*Please note that Ante Kitchen & Bar is not halal.
Not for the faint-hearted amongst you, Ante Kitchen & Bar is a place where you will get truly good homely food, incredibly generous portions and with enough variety to satisfy most cravings, and all set in a warm buzzing atmosphere that feels like you are at a friend’s place for the evening.
Pork takes centre stage on the menu with various different cooking styles, regional differences and a touch of the chef’s own creativity. There are a few stars on the menu — don’t be alarmed when they arrive on huge plates with some big enough to share — a sharing plate after all just adds to the sociable atmosphere.
As starters or light bites the sweet belly is satisfying and succulent. It is their signature roast pork belly, and is cooked in a special way that crisps the skin whilst keeping the meat juicy and soft.
The garden duck salad was one of our favourites — a smoked duck with grilled watermelon cubes, half-dried tomatoes and crushed cashew nuts to balance out the smokiness of the duck, all tossed in a brandy-orange reduction.
If you want to go for a less meat-influenced starter, in an attempt to bring in something healthy to your evening, the chunky mushroom soup is a blend of some of the finest quality mushrooms around. If the quality is poor, founder and part owner Jason How won’t use them, and he is clearly picky when it comes to his fresh ingredients and his meats. How describes to us the particular cuts of meats he will select for each of the dishes on the menu and is very specific about which bits are the good bits.
The star of the show
For those of you wanting delicate little portions of finely arranged avant-garde eats, then this isn’t the place for you. If you are looking for something where you will leave feeling full and satisfied having indulged on some serious swine, then you will be right at home here, in particular when it comes to the char-grilled pork steak, the pork collar and the pork ribs. The pork ribs are served on a plate big enough to share and glazed with Ante’s special BBQ sauce — ideal for chowing down with a friend or two.
For those of you feeling up to something a little Italian with a Malaysian twist, the pasta is worth a try. The char siu curry cream is an entirely different take on the idea of a creamy Italian pasta and the king prawn marinara is a combination of fresh river king prawn and green mussels with squid rings cooked in herbs.
Go to Ante Kitchen & Bar with an empty stomach and a plan for an evening tucked away with friends as you pick from sharing platters and sample some hearty swine and some distinctly unique flavour combinations.
Ante Kitchen & Bar, Publika A2-G1-09, Solaris Dutamas, 50480, Kuala Lumpur, +60 3 6206 3364, www.facebook.com/ante.kl