16, Jalan Kampung Pandan, Kuala Lumpur.
Business hours: 11am-11pm daily.
Lovers of the pork product have a treat waiting for them in heart of Kuala Lumpur.
Drive along Jalan Kampung Pandan and you might just spot a sign with the words “Black Market” hidden among a row of shops located off Jalan Tun Razak.
For first-time visitors, this place can be quite easily missed as your phone’s navigation system may just lead you right into Kampung Pandan.
However, if you do find it, you will have to enter the Black Market through the entrance of Caffeinees, a quaint cafe in the former French Embassy building.
Built on the same grounds as where Caffeinees sits, the restaurant serves Iberico meat from Spain.
As the restaurant’s name suggests, the pig is black, with its meat red instead of pink.
“This special meat can easily pass off as wagyu beef as the texture and taste are almost similar,” said the restaurant’s group managing director Chris Chang.
He added that this special breed of vegetarian pig fed only on acorn, grass and fruits, making some parts of its meat safe to be consumed medium rare or even raw.
As there is no bacteria passed on through the consumption of meat, the Iberico pig has no smell and its fat is odourless and healthy, Chang said.
Some might even compare it to olive oil.
“If the meat is cured, it is cured for at least four to seven years in Spain and shipped here vacuum packed and is ready to serve cold,” he said.
All the different parts of Iberico pig are flown in from Spain and cooked at the Black Market kitchen by chefs who are also trained in Spain.
The Black Market chefs are sent there for training for a month or two to learn how to handle and cook the meat.
One of the restaurant’s best sellers is the Iberico Pork Ribs featuring a specialty sauce that has been made to suit the local palate.
The sauce consisting of beancurd and soya marinade is of Spanish and Korean influence.
The Garlic Butter Scallop, a new item on the menu, is a dish that has left customers wanting more.
The restaurant’s Five Star Truffle Egg Linguine, topped with a sunny side up is a hearty dish filled with flavour.
The way to eat it is to flood it with lots of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and then mix all ingredients in the plate, including the runny egg yolk.
Due to the plentiful use of Parmesan cheese, truffle and egg, the simple plain linguine pasta transforms into a satisfying option.
The Black Market is also home to the Alaska King Crab served cold either on ice or hot with Oriental style Cheese Baked rice in the shell.
“Alaska Crab is new to Malaysia and you can hardly get it here because it is expensive,” he said.
However, at Black Market, the 1.3kg to 1.5 kg crab is priced at RM188+ for the steamed version served on ice while the Oriental Style costs RM188+.
The steamed crab served on ice may not be favourable to some, as it is relished cold with Tabasco sauce, lemon, wasabi and a special Japanese sauce.
Meanwhile, the Oriental style is served hot, with cheese baked rice stuffed into the main shell of the crab.
On top of that, customers who order the crab will get two glasses of house wine.
Eating crabs can be messy but fret not as the chefs at Black Market are trained to specially prepare and cut the crustacean.
“You will not need a hammer to break the shell as the meat can just be taken out of the shell with a fork,” he said.
Black Market’s other restaurants are at St. Mary Place Kuala Lumpur and Main Place Mall in USJ 21.
This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.