Ante Up The Full Monty!
Mentioned the word brunch and I literally think it’s time for some hearty pampering treats! Brunch usually means it’s the weekend for me simply because it’s the only days I can snooze in a little more and then enjoy a leisure luscious brunch to hold me over lunch. In fact, brunches are treats for me and I do tend to want to enjoy and go all the way out for the full Monty of brunch. What can outdo a great brunch is easy… simply make it a porky brunch!
I have heard through the blogsphere about Ante Kitchen & Bar but I just never had the chance to pay a visit. When Chris from Pureglutton extended an invite to check out Ante Kitchen & Bar as they had just started their new porky brunch menu, it was an irresistible invite. Brunch and porcine can only mean going all out in full flavours. My first few thoughts were pork bacon, pork sausages, eggs, cheese, ham and more. Can’t blame me right since I have been known to have such an obsession with anything to do with swine!
Ante Kitchen & Bar have been around for a while and it is run by young owners who devoted themselves in worshipping the hog in their menu. I have been told by many that their pork burger is simply one of the best. And so one fine Sunday, we all congregated at Ante Kitchen & Bar located at Solaris Dutamas.
The restaurant is dressed with minimalist interior and has a warm and comforting ambience. A full fledge bar sits in one corner and the rest are table settings spread out spaciously. There is also alfresco area for those who love to enjoy nature’s ambience. When I arrived at Ante, the restaurant was empty but not for long. Soon after we all sat down, hungry diners came streaming in to fill up most of the seats. I wish I had some photos of the ambience of Ante but truth be told, I was sidetracked completely by the porcine dishes that I forgot to snap some photos of the ambience.
That said; let’s dive straight into full porcine glory. Everyone loaded up on their juices and coffees while we waited for our order. I had an Apple and Mint Cooler which is really refreshing and perfect to perk me up.
Ok so starting your day with salad may not peak your interest but these are hearty salads with a twist. The Smoked Duck Salad (RM25) is charged up with generous pieces of smoked duck, cherry tomatoes, crisp lettuce, chopped cashews, grilled marinated watermelon pieces and brandy orange dressing. The duck works really well with all the ingredients and the grilled marinated watermelon is delish. I kept picking at the watermelon bits has it has a lovely smoky sweetness that worked very well with the savory duck.
The Caesar Salad (RM21) is decent with crisp lettuce, croutons, boiled egg, creamy Caesar dressing and a sprinkling of bacon crumbs. It has potential to go far if maybe the bacon are bigger in pieces or the eggs have that molten center to add more oomph. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a yummy Caesar salad!
Pork Nuggets (RM15) are golden, crispy, moist and flavourful. It comes with fries and some sauces. We loved this. The nuggets make perfect snack and are made from scratch. An order gets one eight pieces of these yummy porcine nuggets.
When I saw the Deep Fried Soft Poached Egg (RM23) sitting in full glory on a bed of toasted English muffin, crisp salad and strips of grilled pork bacon, I knew I was in for a sexy treat.
The egg poached barely, crumbed and deep fried till golden is a winner. Once it is cut open, a pool of deep yellow oozed out to smother the bacon and lettuce. It is rich, it is sinful, and it is egg porn at its best. The combination of the crispy egg with the lava center and bacon is pretty much lethal. You can’t get any better than this. I used the muffin to wipe all the egg yolk and sauce clean… yum!
After that egg ecstasy, we moved on to Baked Eggs in Cocotte (RM29) served up with buttered toasted baguette. It’s beautifully hearty with baked beans, sausages, tomato sauce, fresh rocket leaves and two eggs. Though the eggs were a bit overdone (blame it on us taking too long to photograph the dishes), the flavours are very inviting with a lovely balance of tangy and sweet with savory. The buttered toast is ideal for scooping up the lovely baked beans tomato sauce.
At first sight I knew I was going to love Croque Madame (RM28). The only difference between a Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame is that the latter is topped with an egg. This dish went all out to please. Beer-infused cheese, bacon and eggs all baked till ooey gooey. The sandwich is utterly sinful with bold cheesy flavours. I can even taste the wine note in the pungent cheese. Most might deemed this to be extremely cholesterol laden but I think it’s honestly ok to indulge once in a while. There’s a side order of salad if it makes you feel better. If it makes you feel better, share this with someone. I really enjoy the boldness of this dish and I would order this again…
One cannot go wrong with the big platter of English Big Breakfast (RM35). You get the full workings of an essential brunch with sausage, bacon, egg, baked beans, sautéed mushrooms, grilled tomato and toast with a few rocket leaves thrown in. The portion is generous and the items are cooked well.
Rosti and Bratwurst (RM26) is another anytime dish that works for me. Potatoes and sausages are quite the match and because I have a soft spot for potatoes, I am also a big fan of a good rosti. Shredded potato crisped up in a pancake form was a bit on the darker side. It still has a yummy note and the bacon and sausage are very good.
Gnocchi Napoli (RM24) showcased simplicity at its best. Fluffy potato gnocchi is boiled and pan fried before being covered in a blanket of house made fresh tomato sauce served with some rocket leaves. It’s the only dish that is vegetarian among the rest and I didn’t mind the absence of the swine in this one. Unusually shaped, the gnocchi seemed to hold the sauce really well. It’s not heavy but has a pretty fluffy texture and the tangy and lightly creamy tomato sauce works for my taste bud.
Now this is what I call The Real Bacon Carbonara (RM28)! Truly rich and luscious, the pasta is super loaded up with heavy creamy notes. The pasta was cooked al dente as well. The version here is very lustrous as it oozes with lots of creamy carbonara sauce, mushrooms and bacon.
The Caramelised Garlic Olio (RM25) is almost as good as the carbonara. There is lots of fried garlic to boost the aroma and flavour while the pieces of bacon and mushrooms add more yumminess. Order this if you are not a creamy pasta fan.
At Ante, the kitchen team whips up large portions of every dish. Even the Ultimate Pork Belly Sandwich (RM29) looked huge to me. The bread is sliced thickly to accommodate the thick pieces of pork belly, crispy pork ears, tomato salsa and some greens. A side of fries and salad comes with it. By this time, I could hardly taste this as I was just so fill up from the rest of the dishes. Those who have tried mentioned that it’s a good sandwich and definitely a big filler.
We also got to try one of their signature appetizers of Confit of Pork Ears (RM15). Though I do like offal, ears didn’t work for me. It’s executed well, slowly cooked and then crumbed and deep fried to golden brown. I just don’t enjoy the texture of the pig ears. This appetizer was pretty much happily polished off by other foodies who thought it was simply radical and scrumptious. Great beer snack though…
Even the desserts portion is fairly large. We had Bread and Butter Pudding (RM9) and Apple Crumble (RM9) that day. Both are served with a large scoop of ice cream. They both looked really good and the combination of hot and cold works for me. Although I am not a fan of apple but I really enjoyed their Apple Crumble as it had just the right balance of sweetness and texture for me. After all that big portions, I recommend sharing desserts.
It was certainly a very lovely porcine experience. Ante Kitchen & Bar goes all out in paying tribute to the hog. Prices here might be a little above average but the portions are large and the quality is pretty good. Looks like I am going to have to drag my glutton gang back here to savor their other dishes on the regular menu since I spied pork knuckles, pork ribs and oh yeah… that much raved Pork Burger!
The Brunch Menu is available every day from 11am to 4pm.
ANTE KITCHEN & BAR
A2-G1-09, Solaris Dutamas
No.1 Jalan Dutamas 1
50480, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 6206 3364
Mon - Thu: 11:00 - 23:00
Fri - Sat: 11:00 - 01:00
Sun: 11:00 - 23:00
*More photos at my Facebook: Chasing FoodDreams