The grill gets the spotlight at this South America-inspired restaurant
The buzz: From the group behind The Local and Crab and Claw comes Carne, a flame-focused, South American-leaning restaurant that dares to be different.
The vibe: Space isn’t an issue at Carne. The restaurant takes up a large corner spot down busy Sukhumvit 23. Offset bricks mask the exterior of the restaurant and lead up to a long pathway where you’ll come face to face with a giant iron statue of a bull. Inside, the mood is grill house all the way, with leather studded chairs, dark wooden tables, moody lighting and exposed brick walls. A sign reading “Grills Gone Wild” is emblazoned in pink neon near the bar, but the showstopper is the open kitchen, where you can feast your eyes on all the action.
The food: It’s not all about meat, despite what the name Carne suggests. The food draws heavily on South American influence, while the cooking features fire in all forms—smoking, flame-grilling, charcoal grilling. Chef Mateo Roberson claims American and Mexican roots, and his Latino identity is evident across the menu, from the fresh salsas to the homemade corn tortillas. For instance, the super fresh oysters (B360/two) come with a smoky, briny and lightly spicy mezcal-and-gooseberry mignonette, and the duck carnitas tacos (B300/two) are precisely what carnitas should be: a little crisp yet tender, wrapped in a corn tortilla, and topped with a poached quail egg and toasted amaranth. Meat lovers aren’t in the dark, though. The spider cut (B790)—also known as the oyster cut, which is taken from the inside of the cow’s hip—is charred on the outside but juicy on the inside and served with a smoky grilled chayote and pumpkin seed green salsa. One dish not to be missed is the roasted bone marrow (B450), topped with tender braised brisket and served with a savory avocado green salsa and fresh corn tortillas. Cap your meal with a refreshing passionfruit and makroot sorbet (B150) topped with chamoy, a sweet and sour Mexican condiment made from various salted fruits.
The drinks: For something on the stronger side, go for the El Padrino (B295), made with chrysanthemum, pisco, house vermouth, Bigallet China China and orange bitters. The Huacachina (B290) offers up a more refreshing blend of Smirnoff vodka, lemongrass, Japanese cucumber, cloves, lemon, coconut water, pandan and orange blossom. If you’re in the mood for a mocktail, try the Agua de Sandia (B200), freshly made watermelon juice with black mint. Beer and wine are also available.
Why we’d come back: South American restaurants that serve more than just grilled steaks are exceedingly rare in Bangkok. Carne fills that void and does it well.