Settling on a restaurant in Solaris Dutamas is quickly becoming one of the city’s biggest culinary conundrums, with many Publika-goers swayed by the eye-catching décor and intriguing concepts of the area’s vast array of dining options. One new name to add to the mix is Ante Kitchen & Bar, which opened its doors last October. Boasting an enticing fusion menu that includes the crispy pork trotter salad, Ante is certainly giving neighbouring porky hangout S.wine a run for its money.
We visited Ante on a weekday during lunch hour to find a casual and quiet eatery adorned with white accents and chic furnishings. To prepare for the porky meal that was to come, my dining companion and I opted for the smoked duck salad to begin our lunch. However, our decision to go green in a meat-oriented restaurant backfired, as the drizzled ‘zesty dressing’ did nothing to elevate the flavour of the forgettable mixed lollo lettuce. The fine slices of smoked duck, though, were a juicy revelation.
Thankfully, things started to pick up with Ante’s signature rectangular-shaped chorizo and bacon pizza. Though the tomato puree and cheese were abundant on the crispy thin crust, the same thing couldn’t be said about the scarce pork chorizo and bacon, which was a shame considering the satisfying smokiness that the Iberian pork sausages added to the dish. Better served as a snack than a full-fledged main course, the pizza did nonetheless set us up nicely for the final dish of the day.
Accompanied by a baked apple, berry cream sauce and mashed potatoes, the chunky char-grilled pork steak was the show-stopper we were waiting for all meal long. The sourness of the baked apple and the sweetness of the berry cream sauce complemented the succulent slab of meat superbly, resulting in a delightful take on the traditional British roast pork with apple sauce staple that alone warrants another visit.
With that char-grilled pork steak and prompt service to boot, Ante has the makings of a popular dining destination for the pork-inclined if if they’re not too fussed about salads or pizzas. If anyone ever decides to pay Solaris Dutamas a visit, they could do worse than try out Ante’s competitively priced selection of meaty variations, with the ideal-for-sharing pork ribs (RM75) and beer baked chicken (RM23) ripe for the taking.