Oversea Restaurant @ Ipoh – Char Siew Heaven?August 14, 2010 | 5,551 views
I have to admit I was never a fan of dining in Chinese restaurants. Wait, let me rephrase that. I was never a fan of the higher-end restaurants usually utilized for wedding banquets and celebrations.
So far, I have written only about Mun Choong Restaurant when we had a gathering there last year, and a simple lunch at Tung Hoi (East Ocean) Restaurant in Chemor. Of course, there was the recent wedding dinner at Hee Lai Ton, but that’s a different story altogether. The other BIG names like Kok Thai, Sun Lee How Fook and Tai Thong (now changed to Royal China) were not reviewed because either the meal was not satisfactory or the occasion was another banquet whereby I felt funny snapping the food while everyone’s salivating uncontrollably (you know Chinese wedding dinners and punctuality NEVER go together!).
Fantastic, melt-in-mouth Char Siew (caramelized, barbecued pork) with crispy roasted suckling pig (RM30/USD9)
That is, until I read about Oversea Restaurant‘s (www) fantastic Char Siew and “Ham Yue Fah Lam Pou” (Claypot Braised Pork Belly with Salted Fish); a to-die-for dish if you’re a lover of anything pungent and savoury, and goes perfectly with copious portion of white rice to lap up the juices. No thanks to the many hungry foodies over at the Facebook page …..
Oversea Restaurant (also known as Haewaytian) has TWO outlets in Ipoh now, the spanking new branch over at Jalan Datoh near to Srimaju bus station in town, a short distance away from the famous See See Heng Hor Hee stall. Read on to find out what other dishes we ordered at the original Oversea Restaurant facing Excelsior Hotel ….
A homely down-to-earth dish of spicy brinjals with fish paste (yue wat) – RM18/USD5.50
It has been years since we stepped into Oversea Restaurant. Maybe since a reunion dinner half a decade ago. The place still remains largely unchanged, with a dedicated counter selling mooncakes (Mid-Autumn festival coming up in September) at the front portion of the restaurant. The interior of the restaurant still looked mighty old-school (with mosaic-tiled floors and all) yet comfortable enough to be branded a diner instead of a ‘chu char’ restaurant.
The many suggestions from the fans (of the page, not fans of mine, okay …) revealed that for a sumptuous dinner with considerably reasonable prices, go for the original outlet instead. The new one looks grand, and perfect for a banquet. But the quality of the cooking still remains below par.
Pan-fried Cod Fillet (RM44.80/USD13.60)
You can of course ask for recommendations from the captain, or any of the staff running the place. Good thing about dining in established restaurants is that they’re usually well-trained, well-mannered and not pushy.
We started off with a platter of mixed roasted cuts. The famous Char Siew, and roasted suckling pig. The latter was forgettable, being neither too meaty or overly crunchy. But the Char Siew is in a different league altogether. A little pricey, yes. But what you get is succulent cuts of caramelized half lean-half fat pork, marinated and roasted to a smoky finish. Basked in a sweet, dark and sticky sauce, I would rate this among the better ones in Ipoh. Of course, I do have some other tricks up my sleeve …. hehe, good Char Siew from random hawker stalls around Ipoh.
Get a whole portion of Char Siew ONLY, and nothing else. They also serve them with rice or egg noodles (wantan mee). Correct me if I’m wrong though, for this information came from a reader.
A type of greens not available all year round, I do not know the translation for this sorry. But they stir-fried them lightly to retain the crunch, with bean sprouts and topped with slices of crispy grilled cuttlefish
Ham Yue Fah Lam Pou (RM18/USD5.50) – Thin slices of pork belly (not as fat, no worries) presented in a continuously heated claypot, with bits of salted fish and dried chillies.
Though the thinly-sliced of pork belly was good, being slightly toothsome with less fat than the usual cuts, I wished there were more cubes of salted fish in the pot.
The Ham Yue Fah Lam Pou was good, but not a dish that will leave us hankering for further revisits anytime soon. The pan-fried cod fillet was a miss, with two rather measly slab of cod being served for a hefty price. (Minor note here : The very next day, we went for lunch at Sun Marpoh and ordered steamed cod fish that arrived in bigger cuts and absolutely delicious).
The stir fried vegetables of “Qing Loong” and bean sprouts provided the fibres of the meal, and thankfully nothing short of satisfactory. The robust slices of grilled crispy cuttlefish provided a contrasting texture to the soft fibres.
Gui Ling Gao (RM3.80/USD1.20) – Wobbly black jelly (made from pulverized tortoise shells, it seems) with a drizzle of honey
A chilling dessert of poached pear, longan, white fungus, wolfberry and pumpkin bits for RM4.50/USD1.40
Warm concoction of Tang Yuen with black sesame fillings in ginger syrup (RM3.50/USD1.00)
The desserts selection is not extensive at Oversea Restaurant. Basically you just walk over to the glass display counter and point away. Or since they are already heavily promoting their mooncakes, you can ask for one or two pieces to be cut up and shared amongst yourselves.
In short, the dinner was passable, but a pale shadow of its old self. I was expecting so much more from the feast, considering that the tab came to RM188 for the five of us, and the portions were not anywhere near to humongous.
By the way, if you pay with Public Bank credit card, you get a 20% discount from the total value. Kindly be noted, as this came to a RM35+ slashing from the price we were supposed to pay.
By the way, that plate of braised groundnuts cost RM3.00 .….
57-65, Jalan Seenivasagam,
30450 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Telephone : 605-253 8005, 253 1970
Business Hours : 12.00pm – 2.30pm, 6.00pm – 11.00pm
OVERSEA RESTAURANT (New Branch)
28, Jalan Datoh,