The dining scene in KL has changed so much over the 3 years I’ve been here. I remember when I first arrived I was complaining about the lack of decent brunch spots, but over the past year or so the concept of “all-day-breakfast” has been lovingly embraced by the F&B industry and consumers. Truly, there’s nothing better than sleeping in past noon (although this is my regular sleeping pattern anyway) and then slowly drag yourself to a nice cafe and indulge in egg dishes, accompanied by caffeine juice of your choice.
So when Ante Kitchen & Bar introduced their Brunch menu (and when I saw the pictures on Cheng Yi’s facebook) I told myself I must not procrastinate anymore and check this much talked-about dining spot out. An invitation via Chris came at the perfect time too and all week I was thinking about that deep-fried poached egg (you’ll see it later). Saturday is technically still my “work” day, but that didn’t stop me from getting a piece of bacon action with my fellow foodies.
The interior of Ante Kitchen & Bar is fairly minimalist with that industrial look. There wasn’t a lot of natural light the way we visited, maybe owing to the weather and the fact that their had their blinds down. Luckily for me I’m surrounded by people who regularly brings LED light for reviews, so my photos are saved. Alright, let’s get started with the food, for there are A LOT of dishes to cover.
The salads were brought to our table first. First, the Caesar Salad; pretty standard affair with lettuce, croutons, egg, parmesan, bacon bits finished with house-made Caesar dressing. I actually have a soft spot for Caesar Salad because of… well, bacon. And this was a pretty decent version with a rich dressing.
The Garden duck salad is a popular dish with generous serving of smoked duck slices accompanied by cherry tomatoes, lettuce, chopped cashews and interestingly grilled marinated watermelon. It’s topped with a brandy orange dressing to freshen everything up. I’d gladly eat this again.
Chicken nuggets are common enough but have you ever had Pork Nuggets? Surprisingly a moreish treat as the meat is moist and flavoursome.
Next, the dish I’ve been lusting for: Deep Fried Soft Poached Egg. Just look at this beauty.
The egg has been gently poached, delicately breaded, deep fried till golden, then perched on top of several slices of bacon and roasted onions on buttered English muffin, served with Hollandaise sauce on the side. It’s truly a sight to behold. All of us couldn’t wait to get a shot of the Yolkporn.
To be honest, I would prefer them to use higher quality eggs (pale yellow yolks can be a put off at times) but in fairness this dish is well executed. I found the Hollandaise to be decent, although considering there’s already bacon in the dish, I can do without the extra calories too. I’m happy enough with the contrasting texture of the breaded exterior and the soft melting egg white.
Moving right along, we have the Baked Eggs in Cocotte, another of my favourite brunch items. Here the eggs are baked along with a tangy stew of spiced tomato puree, chorizo sausages, and parmesan cheese. One taste and you get that intense smokiness from the sausages. The egg yolks were a little over done because we took time taking photos, but I was happily dipping the toasted baguette into the tomato mixture.
The Croque Madame was clearly the crowd favourite. Thickly sliced milk toast stuffed with bacon, topped with wine-infused cheese, then with a egg baked into the middle. Sinful, rich to the point of cloying, almost. Definitely not for the faint-hearted.
Those with a hearty appetite can opt for the English Big Breakfast, consisting of baked eggs, bratwurst sausage, bacon, sautéed button mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, baked beans and milk toast. I didn’t get to try this so can’t really comment.
What I did try though, was the Gnocchi Napoli, which at the moment looks like the only vegetarian dish on the brunch menu. At least I know I can bring Frank over next time. The Gnocchi are not shaped like the traditional form; rather, they look like the Hakka dish “Abacus Seeds”. They have been boiled to perfection then topped with a rich tomato sauce enriched with a bit of cream, parmesan cheese and rocket. The texture of the Potato dumplings are perfect, and I love the piquancy in the tomato sauce.
The Rosti and Bratwurst was another dish I missed out, simply because I wanted to reserve some space for the pastas.
Speaking of pastas, check out The Real Carbonara. If you don’t like creamy dishes, this is definitely not for you. But Carbonara lovers rejoice! This has to be one of the best version I’ve tried in KL. It comes with generous serving of streaky bacon, mushrooms, a super rich cream sauce, then topped with more crispy bacon bits, parmesan and parsley. It’s so deliciously rich I don’t think I can polish a whole portion on my own without going into a food coma.
Or you can go for a lighter but no less tasty Caramelised Garlic Olio, which comes with Streaky pork bacon, button mushrooms sautéed in olive oil and a dash of white wine, garnished with crunchy caramelised garlic.
Sandwich lovers should give The Ultimate Pork Belly Sandwich a go. The serving is huge, I shall warn you beforehand, and the filling is absolutely decadent with tender pork belly, crunchy pork ear confit, tomato salsa and rocket (they really love their rocket, don’t they). This is served with a salad salad and fries as well.
I’m a fan of offal, so the confit of pork ears doesn’t induce any panic in me. It has a fascinating texture, a bit gelatinous, a bit crispy (when you get the cartilage), perfectly fried. But I have to say because it’s deep fried, it’s a little richer than what you might expect. Perfect beer food though.
Just when we thought we can finally stop eating (occupational hazard, I tell you), we were told the desserts were coming! *Gasp* Even though I’m not the type with second stomach for dessert, I had to oblige so I can report to you… right? ;)
Bread & Butter Pudding here is executed well, with slightly crispy edges and soft custardy centre, a pleasant cinnamon scent, and topped with a generous scoop of ice-cream. Comforting dessert for sure.
But what really stood out was the humble Apple Crumble, with deliciously golden crumble, soft cooked chopped apples and also just enough cinnamon hit. The serving is huge though so be sure to share this with someone.
So there you go! I’m glad that a pig out session (quite literally too) doesn’t happen that often otherwise I would probably be a few dress sizes bigger now. Thank you Nigel for the invitation and we are definitely coming back for more (this time just one dish each, haha).
The Brunch Menu is available everyday from 11am to 4pm.
Ante Kitchen and Bar
Solaris Dutamas 1
Jalan Dutamas 1,
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Phone:03-6206 3364 (Reservation is encouraged)
Hours: Open daily 7:00 – 10:30 pm