October 26, 2014

How To Cook: Japanese Garlic Fried Rice

To cook is love. :)
In this age and time, cooking is a luxury we spend our time on. We'd rather drive out to the new hipster cafe in town, and have nice looking food served on our table. 

How about whippin' up something simple like say, Japanese Garlic Fried Rice?

"It's so beautifully arranged on the plate - you know someone's fingers have been all over it." - Julia Child

I'm not at all a pro in the kitchen. But I truly believe that a good tasting dish from the kitchen comes from a happy heart. A must -have disclaimer is that, I cook by way of "agar-ism" aka estimation. ;)

You'll need:

- 2 cups of short grain rice (cooked the night before)
- 3 eggs
- 3 stalks of spring onions
- 1 carrot
- 1 clove of garlic
- Cooking oil
- Salt & pepper to taste

All that you'll need


1. Finely dice carrot into even cubes.
2. Finely chop the spring onions.
3. Finely slice HALF of your garlic (as garnishing for your fried rice later).
4. Finely chop the remaining half of your garlic.
5. Whisk eggs.

Pre-cooking tips:

1. Cook rice with lesser water (as compared to if you were to cook normal rice).
2. The egg functions to give color to the fried rice, to make it beautifully yellow-ish.
3. I bought a rather big carrot, so I only used half of it.
4. How much garlic you want depends on how much liking you have for garlic. I used more than a clove. Also, how much garlic you want as garnishing as compared to the portion used to be stir-fried with the rice depends on how much garlic garnishing you'd like to have.

Ok, let the photos begin!

Heat up the pan/wok with "more than usual" cooking oil and fry the thinly sliced garlic (meant for garnishing) until golden brown. Set aside and drain the oil with kitchen towel.

Next, with the same oil, stir fry the finely chopped garlic until almost golden brown.

Then, pour in the overnight rice.

Mix well the garlic and rice.

Then pour in the whisked eggs (photo below refers).

All these while, remain at medium to high heat.

See how yellow the eggs make the rice look? Mix well and make sure the eggs coat the rice nicely.

You can add a pinch of salt & pepper to taste here.

Once the eggs coating the rice has somewhat dried up (cooked), pour in the diced carrot.  
Stir fry for about 2-4 minutes, or until doneness of carrot is as per your liking.

Beautiful colors of the dish can be seen now. You can choose to add in more salt and pepper to taste at this step...

Once the fried rice is almost done, pour in spring onions.

Remember to leave some spring onions for garnishing!

Stir fry for another 1-2 minutes and the dish is ready!

Lunch is served! ;)

Note: There are no hard and fast rules to cooking. Always remember - cook from your heart!

P/S: The original recipe was adapted from Taste of Malaysia's Japanese Garlic Fried Rice. Google it up! ;)

October 19, 2014

Black Market @ Main Place, USJ 21

A long hiatus it has been and here I am back again, writing about food! #whatsnew Been here and about for the past few months and I've seriously been meaning to write but time was something I ran short of.

Yesterday evening called for a reason to celebrate. I got ourselves a Groupon voucher to dine at Black Market @ Main Place located at USJ 21.

Main Place is a fairly new mall, revived from a previously long abandoned development project, which now houses many crowd-driving stores, e.g. Sushi Zanmai, Starbucks, Mcdonald's, Jaya Grocer, and in-trend fashion stores like Uniqlo and Nichii.

Note that Black Market has 3 outlets in town, namely Jalan Kampung Pandan, St. Mary's Place and Main Place mall.

An outlook of the eatery. It is located at a quiet corner of the mall.

The Groupon voucher requires a 2 days prior reservation. Unfortunately, I was told that the eatery has been fully booked on both Saturday and Sunday. But, the staff told me to just walk-in.

So, walk-in we did and after much miscommunication, we finally "SCORED" ourselves a table for 2 in the "fully-booked" restaurant which appeared fairly empty on a weekend night.

Nevermind it all....

Let's feast our eyes with food now!

For starters, we ordered something exquisite - Garlic Butter Scallops @ RM16.

Served with bread, the taste of garlic was so pungent it ended up tasting bitter instead of the supposedly flavourful fragrant. 2/10

We have a fond liking for garlic. But truth to be told, this garlicky dish was way too much for our tastebuds, or shall I rephrase it, overly exquisite for our common tastebuds. Haha. Should've stuck to the usuals, maybe Wedges with Guacamole? ;)

We also ordered an Anchovy Caesar Salad with Pork Bacon & Jamon @ RM26.

The dish was served with generous amount of croutons which was a big YAY. Overall, the pork bacon saved the salad which came with little amount of anchovy dressing. It was dry and not at all fantastic, in my honest opinion. 4/10

We ordered one main to share - Cheesy Potato Cod @ RM38.

The cod slices were fresh but the baked mashed potatoes seemed to lack flavour. Then again, nobody told me they hid bacon slices underneath and hence, I shall give it a 7/10! :D Not too bad and this is probably the best dish we ordered that night. Haha

Rested our tummies and called for our dessert to be served - Apple Cinnamon Chill Cheesecake @ RM13.

Loved the presentation already! 8/10

A side view of the cake.

Verdict (taste-wise):
It was an interesting twist to the cheesecake; I loved that they used caramelised apple as the base. It complemented the cheesecake really well! The cheesecake itself was well done, not too soft, not too flour-y. Rightly done and may I proclaim that this is my personal best cheesecake that I've ever had. Overall verdict, 9/10.


The evening crowd just as we were leaving


No. GF-21 & GF-22, Ground Floor,
Jalan USJ 21/10, 47630 Subang Jaya

For reservations or enquiries: 603-5879 7668

Would I make a return visit? No, mainly due to the initial impression from the service by their staff. Also, food was nothing exceptionally good in my tastebuds' opinion.