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Aug 1, 2012 08:24 AM

Kuala Lumpur - Cantonese dinner at Overseas Restaurant (海外 天), Jalan Imbi

Cracking my head on where to bring 2 visiting HK friends for dinner this evening. I'd always wanted to try one of the Middle-Eastern restaurants (KL has over 200 Arab/Middle-Eastern eateries) but this is Ramadhan month, where Muslims breaking their fast would pack each of these restaurants up to the gills.

Anyway, perhaps not surprisingly, my 2 pork-loving HK friends asked to be taken for some Cantonese food (since their lunch was at the, to their shock, 'halal' Chinese restaurant at the KL Hilton). So, off we went to Oversea - my go-to place when entertaining fussy (especially Cantonese) diners from HK, Singapore or China in KL.

Our din-dins this evening consisted of:
- Soup of the day: a double-boiled chicken and fish soup, with various Chinese herbs thrown in. Tasty, but I simply couldn't get used to chicken consomme with a fish slant. My guests LOVED the soup!
- A plate of "char-siu' and 'siu-yuk' - Oversea's forte, the standard of roast meats here can even exceed those from some top-notch HK & Singapore. Simply the best in KL.
- Steamed freshwater 'patin' fish - done to perfection here, drizzled with the lightest soy sauce imaginable, and topped with spring onions.
- Large freshwater prawns, filled with roe - halved, then steamed with beaten hen's eggs on a platter. These crustaceans tasted absolutely exquisite. I'd not seen this dish served anywhere in Singapore!
- Chinese 'gai lan' vegetables cooked in chicken-garlic broth.
- Dessert was coconut pudding, served chilled in a whole young coconut. Light, refreshing end to a a satisfying meal.

My HK guests absolutely loved this place, so much so that they even asked to speak to the Executive Chef, who told them he'd been with the restaurant since it opened in the late 70s!

Address details
Overseas Restaurant
84-88 Jalan Imbi
55100 Kuala Lumpur

Tel: +603-2144 9911, +603-2148 7567, +603-2144 9377

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  1. What a lovely dinner. I would be pleased as punch too if I were to dine on such a meal.

    Glad your visitors got a suitable meal after that shock of Islamicized KL earlier.

    Might one inquire as to the cost?
    What would it have been for an equivalent spread at, say, Ming Room at the Bangsar SC?

    3 Replies
    1. re: huiray

      It was a bit over RM400 (USD128) - difficult to compare against Ming Room, which will charge higher prices in general, but may lack such seafood menu items which Oversea has.

      1. re: klyeoh

        I've been going to the Ipoh branch of Oversea many times in the last few decades and while the food was absolutely smashing, no one ever talked about the apparently famous char siew or siew yoke. Neither did I see anyone making a fuss over it - the "must order" was always the suckling pig with jellyfish. I had it at my wedding banquet and it was amazing! Another one is the Thai style chilli prawns with crushed cashews, which I don't read about in Sing or KL either.

        I was always get a strange feeling whenever I read reviews of the Imbi or Singapore branches and hear raves about the roast meat platter. Feel like maybe I've been missing out on something ;)

        1. re: Julian Teoh

          The Singapore branch of Oversea is very disappointing! No resemblance at all to the standards displayed at the Jalan Imbi outlet.

          But then, even Oversea @ Plaza Armada in KL is very much inferior to Oversea @ Jalan Imbi. The last time I was at the Plaza Armada outlet, the char-siu was almost pitch-black, covered with darkened caramel which had the consistency of an oil slick. You wouldn't think these two restaurants belonged to the same chain!

    2. Lovely looking and well balanced dinner! Those gigantic fresh water prawns looked amazing. Hope one day I can try the real thing rather than those Thai 'frozen' version we got here in North America. Hate when restaurant charge an arm and a leg for 'mushy' ones!
      BTW, I hope you went easy on those crispy skin 'siu-yuk'. Looked awfully fatty and 'potent'!! Ha! You should add a photo of 'Crestor' to the photo album!!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Charles Yu

        One piece of siu-yuk (sans the fatty bit between the skin & the meat) and two pieces of char-siu were all I can afford, Charles :-)

        Malaysia is like Thailand - amazing variety of fresh local produce from the rivers, lakes and seas. In the smaller towns in Malaysia like Kuantan, Ipoh, Penang, Kota Bharu, Malacca, Seremban, etc, local restaurateurs generally frowned on refrigeration, so you basicaly eat what were freshll caught or harvested on that day. This is an amazing experience for us Singaporeans who are so used to frozen stuff, after all, we get our ducks from Canada, pork from Australia, lamb from New Zealand, vegetables from China, and much, much more of *everything* from Malaysia - pre-packed, air-flown and undoubtedly frozen/chilled beforehand.

        I'd been spending most of my free weekends back in Singapore - but felt I should be going to Malaysian towns like Kuala Terengganu, Alor Star, etc. to seek out good food there. Many little towns in Malaysia have one or two restaurants that have operated for generations (e.g. Yik Kei in Karak - these are the ones I want to seek out.