the upstairs and the kitchen

Last night I went to Carne in Keerom street for the first time.  I was looking forward to eating there as I have heard so much about the place.

It’s a very impressive looking restaurant, minimalist chic  meets new york loft with a lot of steel and wood finishes.

the downstairs part of the restaurant

But I’m there for the food, or more appropriately the meat.

The waitress brings us the platter of raw meat to show us the cuts and advise us how each piece is prepared. Its possibly the best looking assortment of raw meat I have ever seen.

the various cuts to choose awesome does this look?

It’s a very difficult choice as I find many of these quite appealing.

In the end, I decide against the hanger steak and opt for the more ‘all round’ rib eye. We then choose from a very impressive range of side dishes and sauces and settle on chips, steamed tender stem broccoli and a side salad.  Both with a mushroom and brandy sauce.

The waitress was very charming and knowledgeable as well as very attentive, but I did get the strong sense of ‘up selling’ going on.  Never a favourite feature of mine amongst waitrons.  It starts out with the question ‘would you like sparkling or still water’, to which I always reply ‘tap, with ice but no lemon’.

I have a particular and fairly strong view point around bottled water, but I’ll leave that little rant to later in the week when I get to blog about the topic as part of ‘Blog Action Day 2010 – Water’

Our food arrives and looks like this:

sirloin at carne

My friends sirloin, cut into strips.

my slightly pale rib eye

My first impression of my steak after cutting it was that it was incredibly pale in colour, almost veal like, and was very tough for what was supposed to be cooked medium rare.

The manager came to the table at the begining and I asked him if he thought this was medium rare and why it was so pale.  The reposnse was that its a very white cut of meat (even though it looked very, very red on the raw platter) and that it was medium rare even though very little blood could be seen.

I like a lot of blood to be seen.

I also like the medium rare texture that is soft to the touch, easy to cut and tends to be melt in the mouth.  My rib eye was none of the above.  It was a bit of a tackle to cut my way through it.

So I didnt stand my ground, wasnt in the mood for an argument, I was having a lovely time with a very special friend down from Joburg.

I enjoy a nice rib eye and got very up close and personal with one here, where we made hand cut burgers using a very nice aged piece. They were so juicy and tender, and one of the best burgers I have eaten.

Despite this, the flavour was quite special and certainly different.  Even the sirloin had an exceptional taste.  I knew we were eating meat of a particularly high quality.

Apart from my dissapointement over the texture and degree of cooked-ness, I would definitely like to return at least one more time.  I would try the ravioli starter and I would choose the hanger steak, or if I had a willing partner, the La Fiorentina, which is 1.2kgs of grass fed T bone.

the table setting at carne
i loved the interior deisgn at carne


021 4243460

Opposite 95 Keerom Street


  1. Hi Sammy, I think the reason for your white meat rib eye, is the result of processing at the abbatoir, the carcasses are injected with tenderisers and all sorts. The hormones and anti-biotics before slaughter also dont help. You were served a sub standard piece of cow, and the restaurant is not a specialists as their name suggests, but rather an expensive variation of the Spur. On top of it, the manager thinks you’re a fool with his bullshit answer. Perhaps the only grass these cows eat is whats used to entice them out of death row on their last walk. The chips looks like they were outsourced from mac donalds. The trouble is 99% of restaurants spend a fortune on decor thinking they can bamboozle the public and serve crap. The recession will put an end to all chancers. Next time go to a place like chef pon, at asian kitchen, the place looks shabby, but the food is out of this world(if you like asian).

    P.S. Tell Kimmy I say “Happy Birthday”

  2. drizzleanddip

    Koos, you make me laugh :-). The steak did taste really good though and I am under the impression that the meat comes from the owners own farm. The lack of tenderness and it being overcooked was not acceptable to me though, especially at that price. I guess like you, I always expect to be overwhelmed and often am not, which is why I generally got to painstaking trouble to choose quite carefully where I eat.

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