My sister and I were at SM Mall of Asia looking for a place to eat for Saturday lunch. We couldn’t decide on a place since we’ve tried practically everything good in the mall so we decided to check out the new restaurant offerings in S’Maison, the newly opened mall next to Conrad Hotel. Initially, we were craving for Japanese food, but we were drawn to the zippy and colorful exterior of Carnivale.
The interior: The interior of the place is definitely on point with its carnival theme. The walls are clad with eye-catching illustrations depicting scenes from the circus, and there are bright lights everywhere from the ceilings to the sides. The cashier area is also dressed up as a carnival ticket booth.
The service: Apart from us, there was just one other table with about 2 people. We were immediately seated once we entered the restaurant. The service was so-so and nothing memorable.
The food: What I really like about the restaurant is how much it commits to its theme, from its interior decor to its menu. Their food offerings are shown in a deck of Tarot cards and categorized into the type of food it’s distinguished as (i.e. mains, appetizer, desserts, etc.). If you want a full list of all the dishes, they also have the more conventional type of menu in a clipboard style.
I’m not exactly sure how to describe the type of food they offer. What I can do say is that it’s sort of a creative fusion type of cuisine which I found pretty interesting.
We were very hungry so we ordered 2 main courses, 1 appetizer, and 2 cups of rice.
Their salted egg fries taste just right and perfectly seasoned. It’s quite addictive and a great match to the onions in the dish. We initially wanted to order truffle fries, but decided on this instead for a change. No regrets on that!
Their wagyu beef is very tender but for some reason we didn’t like the aftertaste it left in our mouths. We felt like there’s something off about the seasoning or flavoring with this dish.
I’ve never tried eating mac n’ cheese topped with smoked salmon or any sort of fish before. So to be honest, we ordered this dish because we were intrigued of how it would go together. At first, it tasted super good and heavenly, then the more I ate, the more “umay” factor I felt. I guess I can’t call this a match made in heaven just yet. Hopefully, if they’re able to improve on their flavoring, this might work. I see the potential.
Overall, I really like the concept and the theme, but found the food to be just okay. It isn’t anything fantastic — nothing to drool about here. Everything looks nice and pretty, even the presentation of the food, but I guess it just didn’t live up to my initial excitement and impression of the restaurant. I probably would go back to try the desserts and other dishes next time.