RICE POTS: The Real Fried Rice Stuff! (OAP)

(This feature was published in OurAwesomePlanet.com and Mercato Centrale last April 19, 2013)

If there’s one thing that Filipinos can’t live without, it’s rice. It is a staple food in all our meals—be it for breakfast in the morning or as a midnight snack. It comes as no surprise that Peter Garcia and Joy Kim created Rice Pots, which offers Asian-inspired freshly cooked fried rice.

This stall in Mercato Centrale is actually an offshoot of an existing food business, which the two foodies created because of their want for something different. Peter shares, “Filipinos love rice. Why not make different kinds of Asian fried rice?” And Rice Pots was born in 2011.

Its first branch is a full-blown restaurant located in the southern part of the metro, and it was around six months into it when they joined the Mercato group. Rice Pots is the pioneer in real fried rice—not those instant ones that are just flavored with seasonings.

Their Adobo Fried Rice, for instance, involves cooking the actual adobo viand and incorporating it in the rice. It’s like a meal in itself. But since Filipinos love rice toppings, Rice Pots also offers add-ons like small dimsum, hainanese chicken, and lechon macau that is pugon-roasted, woody and smoked (a bestseller).

Peter and Joy were classmates in UP Hotel and Restaurant Administration and have common interests as well. “We love dining out, we love food, and we love to cook.” According to Peter, “Joy is the innovator. She’s a very good cook. She’s more into cooking and more creative.”

The duo dishes up a number of rice variants inspired by the different regions of Asia, and the specialties are the Adobo Fried Rice, BBQ Fried Rice, and Yang Chow Fried Rice. Each serving is good for approximately two to three persons. I especially like the adobo, which had bits and pieces of the pork and lots of garlic. Its garlicky aroma adds more to the appeal as well.

From time to time, the duo comes up with different inventions. “Since everyone is into Korean, we will be having our own take on omu rice (omelet rice) with a twist.” Instead of the egg being incorporated in the fried rice, the rice will be wrapped in the egg.

I’ll definitely look forward to that since I’m a fan of Korean food, too.