Before i took my first bite of the sinfully fatty yet deliciously charred char siew from Kay Lee, i am of the absolute belief that the ones sold in Restoran Overseas in Kuala Lumpur were the best!
Put it this way, their char siew were so high in demand; you often have to pre-order! And many Singaporeans frequently detour to KL just to have a bite of their signature caramelised char siew.
With the opening of a branch right here in the heart of Singapore, it's now much easier and definitely much faster for anyone to satisfy their craving of the famous char siew that hailed from Malaysia.
The Gang of Four was at this branch for a simple reason - celebrating the little boy's birthday and also to ensure we get our money worth after he insisted on getting his way for everything due to his protected status as the birthday boy.
Anyway, here's our order. I personally feel we should have ordered more; much more.
Old Fire Soup
This was not on the menu and came as a recommendation by the restaurant's staff.
On one hand, i agreed the clear soup was richly infused with the ingredients at the bottom of the clay pot but on the other hand, it tasted a bit like TCM medication. The type with herbs that coincidentally has to be brewed over a torturing period of time using charcoal and claypot.
Weirdly, the ingredients including mushrooms and chicken meat still retain their tender texture and palatable flavour.
Braised Beancurd with Petola
What's petola? It is something that looks and tastes like bittergourd although their respective genus is different - petola is Luffa while bittergourd is Momordica.
This is a classic, traditional case where the homemade beancurd with its silky interior texture was the main star while the bland sauce and soft petola served as merely supporting flavour / colour enhancers.
Tiger Prawns with Oats
Way too salty minus any buttery sweet sensation! This is undeniably the worst deep fried oats prawns i ever have and it's god damn hard to find one that gets the unanimous "thumbs down" vote from the Gang of Four.
Stir Fried Fish Maw with Egg and Fish Paste
When the first scoopful went into my mouth, i could not help comparing it to a delectable hot plate of fried rice; albeit with a noodles texture. It was surprisingly good without any hint of fish maw.
The key question is; should i then order a plate of fried rice which would likely be cheaper than fish maw? Good question raised by either Van or Kon!
In terms of outlook, i agreed that Overseas Restaurant's char siew had the majestic look that confidently said :" eat me and you would not regret it".
Drenched in a thick coat of savoury sweet sauce, the memorable charred exterior was still a bit hard to chew although the highly anticipated "smokiness" did manage to permeate the insides.
The verdict is obvious - Kay Lee still wins.
100 Beach Road, #01-27 to 37,
Shaw Leisure Gallery, Shaw Towers
Old Fire Soup - S$20
Braised Beancurd with Petola - S$12
Tiger Prawns with Oats - S$23.40
Fish Maw with Egg and Fish Paste - S$20
Char Siew - S$30
Plain Rice - S$2 a bowl!
[Subject to GST. No Service Charge]
For my post on its KL Branch, please click HERE
For my post on Kay Lee, please click HERE