2 new buffet restaurants for meat lovers

Meat lovers’ paradise: New eateries to check out where you can gorge on all the meat you want

1. The Carvery
1. The Carvery
25 Aug 2015

1. The Carvery

PARK HOTEL ALEXANDRA (BESIDE IKEA), LEVEL 7, 323 ALEXANDRA RD, S159972. TEL: 6828-8880.
Buffet available daily. Noon-3pm; 6pm-10pm. Last orders 30 min before closing. www.parkhotelgroup.com/alexandra

The newly opened Park Hotel at Alexandra Road has chosen an unusual spot to set up shop. There’s no MRT Station nearby, no exciting mall (Ikea’s nice, but it doesn’t really count), and not much charm to its surrounding neighbourhood. However, its signature buffet restaurant, The Carvery, could be worth making the trip here to binge on meat. Its name says it all.

A buffet table heaving with roast meats is the first thing you see when you walk into the stylish, light-filled space. An 'English roast with all the trimmings', is the broad theme they are going for, but since it is a hotel buffet, the spread is varied, with something for everyone. The seventh floor restaurant looks out into the hotel’s trendy pool, gazebo-style bar and the lush greenery of Kent Ridge Park in the distance. Not a bad view, if you manage to look up from your platter of flesh. 

1. The Carvery
1. The Carvery
25 Aug 2015

1. The Carvery

THE MEAT: On any given day, expect three or four hunks of quality meats, all carved upon request. They are seasoned and roasted on-site, some in the rotisserie ovens behind the carving stations, emitting a lovely aroma of roasting fat.

What’s yum: the plump and moist Rotisserie Chicken (above left), which requires only a dash of gravy. The Roasted Leg of New Zealand Lamb is cooked medium-rare and lightly seasoned with rosemary, white wine and onions. While the flavours are subtle, they pair well with the accompanying sharp mint sauce. The more premium grain-fed Beef Prime Rib (above right, available only for dinner and on weekends) has been dry aged in-house. Those who like their cuts on the rarer side will delight in its pink center and tender bite. Try it on its own first before loading up on the condiments.

Speaking of condiments, there are four kinds of salt to season your food with: sea salt, chilli salt, black lava salt and pink Himalayan salt, four kinds of mustard (the sun-dried tomato one is a must), and sauces concocted from chicken, lamb and beef drippings.

1. The Carvery
1. The Carvery
25 Aug 2015

1. The Carvery

THE SIDES: Man can’t live on meat alone — he needs his bread and potatoes too. So the rest of the buffet serves decent dishes to complement the roasts. Think creamy mashed potatoes, cauliflower gratin, garlicky beans and salads. There’s the inevitable fish dish too (it rotates among salmon, seabass, halibut and red snapper), and carbs like rice and pasta, cooked a la minute. There is even a pleasant enough pizza baked in a wood-fired oven. But what we liked best is the weekend special of Yorkshire Pudding (above), with airy, crisp shells, and chewy interiors. Delish doused in veal jus.

THE SWEETS: The Carvery tries to keep the Sunday Roast theme going even for dessert. So there’s British Trifle and a tart and sweet Granny Smith Apple Crumble.

PRICE: $38 (lunch daily); $52 (dinner Sun-Thur); $62 (dinner Fri- Sat)

BOTTOM LINE: A good value buffet with quality meats in a rather plush setting. The salads and pasta are mediocre though, so don’t waste precious stomach space on those.

2. Carne & Caipirinha
2. Carne & Caipirinha
25 Aug 2015

2. Carne & Caipirinha

#01-50 BLK 106, SUNSET WAY, CLEMENTI ST 12, S120106, TEL 6464-0478. Open Mon-Sat 5.30pm-11pm; Sun 5pm-11pm. Last orders 10.30pm. www.carne-caipirinha.sg

Fans of Carnivore Brazilian Churrascaria in Marina Bay Sands can now look forward to tucking into similar hearty fare at a HDB estate in Sunset Way. Brazilian chef Noelio Scheibel, who hails from Rio Grande du Sul and had previously cooked at Carnivore, has opened his very own churrascaria here. There are nearly 15 kinds of meat grilled over charcoal fire at this casual all-you-can-eat Brazilian buffet eatery. The vibe here is comfy but no-frills, so feel free to come in your T-shirt and sandals.

2. Carne & Caipirinha
2. Carne & Caipirinha
25 Aug 2015

2. Carne & Caipirinha

THE MEAT: All the simply marinated meats here are grilled on what Noelio claims is Singapore’s only charcoal-fired Brazilian grill, which slow-cooks them, imbuing them with a smoky and deeply savoury flavour. Passadors (meat skewer-wielding servers) serve grub rodizio (rotation) style, with a long carving knife. From the moment you’re seated, the feast begins. Want some Brazilian spice-marinated chicken thigh? You got it. Pork sausage, ham, lamb leg? Bring it on. But the specialty beef cuts from Brazil are what make this buffet worth the calories.

We like the Picanha (above, left: beef rump cap where the meat within is lean while the indulgent layer of fat on top is crisp), the Alcatra (the beef rump itself, a dense, lean cut with intense, smoky flavours) and the Cupim (above, right: beef hump, a tender, fall-apart hunk that’s buttery, juicy and only found in the humped Brazilian cattle called Zebu). Also worth ordering: the tender and chewy Chicken Hearts, Grilled Butterfish, and Charred Pineapples. Sample a bit of everything, and ask for seconds (or thirds) of your favourites.

2. Carne & Caipirinha
2. Carne & Caipirinha
25 Aug 2015

2. Carne & Caipirinha

THE SIDES: There is a buffet table of salads and side dishes here which you can help yourself to. But don’t bother; most of the stuff here — like steamed broccoli, potato and egg salad, and pre-made spaghetti — are run-of-the-mill. Only one dish stood out: the Feijoada, a Brazilian stew of pork, beef and kidney beans. Comforting, hearty, and great with rice. If you’re expecting dessert, don’t. It’s not on the menu.

THE CAIPIRNHA: The restaurant’s signature drink is of course, the Caipirinha ($12). The Brazilian cocktail made of cachaça, a white rum-like Brazilian spirit, lime juice and sugar, is unfortunately diluted. Instead, go for a bottle of Skol ($14), a crisp and light Brazilian beer to wash down all that heavy meat.

PRICE: $39.90 (Mon-Sat 5:30pm-7pm & Sun 5pm-6pm); $49.90 (Mon-Sat 7pm-11pm & Sun 6pm-11pm).

BOTTOM LINE: While some of the meats here are a bit on the salty side, the more unusual cuts of beef are delicious and worth a try.

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