Photographs by Tutul Nesar
You’re welcomed with greenery, a BBQ grill of dreams and cosy seating when you enter Carver’s – Deli & Smokehouse. Calling it a restaurant is an understatement. Mostafiz Kazi, the gastronomic enthusiast, took me back to the delis, the mom and pop shops, and family gems across America. The main ingredient in these establishments is the love and tradition. And you’ll never learn from any Cordon Bleu or Michelin Star eatery. It takes years of tried and tested technique to find the flavours of this smokehouse. The result – plated perfection that cannot be replicated.
Meat me in Heaven
I can undoubtedly state that Carver’s is any carnivore’s paradise. I witnessed Kazi master the grill as he prepares the BBQ Short Ribs. But these ribs are not just flamed in his special mango wood chips. It is a love-staking process. This premium cut is braised for four hours, smoked for one hour, grilled for 40 minutes and (drum roll) steamed for 20 before it makes its way to your table. A messy affair that is doused in their smoke Hickory BBQ sauce; the moment of truth hits you when that bone comes clean of the tender rib. Any enthusiast would recognise this as a master of meat.
Kazi isn’t done raising the temperatures, as he brings out the Scorched T-Bone Steak. Each and every char of this 300 gram beauty glistens with their housemade garlic and parsley compound butter. As your knife reveals the pink centre, you know that medium rare is a staple here. Completing your meal are the steaming baked potatoes with sour cream and spring onion, that wonder Kiwi, Basil and Orange Salad with Goat Cheese.
Pass the Dressing – Garlic and Parmesan Ailoi
The name Carver’s in itself should tell you that you’re in for a heavily (pun intended) satisfying delight. You can start with some healthy greens. The traditionalist should stick to the Smoked Hungarian Paprika Chicken Salad; it takes your everyday Caesar’s salad generous notches up. The brick-red paprika kissed chicken is gently placed on the staples. It is then drizzled with a honey mustard dressing, a sweetness of which enhances the punch of heat.
Follow that with the taste spectrum of Kiwi, Basil & Orange Salad with Goat Cheese. The fresh bits of fruit, peppery arugula and olives, and earthy goat cheese are the kind of harmony you’d expect from such a colourful salad. The real beauty comes in with the drizzling of Balsamic reduction. This syrupy dressing has the acidity that cuts into the leafy bits and the sweetness that enhances the cheese.
They’re On a Roll: Sandwiched with Devotion
A sandwich is about ratio; the portion of bread, condiments, protein and sauce that makes each bite ideal. Part of the equation is the messy factor. If you are licking your fingers and slopping up the centre, you’re eating it right. The Lemon & Dill Shrimp in purity is how the ocean should be. The bits of shrimp dance in the flame, staying true to their succulent nature. It is then dressed with a fresh lemon mayo and fresh dill and finally placed on a Scotch Mist Roll. The standout of this dish would be the simplicity; when you let the seafood speak, it resonates the waves of the ocean the loudest.
Saving the best for last, Kazi transports me back to true Southern hospitality with the BBQ Rib Roll. The pulled meat is sweet and renders itself with every bit of crunchy, tangy slaw and fresh arugula. Served with a side of hash, this sandwich is not to be missed. I looked up after the last bite and knew my chef had the heart and stomach that was the size of Texas.
Visit Carver’s – Deli & Smokehouse
House 11, Road 68, Gulshan 2