Remember a year ago when I said that reservations are a must before visiting Oversea Restaurant? A recent visit for dinner on a Friday night proved that the initial furore over this Cantonese restaurant has most definitely died down. The main area of this restaurant barely filled, with only a third of the tables occupied. Patronage at this originated-from-Malaysia restaurant is truly is a far cry from its opening days. Unlike the past whereby it would have been tough to even secure dinner reservations, you now definitely do not need reservations to dine here anymore.
A quick check of the food revealed that the quality was the same as before. So it can't be that which drove the diners away. Perhaps the local masses discovered that they were paying several times more than the stuff served in its Malaysia original, and didn't like it. On this note, I'm a little worried that business may dwindle to the
point that this restaurant shuts down its Singapore operations. I sincerely hope
not, otherwise I'll have to drive all the way to Kuala Lumpur just to get my char
siew and pork belly with salted fish in claypot fix.
Honestly, I personally feel that the high(er) pricing is worth it, in lieu of a 3-hours (or less than 2, depending on the driver's "skills") road trip to Kuala Lumpur.
I've noticed something though, the food at Oversea Restaurant is generally bold, with a preference for heavy spices and strong seasoning. Almost every dish requires lots of plain white rice as a balancing act, otherwise you'll just end up with a severe case of water retention due to the sodium overload. Maybe the locals don't like the high salt content of the dishes here, hmm?
The lightly stir-fried Mixed Vegetable with Belacan ($13) is kept simple, leaving the greens crunchy with a pungent spiciness.
The Steamed Beancurd with Mushroom & Minced Pork ($15), a wobbly smooth chunk of plain beancurd is doused in a rich oyster sauce gravy accented with dark soy. Soft mince and diced Chinese black mushrooms provided a little contrasting texture.
The Braised Homemade Beancurd with Chicken and Salted Fish in Claypot ($18) is also another robust dish, with the smoky subtle spiciness of the dried chillis and salted fish bits further flavouring the luscious gravy. At least the clear plain taste of the beancurd (sorta) lent some balance. This was brilliant with steamed rice. Between the steamed dish above and this claypot take of beancurd, my take is to get this claypot one.
The Roasted Duck ($20) is also another signature staple here. The duck is moist and soft and flavoursome, with nary a gamey taste.
The Braised Sliced Pork Belly with Salted Fish in Claypot ($16) is another must-try here. Its artery-clogging decadence is only matched by how lipsmackingly delicious it is. As with the other dishes, this is best paired with plain white rice.
Update 23 March 2013: As predicted, Restoran Oversea has indeed left our sunny shores and reverted to its Malaysian KL outlet. Ah well, it is just a 3-hour drive away.
100 Beach Road
#01-27 - #01-37
Shaw Leisure Gallery
Tel: 6294 2638