PETALING JAYA, Nov 22 — There are so many shopping malls in Petaling Jaya that I must admit I haven't explored them all.
Hence I was surprised to find out about the existence of Oversea Express in 1 Utama Shopping Centre; it opened early this year.
It's actually the back part of the Oversea Restaurant, cleverly converted to a small space for eat-and-go meals, right next to their kitchen.
The advantage is that the space faces the walkway which leads to the hotel and offices. But this makes looking for the actual restaurant entrance hard to find, as it's around the corner.
The menu is compact, focusing on their roast meats, and their signature salted fish pork belly dish (ham yue fah lam poh). There's a choice of noodles or rice.
With just 24 seats, it's a stop to just fill your belly. Or if the tables are full, takeaway is the other option.
When the clock strikes noon, you see many diners dropping by for their meals. Most of them are the older generation, while some are office workers.
Place your order at the counter and you're given a device to indicate when it's ready. You will need to pick up your order yourself from the counter.
You can sample a smaller portion of Oversea Restaurant's sticky Honey Glazed Char Siew with noodles or rice.
For RM16.80, there's a choice of their Honey Glazed Char Siew or Crispy Roasted Pork Belly with either rice or noodles.
If you cannot decide which roast meat to select from, just get both on your plate with either rice or noodles for RM20.80.
Their Braised Sliced Pork Belly with Salted Fish with rice is also RM20.80.
The plates for the noodles are huge, giving the impression the portions are smaller but it's actually substantial enough.
There's also a Braised Sliced Pork Belly with Salted Fish served with rice, another classic Oversea Restaurant dish.
With the Honey Glazed Char Siew, they give you a portion of lean meat and fattier parts, even though I tried to ask for just half fat, half lean or pun fei sau.
It has their signature sticky texture with a well charred top, making it a satisfying bite with the springy noodles.
Of course, if you want to split hairs, it's not exactly the same texture as the ones served in the restaurant as that cut is fattier and more melt in the mouth.
A bowl of well-prepared soup with peppery flavours is served with each order of food.
But that version sets you back by RM43 for a small portion to be shared with a few people, while this single portion with noodles is just RM16.80.
The Crispy Roasted Pork Belly is very good with thin crunchy crackling and melt in the mouth fats. Since they trim off the bottom layer of meat that tends to be drier, this version makes for a sinful bite.
Hence, it's a great idea to get both roast meats on one plate as it's double the pleasure.
The popular Crispy Fried Prawn Wanton is what people order with their noodles or rice (left). You will be tempted by the sticky Honey Glazed Char Siew hanging inside the kitchen as you walk by (right).
A word about the noodles which isn't your run of the mill stuff. Its springy, fine strands have a strong lard flavour with the dark sauce. I was excited to see quite a lot of lard croutons but these weren't crunchy, making it kinda disappointing.
If you do get the rice option, they serve fragrant oil rice. Some prefer it with white rice so you can swap it.
For the Braised Sliced Pork Belly with Salted Fish with rice dish, the thin tender pork belly slices have a savoury and slightly spicy taste, thanks to dried chillies. This version isn't as caramelised as the one served in the restaurant as that is presented in a sizzling hot claypot.
All of the orders come with a warm bowl of vegetable and pork soup that is pretty good. They do tend to use a lot of pepper, making it a little overwhelming for me.
The eatery opposite Uniqlo's side entrance and at the walkway to the hotel is designed to be a place to eat and go quickly.
There's also a choice of two side dishes to bulk up the meal here. A crowd favourite is the Crispy Fried Prawn Wanton. You get five pieces for RM9.80 that goes well with your noodles. The other item is the Homemade Fried Saito Fish Ball.
Do take note, they may run out of roasted meats at night especially during peak times like the weekend. If that happens, your other option will be the Braised Sliced Pork Belly with Salted Fish rice.
Oversea 1U Express, Lot G218, Ground Floor, 1 Utama Shopping Centre (Old Wing), No. 1 Lebuh Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya. Open daily: 11am to 8.30pm (last call at 8.20pm). Tel: 010-8797227/010-8797007.
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