BY TAN BEE HONG
IT’S a weekday, yet Anne Elizabeth is packed at lunch time. We walk in to see a crowd at the far end, with a lively discussion at the chiller.
Not surprising since this is where customer come to pick their choice of meat, which will be cooked to order and served. There are plenty of sausages, pork, beef, lamb and salmon.
After we make our choice, we look up to where the menu for salads, pasta, soup and potato is chalked on a blackboard.
Anne Elizabeth is big on salads with about 15 varieties that include Rock Melon & Chia Seed, Bacon & Bacon, Roasted Beetroot, Grilled Beef, Zucchini & Onion, Pomegranate & Chicken and Smoked Salmon.
We pick a Passionfruit & Parmesan Salad (RM11.90). Two whole passionfruit are served cut in halves. You can scrape the pulpy sacs and eat this on its own or add to the green and purple lettuce, cucumber, cherry tomato, onion rings and dried cranberries. Shaved parmesan and honey-olive oil dressing give the salad a kick.
Anne Elizabeth offers two types of soup: Creamy Mushroom (RM11.90) and Roasted Pumpkin & Tomato (RM10.90). Made in-house, the intensely flavoursome mushroom soup is chockfull of texture from the coarsely chopped mushrooms that I love.
The pumpkin soup is rich and creamy, with a slight sour edge from the tomato. Unfortunately, I am not too fond of the sweetness from the pumpkin.
Meanwhile, I notice that the service is faultless. The staff members are polite, attentive and quick.
Chef and restaurateur Jacob Fong, who specialises in British-European style cuisine, tells us that service is just as important as the food itself.
For beef, premium cuts are imported from Australia and the US. There are a variety of cuts such as Black Angus Hanger Steak, Wagyu Sankau, Wagyu Pichana, Prime Ribeye and Flap Steak.
I don’t eat beef but My Best Friend is totally over the moon with the Wagyu Pichana (RM66/pc, about 200g), telling me how juicy and tender it is. Cooked medium rare, the portion of beef cuts to show a deep red but without blood oozing. Obviously, Jacob is quite the master at timing and temperature control.
There’s also Smoked Duck Breast, NZ Lamb Shoulder, Seabass, Salmon Steak and Salmon Head (salmon airflown from Norway). You can also find chicken sausage and Chicken Aladdin Greek Style.
With immense enthusiasm, Jacob tells us the seabass is prepared ikejime style, a Japanese method of killing fish to drain all the blood and this results in a firm, translucent flesh.
At Anne Elizabeth, there are all kinds of sausages (from RM6.90 per piece) including Mild Cheese Bratwurst, Spicy Italian, Longaniza, Chorizo, White German, Paprika, Thuringer, Pork Cheese, Farmer Bratwurst, Hungarian, English Chilli, Oxford Banger, Beer Bratwurst and Cajun Spiral.
As the Honey sausage is slightly sweetish with hints of smokiness, I prefer the Bacon Bratwurst which is so fat and juicy, it’s practically dripping. The Spicy Russian hits the spot for local palates weaned on sambal.
Imported pork cuts are Iberico Belly, Olive Pork Belly, Italian Pancetta, Iberico Abanico, Iberico Spare Rib. The ribs (RM68.20) are a hefty 600g per portion, so be prepared to share unless you have the appetite of a sumo wrestler. Iberico Abanico (RM39.80/pc of 250g) is Anne Elizabeth’s signature cut and its best seller too. This premium cut of black pig from Spain is named after its resemblance to the fans that Spanish dancers use.
The unassuming Jacob Black Pig Meatball In Blanket (RM9.60/pc) is made of 100 per cent minced Iberico pork wrapped with streaky bacon. Just two pieces make a satisfying meal for one.
For a nice side to go with the mains, get Jacket Potato (RM10.90), a huge US Russet potato topped with sour cream, bacon bits, parmesan cheese and spring onion. Good for sharing. Or have Potato Mash and Crispy Potato.
Add to that a whole grilled Portobello mushroom stuffed with bacon and melted cheese that’s oozing over the sides. So juicy and just a slight hint of earthiness.
Anne Elizabeth offers a wide range of pasta, from a tomato & mushroom and spicy aglio olio mushroom to carbonara, spicy lamb/beef, bacon & cheese, chicken anchovy and salmon basil pesto.
Dessert is Banana Creme Brulee (RM10.80), good enough for two to share after a heavy meal. Under the crisp caramelised sugar crust are slices of ripe banana and luscious, custardy bliss. And if there are children at your table, they get to pick a lollipop, for free.
Anne Elizabeth (non-halal) is located at 1 Jalan Manis 4, Taman Segar, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur. For reservations, call +603-9130 0319.
Tan Bee Hong is a food critic. Check out her blog at fatphoenix.my. She can be reached at email@example.com.