About a month or so back, I rounded up a group of hungry men for lunch at Ante Kitchen. I figured that there’s no better place to feed meat hungry, huge appetite men than a pork specialist kitchen.
I think I’m making good progress eating almost all the pork burgers available in KL. Or beef burgers for that matter.
Not many are good but Ante Kitchen’s The Ante Pork Burger (RM 35) was overall satisfactory. Between this burger’s raisin buns are fresh lettuce, tomato, onions, an egg with a runny-yolk plus Ante’s special pork patty wrapped in prime cuts of bacon strips.
It was advertised on their menu that sauteed mushrooms were meant to be part of the ensemble but I swear that there weren’t a single piece of fungi found anywhere.
Nevertheless, the patty was well seasoned and I liked the raisin bun. The bacon strips were chewy and dry, the only let down of the burger.
Someone in our group order the Crispy Pork Trotter Salad (RM 21) and when it was served I nearly had a heart attack.
The meager portion of deep-fried pork trotter slices thrown carelessly on top of lettuce leaves with a sprinkling of walnuts couldn’t possibly justify the cost. We did however, liked the tangy but mild thai dressing.
Next was the Char-grilled Pork Steak (RM 33), a specialty of Ante’s Kitchen, featuring signature chop with berry cream sauce served with mashed potatoes and baked apple.
For a specialty it sure fell short of its promise. I got a tough piece of meat with very bland cream sauce. At this stage I was fuming so I made a complaint to the floor staff. Short of nodding and listening, he didn’t do much to console us. LOL!
Thus at that point we gave up on lunch and decided to head to another outlet to fill the remaining void in our stomach. After we have paid, Roy, one of the restaurant’s management team came over to say hi and apologized on behalf of his service staff. He explained that the pork chop was not supposed to be sold that day as they had recently changed supplier and the quality of the pork wasn’t up to the expected standards. He invited me to return and to try the pork chop again, this time on the house. I accepted his apology and thanked him for the kind offer.
So when I got an email for a paid invited session recently, I accepted it. It would be good to sample the improvements in the menu (if any), give the pork chop a chance to redeem itself and also to taste more of Ante Kitchen’s menu, especially the pork ribs and the highly recommended Volcanic Sacrifice.
BELOW: Volcanic Sacrifice (RM 30) – “Grilled lean pork slices, served with Ante’s special volcanic spicy sauce, flowing off a mountain of mashed potatoes“.
While the mash is good and the pork slices were decent, it could do with longer marination time or perhaps stronger seasoning. Somehow the meat, though tender, is relatively bland. The same can be said for the ribs. Basically you don’t taste much flavour once you get past the sauce on the ribs.
The Hogger Pork Ribs RM75. Charcoal grilled hickory piglet ribs, glazed with house-made BBQ sauce, coleslaw, potato salad & fries on the side.
Next was the The Crispy Pork Knuckle (RM 78), another Ante special; boasting crispy skin yet tender pork knuckle. This kilogramme feast is served with sauerkraut and in-house sauce.
It’s made for sharing of course, unless you’re a glutton. 😀
I told Jason, our host that I found it to be a bit bland. Jason explained that the knuckle is not marinated and its first poached (my memory fails me at this point) and then deep fried. It is, as a matter of fact, meant to be as it is.
Thus I would recommend eating this with plenty of sauce if you find it in need of some flavour.
We also sampled the Chef’s Tomasco Soup (RM 12), a Signature Chorizo & Bacon (RM27), Duck Pesto Pasta (RM 28) and Chicken Parmigiana (RM 27) that evening. All were good though my duck pesto pasta was too mild for my liking. Upon query, Jason explained that they found this version more suited for the the local tastebuds.
Duck Pesto : Fatty duck slices on a bed of pasta,finished with basil pesto sauce.
An all-time favourite pizza in Ante, Signature Chorizo & Bacon (RM27).
Chicken Parmigiana (RM 27) – Tender piece of crumbed chicken topped with homemade tomato puree and grated cheese, served with side of mash, streaky bacon & salad.
Last but not least, the Ante Pork Chop.
Any improvement this time?
Not really. Teething issues plagued the kitchen so my dear readers, stay tuned for a 3rd review! 🙂
My drink – Ante’s Fizzy Lychee to wash down all that pork.
The 1st trip was on my own with friends. The 2nd trip is an advertorial.