I have eaten at Oversea Restaurant in Kuala Lumpur for well over 20 years now.
Ask any KLite about going to Oversea and they will scoff “that’s for tourists”. And it’s true – it’s not dubbed Singaporean’s’ favourite KL Chinese restaurant for nothing.
Yet when I grill KL food aficionados about where to find the best char siew, they will uniformly declare the Char Siew in Oversea to be a credible No 2.
No 1 being the stall their family has been going for generations, some mystical stall under a tree (Dai Shi Tao).
In KL describing it “under the big tree” shows a certain traditional legit swag.
They won’t tell you it’s right in front of MacDonalds at No 34 pudu drive. They will have to say “there’s no address it’s under this Tree Dai Shi Tao at Pudu I have to bring you …”
Ask them about the tree and they will go “…it’s big and it was there since I was a child …”
Oversea restaurant started out in 1970’s as a partnership business between Mr. Yu Soo Chye @ Yee Soo Chye and an independent third party. Together they founded the first “Restoran Oversea” in Jalan Imbi, Kuala Lumpur.
Mr Yu Soo Chye’s rag to riches story started with how he has worked his way up from earning a paltry RM15 monthly salary as a restaurant help back in 1957 to managing and owning a multi-million dollar business today
To date the Oversea Restaurant Group boasts a chain of five (5) Chinese restaurants, three (3) outlets in Klang Valley and two (2) outlets in Ipoh offering home cooked Cantonese themed cuisines.
In addition to the chain of Chinese restaurants, the Group has ventured into the operation of Dim Sum and Café.
There is a reason many awards and recognitions have been bestowed on Oversea which include, amongst others, “Asia’s Finest Restaurants”, “Greatest Table in Kuala Lumpur” and “Winner of World Gold Kitchen Cooking Grand Competition”.
Other international recognition includes accolades such as “International Restaurant of Chinese Cuisine” awarded by “The World Chinese Cuisine Association”.
The Makan Kakis and I had 2 gastronomic orgasmic filled days in Ipoh and drove back to KL. Despite predicting that we would have had excellent Chinese dishes filled up to our gills in Ipoh (and we did happily), we decided that we will do a last hurrah at KL Oversea for dinner.
Oversea has a limited amount of their Char Siew and Siew Yoke per day and if you walk in for dinner, it’s likely to have run out. So we dutifully reserved a portion.
Char Siew and Siew Yoke platter.
The Char Siew was the star. It was succulent and charred and the “Poon Fei Sow” (half lean and fat) cut meant that the slices were nicely charred and had the insides awesomely sticky and succulent with streaks of fats running through it.
The siew yoke has a nice crusty crackling and was no slob too mind you.
It will satisfy all but the most discerning and critical siew yoke purveyors.
Ham Yee Fa Lam Po (claypot salted fish pork belly with thick dark soy)
This has got to be their most famous dish.
Soft succulent thinly sliced pork belly is cooked in this thick soy concoction in a Clay port. You will taste a hint of salted fish giving the saltish soy an extra kick.
Best eaten with a bowl of white rice (damn you carbo) and your most winsome smile.
But at this post Ipoh dinner, I found this dish at Oversea to be wanting – the dish was just saltish but lacked flavour.
I don’t know why but it was the worst version I have tried for the last 10 years or so.
Overseas premium fried rice
I tend to order this dish when I am at Oversea.
This fried rice is special and is not the usual Yang Chow fried rice offered in most Chinese restaurants.
It contains some nuts, cut beans and has an aromatic Wok Hei (breath of the wok indicating a huge fire being used).
Again, this time round the fried rice was limpid and had no wok Hei whatsoever.
What is going on?
Home made tofu fried with gourd
This dish was downright disappointing. The tofu had little taste and the gravy was nondescript.
Most of us felt that the standard of Oversea had gone down a shade.
And the service was just appalling.
We were particularly unhappy that they forgot two of our dishes and were unapologetic about it.
The captain came into our room and made some critical comments about her colleague who missed out our order and was just matter of fact and completely unapologetic.
84 Jalan Imbi, 55100 Kuala Lumpur,
Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Phone:+60 3-2144 9911