July 27, 2018
By EDKL Writer A.A.
ANTE's show-runners scoured the streets of Kelantan and Kedah to Petaling Jaya, consuming more carbs than necessary to come up with their first-ever special for the month of Merdeka:Â Nasi kerabuÂ with a twist or two, created after sampling numerous versions across peninsular Malaysia in an effort to extract the secrets behind this traditional favourite.
The rice is cooked with a bit of fresh coconut cream for a boost of fragrance, buoyed further by house-pickledÂ acarÂ comprising cucumbers, carrots, red chillies and pineapples immersed overnight in Japanese white vinegar, rice wine vinegar and sugar, resulting in a more pronounced tang compared to regularÂ acar.
Surrounding the rice, you'll find accompaniments galore, from slow-cookedÂ sambalÂ made from scratch with dried chillies, anchovies, shallots, galangal and onions (more sweet than spicy, wonderfully thick) to salted egg, toastedÂ kerisik,Â fishÂ keropok, four-angled beans, long beans, bean sprouts and someÂ bunga kantanÂ sprinkled over the rice.
But since ANTE is best known as a lair for meat, particularly pork, the limelight falls of course on the porkÂ rendang, made with Spanish pork shoulder that's been braised for five hours to hit the pinnacle of tenderness. The potent flavour of the pork not only punches well through theÂ rendangÂ but also complements the other ingredients, creating savoury-sour synergy with theÂ acarÂ for example.
The result is a colourful dish that tastes as rich and multifaceted as it looks, justifying its price tag of RM23.90. TheÂ nasi kerabuÂ is available EVERYDAY for lunch throughout August, from 11am to 3pm, at ANTE's branches in both Solaris Dutamas and 1 Utama.
Pair your Pork RendangÂ Nasi KerabuÂ with ANTE's Passion Fruit Cooler, the perfect pick-me-up on sultry afternoons (RM12.50). Peckish patrons can also add on more items for a surcharge:
- Additional serving of porkÂ rendangÂ (RM12.90)
- Extra bowl of butterfly pea flower rice with condiments (RM5.90)
- Plate ofÂ keropokÂ (RM4.90)
- Top upÂ acar,Â anchovy sambal, salted egg or sunny-side-up egg (RM2.90 each)
All in all, it's intriguing to see ANTE venture into the Malaysian cookbook, since customers here typically order pork steaks, pastas and burgers - theÂ nasi kerabu, specifically timed for the month of National Day celebrations, is in fact ANTE's sole rice-based offering. Less beloved thanÂ nasi lemak,Â nasi kerabuÂ nevertheless is a terrific way to kick off what we hope might be a new series of specials from the skilled kitchen here.
Thanks to ANTE for this preview.
Jalan Dutamas 1, Solaris Dutamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur. Daily, 11am to 10pm Tel:Â 03-6206-3364
ANTE One Utama
Lot F346, First Floor, Rainforest, New Wing, One Utama Shopping Centre, Bandar Utama, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Daily, 10am to 10pm.Tel:Â 03-7732-5204
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