KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 8 — The word is out. Restoran Buddies is the place for an extremely well executed Chinese meal that won’t bust your wallet.
This unassuming restaurant hidden in Taman Shamelin Perkasa is run by two chefs — Wong Chee Kong and Lee Chuen Yew — with about 30 years of experience at Overseas Restaurant under their belts.
Started in June last year, it was initially a chap fan or economy rice spot. After much prodding from their regulars who missed their food, they swung back to their comfort zone... restaurant-style dishes.
Loyal followers of the iconic restaurant the chefs once worked at will recognise some classic dishes.
There’s the steamed Soon Hock or bamboo fish perfectly executed here. The flesh flakes off beautifully with that special soy sauce mix that just enhances its taste.
I could happily eat just the fish with a bowl of rice drizzled with that sauce. It’s RM198 for 1 kilogram versus other restaurants’ pricing that can be around RM280.
As there were only two of us, we opted for a small portion that came up to RM99. If you prefer a more budget meal, they do offer tilapia fish or fei chou yee here.
Another dish I will faithfully order at Overseas Restaurant is their braised homemade beancurd with petola or seng kua. I’m happy that their version is just as I remember with beancurd that has that much desired wobbly, creamy texture. The small portion is RM12.
Restoran Buddies’ version of homemade beancurd has the much desired wobbly, creamy texture.
They do have braised sliced pork belly with salted fish in claypot (ham yue fan lam poh) but we opted for their recommended special dish of the day, Mongolian pork trotters (small portion for RM20, large portion for RM30).
It’s a new dish we have not tried before. It turned out to be a dish that ticked all the boxes — gelatinous skin, tender meat coated with a rich, sweetish tomato sauce. It was definitely the dish of the day, we even packed home a portion for dinner.
The special for the day was this awesome Mongolian braised pork trotters with a rich tomato sauce.
Sadly for char siu fans, that is still not available as of now. They hope to offer that once they recruit the people to prepare that much coveted dish.
You do have another crowd favourite which is kon cheen har offered here. We also spied Sang Har Yin Yong Mee at the next table that looked delicious.
They recommended their fried sotong ball (RM17.50 for a minimum order of five pieces), which is made in-house. It may look unassuming but it was beautifully executed.
Even the unassuming sotong ball is well executed here with a contrast of bouncy texture and ultra light, crispy crust.
Imagine eating a light golden crispy layer outside with fluffy cubes of diced bread followed by cuttlefish balls with a bouncy bite. Children (and adults) will love this dish.
The place may not be air conditioned but as it’s a corner lot, it’s airy and pleasant to dine here. There’s no printed menu here so just ask for recommendations when you order.
The place is airy since it’s a corner lot.
Restoran Buddies, No. 11, Lorong 6A/91, Taman Shamelin Perkasa, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur. Open: 11.45am to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 10pm. Closed on Monday. Tel:016-3838183.
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Look for this signage at Taman Shamelin Perkasa or just Waze here.