I tried some stuff from CARNIVOR’s new menu last Saturday. If you’re an early bird, you might want to try these breakfast items too.
Big thanks to Adriantomo for inviting us foodies :) It was a pleasure to meet even more foodies in the region to enjoy foodstuffs together. Without this gathering, I don’t think I’d be able to taste so many items from the new menu in one visit.
Before we move on to the review, let me just say that I’ve been here a couple of times before as well as CARNIVOR’s other branch (and also their first) in Sunter (see bottom of this post for address). After this visit, I thought they’ve done a good job at being consistent with both their food and service. They’ve been around for about 2 years now, so that’s a good thing. Every time I come to either one of the branches, I’m always treated nicely by the staff, and every item I’ve ordered has generally left the same level of impression upon me: It’s okay – not bad, but good okay.
Ambiance-wise, I like that it’s sort of homey, although you can dress up all you want because it’s not entirely casual. It’s an equally good place for a business meeting as it is for an hour-long catchup with a friend.
“People have been requesting for breakfast items,” Mr. Ridwan Kumala told me. Mr. Kumala is the managing director of CARNIVOR, and he also oversees neighboring F&B joints KIMCHI Grandma, Cut ‘N Grill, and the trending Above 5 Sky Bar (it’s just a few steps from CARNIVOR). “You can count with your fingers how many restaurants around here serves breakfast, so that’s why we’re doing it here.”
Considering how many CARNIVOR branches are already established in the city, Pantai Indah Kapuk is just the beginning. He’s going to implement the same thing to the other branches pretty soon. Added to that, if things go well, you’ll see a CARNIVOR branch pretty soon in Senopati.
Before I trail off further, let’s just dive in to our breakfast right away.
We started off with an Eggs Benedict dish. It’s basically 2 poached eggs, some sauteed mushrooms, slathered in hollandaise sauce on top of a round bread. You get 3 choices of egg benedicts to choose from:
- Smoked Ham (IDR 45,000)
- Streaky Bacon (IDR 49,000)
- Salmon (65,000)
The one we foodies were served for our photoshoot and tasting is the Smoked Ham Egg Benedict.
I love that the smoked ham added flavor and saltiness to the thick poached eggs. I wish the hollandaise sauce had peppers and is much thicker than this. Right now its consistency tastes just like it comes straight out of an egg yolk.
Also, I initially thought the breads were your typical English muffins. But they’re just round-shaped toasted bread that went extremely hard to chew once they’ve cooled off by the end of our shoot. It might help to just switch these breads to half-sliced bagels or muffins instead.
Then we had the Spanish Hash (IDR 65,000), which is basically a bed of diced potatoes, sausage bratwurst, and pork ham, topped with a poached egg, drizzled with hollandaise sauce, and served with 2 toasted breads.
The potatoes, sausage brat, and ham were nicely blended together, but they’re very salty for my taste. Perhaps if the egg isn’t too done, its whites and yolk and a thicker hollandaise sauce would make them less salty, and everything on it would taste more put-together than it is right now.
I also thought the toasted breads were redundant – but this is just my opinion. If the hash comes with a bigger serving and is better seasoned, there’s no need for the breads to be around (unless you want to eat the hash sandwich-style – a dollop of bread with a spoonful of the hash for every bite).
Then there’s the sizzling Tunisian classic Shakshouka (IDR 68,000). It’s a pan of sausages and ham drowned in a homemade gravy of tomatoes and onions, and it comes with toasted breads too.
I thought it’s a great idea to add sausage and ham to this classic dish. They definitely added bulk, smokiness, and umaminess to the dish, and that meatiness naturally taste good drenched in tomatoes.
I’d add more garlic and onions to the mix. The extra acidity from it can bring out more flavors from the existing ingredients. Generally, I just wish there are more spices to meld all the strong, but separate tastes in this dish. I bet locals would enjoy this better too if the tomato paste is spiced up with much more cayenne and paprika, and perhaps a pinch of coriander as well.
Also, I’d add some kind of cheese like the traditional dish, but this in an opinion that comes from a dairy queen. The cheese would act like a gunk that fuses the whole thing together so the chunks don’t feel as messy.
Then we had the Waffle a la the traditional Belgian waffle. You get to choose which scoop of ice cream to go with your dough:
- Original (IDR 30,000)
- Strawberry (IDR 35,000)
- Chocolate (IDR 35,000)
- Hazelnut (IDR 35,000)
This one’s the Chocolate Waffle. Unfortunately, it’s milk chocolate.
Longtime readers here would know the only kind of chocolate I like is dark chocolate. Milk chocolate and white chocolate makes me feel sick. So this dish is a definite no-no if you’re not into super duper sweet stuff, and the chocolate ice cream was like 8 times sweeter than Magnum’s almond ice cream.
The waffle itself is fine. It’s dense, crumbly, quite chewy and not too sweet. In fact, I like it better without the ice cream. I’d probably go with hazelnut if I should order this again, because we all need something cold and gooey on top of our waffles don’t we.
Moving on to the next dish is the Crouque Monsieur. You get to choose whether you want your croquer to be a white toast or a wheat toast, and you have these options to choose from:
- Meat Lover (IDR 55,000) – cream sauce, onion, mushrooms, sausage, ham, streaky bacon
- Bacon and Egg (IDR 48,000) – cream sauce, onion, mushrooms, slice boiled egg, streaky bacon
- Pepperoni (IDR 48,000) – Tomato sauce, sliced tomatoes, pepperoni, sausage
- Mix Cheese (IDR 48,000) – Tomato sauce, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, cream cheese
We were served with the Bacon and Egg Crouque Monsieur.
The biggest contributor to my love for this dish is the eggs and the melted mozzarella here. The wheat toast was crusty and flavorful too – each slice is studded with sesame seeds. All the bittersweet taste from the warm mushrooms, the fragrant bread, the dairy, and the herbaceous greens make this a good sandwich. Those greens are fresh as well, so all in all, even though this isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing dish, it’s one of my favorites so far.
Next we had the Carnivor Big Breakfast (IDR 69,000) – it’s a plateful of baked beans, sauteed mushrooms, sausage bratwurst, pork bacon, some fried fish, omelette, and white toast.
Obviously I didn’t try the pork bacon (no pork), but everything else tasted great – even without the onion-laden baked bean sauce. I love the brat as it is – so limber, yet easy to chew. The softer consistency to that would be the fluffy omelette, which is even more delicious to pair with the featherlike fish. You just get all kinds of textures here, and that makes it a breakfast of champs.
Now let me just hold your attention for a second. Because there were so many dishes served on 5 tables or so, not everybody got the chance to try out every single dish. We all rotated from one table to the next to take pictures, but because everybody had to take pictures, we had to have a second round of rotation for tasting.
There were 3 dishes I captured, but didn’t get to taste. So let’s have a feast just for your eyes for just a moment:
1. The affogato,
2. Le bread pudding,
3. And this sandwich.
Based on everything I’ve tasted so far, I picked the Mix Cheese Crouquette Monsieur with wheat toast (IDR 48,000) for myself.
As you can see, the greens are quite different from the one served for photoshoot, but they’re not the main ingredients anyway so I won’t grumble too much about it. Again, cheese is my bias. A huge part of why I ended up enjoying this down to the very last bite is because all that cheese.
The layer of cheese is obviously plumper and thicker, which I just love. However, the menu claims there’s also cheddar, parmesan, and cream cheese along with mozzarella, and I could only taste a lot of mozzarella and slight hints of parmesan, with little to no cheddar nor cream cheese whatsoever. This makes it relatively bland, although there’s a layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of the cheese to spruce up the taste a bit.
Ferna ordered the Apple Crumble (IDR 35,000) to share. This one is the sad crumble that melted off before anybody got a taste of it.
And this is the one she ordered.
I think it’s a bit over-baked. The apples are stripped off its juices completely and it got very hard to bite. I wish there’s more butter and generally a more velvety quality to this dish, perhaps some dashes of cinnamon as well. The approach to this dish was taken too literally (it’s veeery crumbly) that it no longer taste like a warm, hearty comfort food that we all expect it to be. It’s so crumbly that the melt of the ice cream didn’t help to soften things up, so we didn’t finish it in the end.
Okay, I admit – I am hyper-critical and probably sound like a crazy-picky eater throughout the review. But I’m sure my comments would help CARNIVOR make improvements accordingly and, in the long haul, would also help in their overall development and expansion efforts. There are minor stuff that are just biases coming from me, such as the milk chocolate ice cream and all that cheese, but I bet diners would love to sweat a bit through their shaksoukas from an extra pinch of hot peppers. This breakfast menu just debuted less than a week ago, and since it’s still an unchartered territory right now, there’s still time to make those improvements.
Not much restaurants are open around PIK during early hours, and because I happen to live around here, I might come back to CARNIVOR to grab a brekkie bite. If there’s one thing you should order on the breakfast menu, especially if you’re a diehard carnivore looking for quality meat at an affordable price, it has to be the signature Carnivor Big Breakfast.
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CARNIVOR Barbeque Specialist
M – S 11:00am – 12:00am
Sunter Icon Food Point
Jl. Griya Sejahtera
Jakarta Utara 14350
+62 (0)21 2937 6275
Jl. Boulevard Raya Blok L No. 16
Jakarta Utara 14240
+62 (0)21 2962 9848/2962 9846
Komplek Ahpoong Eco Art Park
Jl. Ir. H. Juanda Kav. 81
Kabupaten Bogor 16810
+62 (0)21 2962 0601