Now in its 10th year, Carne has carved a firm name for itself on Cape Town’s culinary map. You couldn’t possibly talk about the finest (and most unusual) cuts of meat without making special mention of Chef Georgio Nava and his team, who have, over the past decade, consistently created some of the best carnivorous dishes in the city. Incredulous of the fact that it’s been 10 years, House and Leisure paid a visit to Carne to indulge in some of the finest options on the menu.
After a brief introduction from Chef Nava, explaining the careful way in which he and his team prepare the meats, we were presented with several different cuts of pork, lamb and beef. Perhaps one of the best offerings on the Carne menu is the hanger steak, famed for its flavour and texture, and paired with a selection of fresh vegetables, it’s indulgent and satisfying.
Pork was also one of the stars of the show. Although sometimes regarded as difficult to work with (it’s not unusual for it to turn out overcooked or dry), Chef Nava explores its potential to produce a tender and succulent dish, bursting with rich flavours.
Wrapped in delicate ravioli and drizzled with sage butter, slow-cooked lamb shoulder is a perfect choice for those looking for something a little lighter. This small, delicious course holds its own on the menu.
Could there be anything more gratifying than bone marrow? Not when it’s roasted to perfection, perfectly flavoured and balanced with a side of toasted bread. We enjoyed it with a full-bodied red wine, but even a crisp or sparkling white wine would be perfect with this rich delicacy.
The spider steak was by far the highlight of the evening and is one of the reasons Carne has been praised by lovers of fine meat. This particular cut is unusual, possibly because you hardly ever see it. It’s difficult to cut, and because time is money, chefs often just mince it down to make burgers. Chef Nava, on the other hand, carves it to perfection, and the result is tender and delicate.
Rather than relying on generic steakhouse favourites, Chef Nava takes each cut to new heights – even those you thought would never be served on a plate. This is perhaps what has secured Carne (which now has three spaces) a reputation as one of the most popular and celebrated names in the Western Cape.
Only the silver hair around his temples allude to Giorgio Nava’s years in the industry. Despite his long career, he exudes the warmth and excitement you might expect of someone just starting out in the kitchen. He’s called his restaurants ‘a carnivore’s paradise’, and it’s easy to see why. From the classics to the unusual, Carne is every bit as exciting now as it was back in 2008. Dine at Carne at Keerom, Kloof or Constantia.