After indulging ourselves with plenty of Malaysian food in our last trip, we took a short break to try out a relatively new restaurant called Ante Kitchen and Bar at Solaris Dutamas. It was our first break from the various hawker and street food, so it was a nice change. We went there during lunch on a weekday, so we practically had the whole place to ourselves. Apparently people only go to Solaris for dinner? Anyway, we met a nice chap Jason there who introduced us to several of their signature dishes, all pork-related, no less and got Saucer and I excited.
A cuppa at Ante
For appetizers, we had the Ante Caesar Salad, which was served with the usuals – Romaine lettuce, eggs, parmesan cheese and chunky croutons but with an additional twist of crispy minced bacon. I personally would have loved more bacon bits to go around the big plate of salad, but that’s just me. The good thing is that they used their own home made dressing instead of mayonnaise (which I have avoided for the longest time).
Ante Caesar Salad (RM18)
While Saucer is more of a fresh and greens person, I am more inclined towards hot and steaming food. Give me hot soup over salads anytime! Saucer had the Chef’s Tomasco Soup, which was really tomato soup with a spicy Tabasco sauce twist. I’m not sure if it was my taste buds that day, but I thought the hint of Tabasco was quite subtle, almost nonexistent.
Chef’s Tomasco Soup (RM12)
The Chunky Mushroom Soup, on the other hand, was a totally different story. I absolutely loved the thick texture with plenty of earthy mushrooms within that I almost refused to share this. This is what I mean when I talk about a big bowl of steaming hot soup perfect as comfort food.
Chunky Mushroom Soup (RM12)
Plenty of earthy mushrooms
When it came to mains, as much as we wanted to try the pork knuckles, we knew we wouldn’t have been able to finish them. So instead, we ordered the next best thing - Up the Ante Pork Burger. This was a relatively sizable burger of Ante special pork patty wrapped with bacon strips and interestingly, served with raisin bun! It was the first time I had a burger with sweet bun and frankly, it did take some getting used to. It was a mixed reaction on my first bite, but after a couple more, I started to acquire the different mix of sweet and savoury flavours that perhaps that chef was trying to achieve. It also helped that the pork patty was juicy and tender, layered with pork bacon at the bottom. Who doesn’t love pork bacon? My only tiny gripe? The mayonnaise in the burger! Fortunately, it was nicely laced on a piece of lettuce which could be easily removed from the stack. If you are particular about mayonnaise like me, remember to let them know during your order. The wait staff was friendly and accommodating during our visit.
Up the Ante Pork Burger (RM35)
Raisin bun, what a twist!
Moist burger patty
Saucer had the other next best thing, the Char-grilled Pork Steak, which came out to be above our expectations. As with most pork steak orders, we expected a piece of pork chop, usually lean and quite frankly, boring. But this pork steak was different. Apparently, Sakura pork was used, which was really pork without antibiotics and chemicals, sort of like free range or organic pork. This was obviously a healthier choice compared to the normal pork, and apparently, a big factor to make the pork steak taste good. The pork steak was cut near the rib and hence had a bone, served with berry cream sauce and a baked apple on top. Fancy something sweet again on a savoury dish! I think the chef really liked to play with flavours here, because Saucer kept raving about how the sweet berry sauce complemented the savoury pork, and how the sweet and slightly tart apple helped to take the cloying effect of eating too much meat. It was a brilliant combination.
Char-grilled Pork Steak (RM42)
Saucer enjoying his pork steak to the fullest
At the end of the porky lunch affair, we both had a hot drink each to cap a nice meal. The latte had thumbs-up from Saucer, with a comment that it was really close to the coffee that he had in Sydney cafes. My Chamomile tea was just what I needed – something hot, calming and soothing especially for my annoying cough that I was still having at that time. Overall, we both had a hearty and satiated meal, and wouldn’t mind returning again perhaps with more people to try the pork knuckles next time!
Dining environment at Ante
Ante Kitchen and Bar
50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Open daily until late