Stick to uncomplicated pork dishes to really make your visit worthwhile.
Update: This location is now permanently closed. The menu remains the same at their location at 1 Utama.
ANTE has been like that puppy in the shop window where I press my nose against the glass, hopelessly longing for it. We passed by this restaurant so many times, with Mark commenting “we need to try this place” every time. I was on board but it never felt right for a visit – it’s expensive, classy, and what have I done lately to deserve eating here? Finally, the universe (and my love of dining out) blessed me with a RM20 Eatigo voucher at a time when we wanted to celebrate coming home to KL after a tedious visit back to Canada. To be even more thrifty, I made a reservation at a geriatric dinner hour, 4:30pm, to take advantage of more discounts on the app.
Click on any menu picture to enlarge
ANTE is a pork restaurant and you could count on one hand the number of mains that aren’t some kind of swine. The focal point of their menu is ANTE’s signature pork steaks. There are four different cuts with descriptions of the fat content, tenderness and marbling. One downside is that the cuts come with specific gravies and sides with no clear option for customisation. For example, I would’ve ordered a shoulder cut, but I didn’t want to be stuck with middle eastern spices on my steak. I haven’t yet tried to see if substitutions are possible. Filtered water is free, but must be refilled by the server.
In addition to a house red (RM17, choice of Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot), we got a Pandan Lychee Cooler (RM13), which was an addictive, refreshing beverage. Nothing is watered down, so you can really taste the pandan in this which pleased pandan lovers like us. This makes me want to try their other coolers on a future visit.
It was hard to choose between so many tempting choices for a starter, but we kept it simple with the House Smoked Bacon (RM20) so we could whet our appetites with uncomplicated pork flavours. Three thick slices of bacon lie perfectly flat atop dollops of onion cream. ANTE cooks them so that they are on the chewy side instead of super crisp. Our knives cut through them easily with gentle pressure, no crispy bits flying off or having to saw furiously through the generously fatty layer. It’s obvious that bacon is always delicious, but when the first bite passed my lips, I couldn’t help but exclaim out loud, “Oh… my… god!” The meat has a slight smokiness, while the fat melts in your mouth. These were so tasty that I barely used the onion cream, not wanting anything to distract from the bacon.
We also tried a basket of ANTE’s Ham & Cheese Croquettes (RM9). The menu claims the dipping sauce is a garlic paprika aioli, but what was in the serving spoon was so thick and chunky, a more accurate descriptor would have been a paste. I was expecting stringy fibres of cheese inside these croquette balls, but the cheese was very liquid and had a weird consistency. It was like cheese dip with ham that someone had managed to stick inside a deep-fried ball. The ham was a tiiiny square the size of a 1×1 LEGO plate inside each ball. We regretted ordering this and finishing it became a chore.
There’s the shitty steaks you buy at Tesco, then there’s this slab of succulence. The Pork Ribeye (RM47) is a plate with no frills, allowing the steak to take the spotlight. The fat is marbled throughout this cut instead of having the distinct “cap”. Flawless grill lines are obstructed only by the truffle butter sauce. This sauce is a worthy accompaniment and we dipped everything, including the root veg, into this.
You can choose your preferred level of doneness, and we got ours rare. When pressing the edge of the knife against the exterior, it felt springy. After we sliced into it with little effort, it revealed beautifully pink flesh inside. We got down to the bone, and although this is a fancy place, that didn’t stop me from picking up the bone and nibbling what meat I could off of it! The only negative of this steak is now having to go back to gnawing on my mediocre pork steaks that I cook at home!
Don’t bother with the Belgian Waffles with Honey Lavender Gelato (RM18). These were really dry and overcooked. The ice cream was half-melted by the time it arrived at our table. It didn’t have much of a lavender flavour, just sweet. There was no syrup provided, and the tiny scoop of ice cream didn’t do anything to add any moist richness that this dessert needed.
Though half our food was disappointing, I would still consider returning to ANTE. The dishes that were good were delicious to the point where I’ll remember the experience for a long time. In the future, I’ll stick only to the pork dishes where the meat still looks like pork and not overly processed options like the croquettes.
I had classified ANTE as an expensive place. However, after a hard look at their regular prices, they’re actually not much higher than what you’d find at a nice mid-range restaurant. True, some of the items are a little outrageous. RM20 for three strips of bacon is ridiculous, but they were amazing and I’m sure the cooking process justifies its price. Even if we hadn’t taken advantage of some deep Eatigo discounts, our bill would have still been very reasonable for how much we ordered.
Price for 2 Pax: RM89.05
Glass of house wine x 2: RM34.00
Pandan Lychee Cooler: RM13.00
House Smoked Bacon: RM20.00
Ham & Cheese Croquettes: RM9.00
Pork Ribeye: RM47.00
Belgian Waffles with Honey Lavender Gelato: RM18.00
50% Eatigo Discount (food only): (RM47.00)
Eatigo Voucher: (RM20.00)
6% SST: RM5.64
10% Service: RM9.40
If you choose to download the Eatigo app for yourself to begin saving money at restaurants across Kuala Lumpur and Southeast Asia, please use my referral code saturday99 when you sign up – it’s a good way to let me know that this post helped you today!