". A strategy is necessary to consume as much meat as possible and consume it safely. [NB: I recommend you apply your strategy during the entire day. For instance, I ate no meat during the entire day. Rare, I know.] And a strategy is also necessary so you get to try the best meats which are brought last. This is the more typical fashion, which wasn’t completely followed in Carnivore, making it easier to focus on the good stuff. Finally, pacing is important so you can keep filling your belly with yummy kinds of meat for over 2 hours and still have space for dessert. You don’t have to eat everything they put in your plate, even though you asked for it. And I also strongly discourage you from drinking beer. However strong your dedication to the drink, remember that  you are just filling yourself with empty air and carbon dioxide instead of pork ribs and beef steak.

Now that we are clear what my approach to Carnivore was, we can start with the foooooodddddd. Until they brought the first meat, nothing else mattered. Sitting down and ordering drinks was automatic. Then, you start switching gear. First, a small potato appetizer with spicy masala sauce. Smartly, waited for feedback on the spice level of the sauce, was not recommended for the hot-food weakling that I am, and so I only tried 1 piece of potato. Second, cream of something soup. Rather refreshing. Definitely had celery in it. Can't really comment on the other ingredients. Tried 3 spoonfulls and set it aside. Tasty, but not the point of this restaurant visit. With this second, bread and butter -tried a small chuck and held my peace. Third:


A rotating plate with some boring salads on the bottom (coleslaw, some corn thing, kachumbari, and greens with red onions and tomatoes). On the top, six different sauces for each type of meat we were about to try. I don’t remember all of them, but I will mention the ones that I did try and remember what meat they go with. Honestly, very surprised that they complemented the meat. I generally dislike ruining meat with sauces. On the very top, the flag. "No flag, no country. Can't have one." This was our country. As far as the flag remains, the meat keeps coming. Life rules and everything is awesome. Take the flag down and the meat flow ceases.

So as far as our flag remained flying, this is what happened. First - ox balls. Chewy, with a strange aftertaste. Overall, not worth eating more than one. I also got one with skin on it, yuch. Mmm, and surprisingly small for the big animal that the ox is. No wonder they have to be cut off. I’d be embarrassed with a set of those, were I an ox.

Second - pork ribs!! Simply the best. Sticky, probably made with honey. No fat, no skin. Just a little crispy. Can eat all the meat off the bone. A small reminder of that pork rib place in Vienna. Although I don't think that was as good as this one. But it's been a long time since I was last there. 


At some point side dishes of roasted potatoes and sauteed spinach appeared. Nope, never got eaten. Not the best sides either, but they were technically well cooked. Here, my plate includes them. If it looks empty to you, think twice. You don't want too much meat at any one point in time because it gets cold. Top left is the pork sausage. Pretty good, but I have similar ones everyday for breakfast (except for the morning of the Carnivore experience), so I didn’t focus much on it. The meatball – ostrich! With wild berry sauce! This ended up on the top 3 meats of the night list! Simply amazing! Pure meat. Doesn’t smell. For a bird that can’t fly and instead of running hides its head underground, the ostrich was surprisingly tender. Almost like fowl. The guy serving them quickly became our bff and kept returning again and again. 


Thanksgiving coming early! Asked for the crispy skin. Well made turkey. Juicy and moist. Reminder of the Yearwoods deep fried Thanksgiving turkeys. And yes, I do have a point of reference for almost any type of meat, except for the ox balls, ostrich and crocodile. Speaking of the latter two, in addition to the ostrich meatballs, we also had plain ostrich leg, which was also amazing. I'm quite satisfied with the stupid bird. Si, I tried crocodile. Didn't like it. It's chewy like a scallop. Has the consistency of sea food. Also smells like dirt and the water it just lies around in without moving. Smells lazy, like the common carp does (had to look that up and still not sure it's the correct type of fish, but i mean "sharan").

Also, there was mediocre pork leg. A little too heavy, but with nice crispy skin. Ohhhh I almost forgot the lamb!!! Small lamb chops with the bone. They only had 2 for our table of 3 the first time they came around. So I had to beckon them again. And when they finally returned with smoking hot lamb chops I took two and told the guy to come back. It's nowhere near close the Bulgarian lamb, but it was good. For those of you that hate the smell of lamb, this one you could stomach. Trust me. Finally, there was chicken too, but we didn't even bother with it. Might have been good, but it's just chicken. 

The Dawa maker knew exactly when to smile 

Tried Dawa too. As far as I'm concerned, this is just a mojito made with vodka instead of white rum. It was okay, but definitely not something that mixes well with meat. Actually, it is a little more like caipirinas - sugar, limes and strong liquor. 


The flag is down, we are defeated. And besides it's dessert time!!! We decided to share three different ones.  Top left, choco-chip something. It was ok, the ice-cream was good. Top right, chocolate cake richly soaked in espresso. Not richly enough because I couldn't taste the coffee. But it was a nice, moist cake. In the front, brandy something - basically caramel (a little burnt and somewhat bitter, which made this a lot more interesting) cones filled with cream.

In a somewhat comatose state, we got back in our van and drove away. In nights like this one, I am so happy my family didn’t raise me to be vegetarian or that the wrong switch did not cut the meat-eating circuit. 


  1. Lazy people beware! Lily can easily smell your presence! But she wouldn't care for you because you smell like common carp :P

  2. Exactly! Being a sloth ain't always bad :)