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  • Victoria Brown

ANTE (Publika & 1 Utama)

Ante is the place you want to go when you are craving a good porky meal in Malaysia where good pork restaurants are far and few between.

Not only is Ante named the winner of Best Place for Meats by TimeOut KL's Food Awards 2015, they are also purveyors of creative one-of-a-kind dishes like their fusionised Char Siu Curry Cream Pasta!

To make sure they stay on top of their food game, Ante goes through a yearly revamp where they introduce new porkylicious dishes to their menu.

That time of the year is upon us again. And indeed, it is glorious!

Their new Tasting Platter (RM46 - pictured above) is a nice and light precursor to a scrumptious porky feast. It's the perfect taster of a number of Ante's cold cuts, and it's great for sharing!

The platter features imported Jamon Iberico, Spanish cured ham, cubes of smoked duck breast, with a side of extra virgin olive oil infused rockmelon and ricotta - it pairs perfectly together!

Ante's signature House Smoked Bacon (RM19) is unlike any ordinary bacon. It is much thicker than your average supermarket-bought bacon, and it is melt-in-your-mouth-smokingly-good! Ante's 8mm thick bacon is naturally cured, then dried and smoked to provide a lovely smoky flavour that goes perfectly with the side of seeded mustard.

The Crispy Skin Smoked Duck Breast (RM25) is juicy, succulent and full of flavour in each bite. It serves as a nice breather from the pork, and it stands out as a delicious dish in a league of its own. The duck is served with a balsamic reduction and accompanied with a Thai-inspired salad made up of julienned young papaya and mango. I loved the tangy salad, and it paired beautifully with the crispy duck.

The highlight of all the appetisers was the Miso Pork Belly (RM19) - it is a serious must-try! This 12-hour slow cooked pork belly is slathered in miso glaze and its herbed crust provides a marriage of textures. Every bite melts in your mouth. It engages your umami senses and is a perfect sensory dish, there is nothing I would change!

If you really love Ante's house smoked bacon, but feel that you need some healthy greens in your diet too, Ante has come up with the answer for you - the Bacon Salad (RM27)! It is house smoked bacon sliced up on top of a bed of baby romaine with parmesan and house-made caesar dressing.

Another delicious salad is the Mango & Promegranate (RM25- not pictured). A vegetarian option at a porky restaurant? Shocking, I know! But it actually acts as a refreshing side-dish to pair with all the delicious pork! It is made up of green and red lollo lettuce, young mango, young papaya, pecan, promegranate, and a tangy french vinaigrette.

Now to the main event - the pork steaks! Ante has introduced a number of different pork mains in this menu revamp, and we love the selection! Ante's award-winning dish, the pork steak, now comes in different cuts and sauces to pique your tastebuds in every imaginable way.

The Ribeye (RM52 - pictured below) is the cut that started it all! With a composition of lean white meat, marbled dark meat and strips of fat, the steak is chargrilled to create that melt in your mouth sensation (sheer bliss)! The steak comes with truffle butter sauce, roasted russet potatoes, frisee and oak leaf lettuce. In my opinion, this steak has the best tasting sauce but that may just be my bias towards truffle talking.

Another favourite is the Striploin Diane (RM42). It has tender lean white meat with a sliver of fat. It is cooked Diane style, served with a bed of green pea mash and roasted russet potatoes, and rested upon a pool of mushroom brandy sauce. I loved the creamy mushroom sauce, and the green pea mash was absolutely delicious!

The Shoulder (RM52) is a gargantuan cut compared to the others but is equally flavoursome with a lovely char. We found this cut a bit more fatty than the others, but it was just as delicious. It is served with rosemary garlic sauce, mashed potatoes, frisee & oak lettuce.

The Striploin Black Pepper Sauce (RM38) pays homage to its beef counterpart, the Steak Au Poivre. While the beef rendition is traditionally cooked with a filet mignon cut, the striploin is a good choice for the pork version. It is served with caramelized onions, fries, frisee and oak lettuce.

We loved the Braised Pork Shoulder Stew (RM38). It was pull-off-the bone tender, and the sauce is hearty and delicious (we could enjoy this stew on its own anytime of the day!). The dish is served with mashed potatoes and a slice of sourdough bread to soak up all the sauces.

Ante's BBQ Ribs (RM48) was also delicious, but not a huge standout, paling slightly in comparison to the other unparalleled porky dishes. It is seasoned and marinated overnight before it is cooked for 12-hours, so it was very tender (but not the soft fall-off-the-bone tender that I like that I found in the stew). The ribs are glazed with house-made BBQ sauce and served with a side of kimchi slaw and fries.

My favourite new pasta at Ante is their Duck Pesto (RM32) with its house-made pesto base, freshly diced tomatoes, and sliced duck breast. I love Ante's take on duck, and I also love what they have done with the pesto sauce. So this was a matchmade in heaven for me!

Another new pasta dish here at Ante is a classic Arrabiatta (RM28). This dish is delicious but falls short of Ante's effortless flair that we have come to expect. I loved the sliced up bacon and spicy tomato sauce, but I'm not entirely sure if I'd come back to order this pasta dish. But if you want a classic tomato-based pasta, I'd recommend this one.

Ante is also introducing a new cream-based pasta on top of their carbonara. Their Salmon Al Fredo (RM36) is a rich and heavy pasta dish. The salmon is cooked perfectly and goes swimmingly with the cream base but the combination of the salmon and cream could prove to be too strong for some.

Overall, there are a number of good new dishes to try at Ante. Ante continues to wow us with some of their creative and delicious dishes, making things very exciting for pork-lovers like me!

Ante's new menu will be available to the public from September 10, 2016 onwards at Ante One Utama and will be introduced at Ante Publika shortly.

Ante, One Utama

Address: Lot F346, First Floor, Rainforest,

New Wing One Utama Shopping centre

Opening hours:

Mon-Thu : 10:00 am - 10:00 pm

Fri-Sat : 10:00 am - 10:30 pm

Sun : 10:00 am - 10:00 pm

Tel: +60377325204

Ante, Solaris Dutamas, Publika

Address: No.9, A2, G1, Solaris Dutamas, Jalan Dutamas 1

Opening hours:

Mon-Thu : 11:00 am - 10:00 pm

Fri-Sat : 11:00 am - 11:00 pm

Sun : 11:00 am - 10:00 pm

Tel: +60362063364

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