Sometimes even your best mates won't wait for the requisite food blogging photo.
We'd stumbled into Supermeal for dinner after drinks at the pub - our party of ten hungry and ready to eat. Supermeal on Goulburn Street changed name (and owners?) from Superbowl a couple of years ago, although the Superbowl on Dixon Street continues. It's never been fancy - a backlit sign bright enough to give you a tan, a view into the congee-making kitchen, and then a downtrodden corridor leading you into a typically bare-bones dining room.
Our group is too large for downstairs, and we're instructed to head up to the first floor. Upstairs is twice as big, and we have the place to ourselves until another big group arrives later that evening.
Black sesame drink $3.80
Tsing Tao beers and wines by the glass are available (filled to the brim for a very happy G-Man), but I feel like a black sesame drink. The bottom of the glass is filled with a mass of black sesame that is undissolved and essentially gritty in the mouth. It also means the milk is pretty bland. It's also missing the pearls in the picture, and when I ask the drinks waiter about it, I'm given a blank look and told the pearls have yet to be cooked. And then he nods and walks away.
Deep-fried squid with spicy salt $16.50
We take ages to order but once it's conveyed to the kitchen, the food arrives at a furious pace. Deep-fried squid is always a crowd request, and although I find the squid is tender, the coating of batter is soft and floury rather than crunchy.
Honey barbecued pork $16.50
Most people have piped up with a dish to request, and the honey barbecued pork finds its fans. It's quite a lean section of pork neck, and quite sweet from the honey, but we balance this with crunchy stalks of Chinese broccoli, stir-fried with oyster sauce and garlic.
Stir-fried Chinese broccoli in garlic sauce $13.20
Deep-fried dry shredded beef with Peking sauce $17.80
Admittedly dry shredded beef isn't one of my favourite dishes, but I'm all for democracy around the dinner table. There's more batter than beef in these twisted deep-fried corkscrews, drenched with a sauce a sweet as toffee and sprinkled with sesame seeds.
Pork ribs in Pekingese style $16.50
I prefer to get my sweet and sour fix from Peking pork ribs, one of my Grandma's favourite dishes. Here the cuts of pork are still deep-fried and sauce, but the meat is served on the bone so it's juicy. Eating it with your fingers is half the fun.
Steamed diced seafood on soft beancurd $17.80
Steamed diced seafood is a great dish to balance a table laden with deep-fried food. This is a comforting dish of wobbly fresh tofu, sweet prawns, umami mushrooms and crunchy slices of barely cooked snow peas.
Shandong chicken $17.50
Shandong chicken is a little disappointing - the crispy deep-fried chicken a little dry in parts, and drowned in an over-salted black vinegar dressing.
Fish fillets with ginger and shallots $19.90
Fish fillets are succulent even though they've been cooked using frozen fillets. The shallots and ginger create a pleasant sweetness.
Prawns with salted egg yolk
And hey, look, more deep-fried food. There's a whole range of dishes you can order off the menu, each with salted egg yolk smothered all over it. Originally we'd ordered the corn with salted egg yolk, but our waiter recommends the prawns with salted egg yolk instead, citing it as one of their signature dishes.
Now this is one cholesterol-bumping orgy. If you haven't eaten salted egg yolk, you must amend this soon. Tomorrow. Tonight. Today. The curls of prawn are enrobed in a batter that is rich and salty from a crumble of duck egg yolks. It's addictive, and we manage to convert practically every gwei lo on the table, a success that backfires when there's a scramble for the last remaining pieces. Doh!
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5/04/2011 01:50:00 a.m.