The first thing you notice about Vantador is its sophisticated premises spanning multiple levels; think winding matte black stairs, copper light hangings emitting a warm glow, mahogany and deep olive walls, and industrial and vintage furnishings from the dry-aged steak boutique founders' own personal collection. As you walk into the place and are greeted by affable waitstaff, you won’t be able to miss massive German-made coolers stocked with dry-aged beef near the entrance.
Dry-aged steak is a serious matter here, with a carefully curated selection from Argentinian chef Ramiro Moya that includes Spain's Rubia Gallega (Vantador’s pride and joy), Margaret River Wagyu, Tasmanian Angus and Victoria Hereford.
Best to beef up on your dry-aged steak knowledge before you make your way to Vantador for a better appreciation of your meal: Dry-aged beef is hung in near-freezing temperatures (for at least 30 days in Vantador’s case) during which fungi will cling to the meat’s surface to form a dry, hard crust. Of course, this is discarded before cooking. This ‘breathing’ process allows the natural juices and flavours to be sealed into the meat and works especially well with fatty cuts. Hence, cooked dry-aged beef doesn’t release blood or juice when cut; instead, you get a syrupy sweetness when biting into the meat, with a tenderness and more concentrated flavour than wet-aged beef.
Cuts for the dry-aged range here include tomahawk, rib eye, striploin and T-bone; the wet-aged selection has back ribs, oyster blade, tenderloin, flank, strip loin, rib eye and more. You also get to choose the thickness of the meat, from one to two inches.
Go for their gold standard dry-aged Rubia Gallega rib eye, which clocks in at a hefty 410g (RM348 @ RM85 per 100g), good for sharing between two people. The 1.5-inch medium rare steak is dense, juicy but a little tough, yet flavourful enough with subtle marbling and a creamy, buttery fat cap. The no-brainer chimichurri should be your go-to sauce, and get the orange-glazed baby carrots with caraway seeds (RM14) for sides.
While you’re obviously here for the steak, the menu boasts intriguing starters and desserts too. Start with the creamy, savoury cauliflower panna cotta topped with tapioca caviar and aged balsamic vinegar, served with house-made pickles and tomato relish (RM30). For dessert, the zesty mandarine crema catalana with mandarin liqueur, mandarin tips and rind served with langues de chat (thin cookies shaped in the form of a cat's tongue; RM20) will end your dinner on a high note.
For booze and tapas-like fare, the bar on the first floor offers interesting cocktails – try the Malayan Thyme with gin, Angostura bitters, Tiger beer, orange juice, thyme syrup and lime juice – and bar bites (the slow-braised Wagyu spare rib stew with cocktail potatoes and celery is a sure hit).
38 Jalan 25/70A
Desa Sri Hartamas
|Opening hours:||Daily, 6pm-12.30am|