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Oversea Asian

It's strange that I have such a S.E. Asian food fixation—I'm visiting
Singapore for the second time next month—but never eat that cuisine in
NYC. I think its because this isnt the city for doing that style right, not
that I'm an expert by any means. But vegetables, herbs and fish just arent
the same half way around the globe. It's not like Manhattan is teeming with
pandan, coconuts, rau ram, and Sri Lankan crabs (preferred species for chili
crab). Regardless, I needed a restaurant near F train Chinatown (because its
super hot out and after shopping at Hong Kong Super market on Allen St.,
there was no way I was heading to the heart of Canal St. for dinner) and
Oversea Asian fit the bill.

When I arrived shortly after work, the room was primarily filled with
guys drinking BYOB Heineken and Guinness. I don't know if they were staff
just kicking back because it wasn't busy or if they were just hanging out. I
wasn't sure if the fact that none of them were eating was a good sign or

James finally showed up (it goes without saying that whenever I meet
anyone for dinner, I will always be the one kept waiting. I'm not sure if
this says something about me or the company I keep) and we ordered a roti
canai to share, which Ill admit is odd since its really no more than one
serving, but we also wanted chicken satay. The skewered meat was right on,
slightly sweet and charred around the edges, the peanut sauce oily, rich and
slightly spicy (though James preferred dipping his poultry pieces into the
leftover roti canai curry, which wasn't a half bad idea).

We then moved on to mee goreng (I was just reading an account on a
message board how someones mother got food poisoning in Malaysia and when
they asked the doctor what ailment she had, he replied, “mee
goreng.” I don't know why I find that anecdote so amusing, but I hope
I don't catch any mee groeng while I'm visiting), which you never know what
is going to be stir fried into the mess of egg noodles. Shrimp and tomatoes
seemed like okay additions, but there was also bean curd, possibly potato
and flat crispy shards, kind of like scallion pancake pieces. I didnt mind
the mish mash. Sambal shrimp, a little heavier on the onion and green pepper
than shrimp, was more of an accompaniment. We probably shouldve ordered a
more proper entre, but its not like we left starving.

Oversea Asian Restaurant * 49 Canal St., New York, NY

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