Food review: Ad Hog restaurant

It’s not a new restaurant but Ad Hog remains charmingly under the radar for most people due to its offbeat location and welcomingly casual vibe.
Walking in on a Friday evening would have you think you’d walked in on a private gathering, not a public restaurant. But that’s the kind of place Ad Hog is. Unabashedly non-halal, this restaurant takes its name from a witty play on the Latin term “ad hoc”. Klang Valley foodies would be undoubtedly well acquainted already with the owners, Sam and Kye Yen, who treat the place like their home, where friends are just expected to pay for their respective food and drink. And that is, perhaps, the reason why Ad Hog has thrived for seven years already, tucked away in a semi-industrial zone of Kota Damansara. There’s no attention-grabbing signboard either. Come at night and you could perhaps make out the faint outline of a little porker with tiny script that says “Ad Hog”. Visit during the day, however, and you had best rely on Waze.

There’s no designer décor to speak of, although the interior wouldn’t seem out of place in a castle, albeit a ramshackle one. Tables and chairs are mixed and matched and eclectic decorative touches give Ad Hog a wonderfully eccentric feel, much like the proprietor himself. A bag of golf clubs, complete with tartan print, stands forlornly in a corner. There’s a wooden horse on a table and the shelves are strewn with books on cookery and whisky and adorned with empty bottles from expensive breweries. There’s no menu to speak of either, although a blackboard outside might have one or two items scrawled on it.

Oktoberfest-inspired eats

The day I visited, there were just two things listed: Pork Sausages (RM33), Roasted Pork Knuckle (RM98). Sam himself, however, is a walking menu and always more than happy to help you craft your meal experience here. Between the four of us, we managed a variety of items, beginning with jalapeños stuffed with cheddar cheese and sausage meat (RM40), which packed a stealthy hit of heat at the end, and the restaurant’s own version of quesadillas (RM35), which resembled cheesy murtabak but no less delicious. The Memphis Ribs (RM59), with its bourbon glaze, was so smoky fall-off-the-bone good that we felt compelled to order a quinoa salad (RM39) as atonement. If the Atkins Diet isn’t your thing (and why should it even be?), order at least two portions each of the headily fragrant aglio oglio spaghetti (RM22), which is a sin if shared. And if you are still hungry and in an Oktoberfest frame of mind, the sausage platter (RM33), starring Ad Hog’s own homemade sausages, is a treat. A caveat — if you are a mustard elitist, it is recommended that you bring your own.

If you’ve already made friends with the owners, they might tell you of other treats known only to a privileged few, like the crackling roast pork, the special order babi guling that will save you from having to make a trip to Ibu Oka in Ubud or the Spanish-style cochinillo asado (roast suckling pig). The only thing that’s ho-hum here is the desserts, although boozy rum ice cream with cincau and brownie à la mode would satisfy those who simply insist on ending the meal on a sweet note. Personally, a nip of Glenmorangie’s port-finished Quinta Ruban, with its sweet berry notes, would do it for me.

Ad Hog restaurant, 25 Jalan PJU 3/45, Sunway Damansara, PJ. 019 312 1922. Tue-Sat, 12.30pm-9.30pm. Sun, 6.30-9.30pm. 

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