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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Supermeal, Haymarket Chinatown

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.

Inside Supermeal

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!

View Larger Map
Supermeal Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Supermeal Chinese Restaurant
39 Goulburn Street, Haymarket Chinatown, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9211 1568

Opening hours:
Open 7 days 11am-2am

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Salted egg yolk crab at The Eight, Haymarket
Salted egg yolk prawn at Malacca Straits, Broadway
29 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 5/04/2011 01:50:00 am


  • At 5/04/2011 2:42 am, Blogger Karen | Citrus and Candy said…

    That salt 'n' pepper squid does bring back memories! This use to be my favourite place for late night post-karaoke meals (and pre-karaoke hehe) but ever since they changed to Supermeal, it has gotten so much worse. I'm a bit scared in going back but at least we still have the original Superbowl.

  • At 5/04/2011 2:46 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    salivating as i read this at 3am!



  • At 5/04/2011 2:46 am, Blogger Phuoc'n Delicious said…

    I love salted egg, I love it simply with plain congee, but I think I have to try this now.. It looks irresistibly good. So does the seafood with soft bean curd

  • At 5/04/2011 4:47 am, Blogger Maria said…

    I got my eyes peeled on that black sesame drink!

  • At 5/04/2011 5:10 am, Blogger joey@forkingaroundsydney said…

    The salted egg yolk prawns are definitely the must-have dish here. The presentation is rather plain but they are so good; I'm sure someone will take it up another level though. :-)

  • At 5/04/2011 7:11 am, Blogger Ramen Raff said…

    The prawns with salted egg yolk surely looks good and I want to try it now.

  • At 5/04/2011 7:33 am, Blogger Michelle Chin said…

    The prawns with salted egg yolk looks really really nice!

  • At 5/04/2011 8:33 am, Anonymous john@heneedsfood said…

    Fwoar the skin on the shandong chicken looks amazing! Love it

  • At 5/04/2011 8:46 am, Blogger Mel said…

    I love shredded beef. I'd never seen it on a menu before until I moved 1300kms west to Broken Hill!

  • At 5/04/2011 8:47 am, Blogger susan said…

    Yum Peking Pork chops are my favourite dish and I always get them when eating at chinese restaurants.

  • At 5/04/2011 9:02 am, Blogger Apple said…

    Pity the squid wasn't crunchy, it looked so good in the photo! I've never tried salted egg yolk, I'll had to add it to my list of things to try!

  • At 5/04/2011 9:03 am, Anonymous Tina@foodboozeshoes said…

    Does anyone go to Supermeal without some heavy drinking beforehand? ;)
    (not you guys, judging by the amount of deep fry dishes you guys ordered! lol)

  • At 5/04/2011 9:14 am, Anonymous Minh said…

    Supermeal! Oh the number of late nights I can remember (and some I would prefer to forget) stumbling into Supermeal with a group of 10+. lol love the attitude of the waiter to the pearls query.

  • At 5/04/2011 10:40 am, Anonymous Emily@NeedsMoreSugar said…

    How could you not want to go to a place called SUPERMEAL!

    I wish I could eat like this every day, but I'd be the size of a house. Yum!

  • At 5/04/2011 10:42 am, Anonymous betty said…

    love love love the salted egg yolk battered prawns... so so good

  • At 5/04/2011 11:05 am, Anonymous Wendy @ Obesebaby said…

    please tell me the salty egg yolk prawn have a light a crisp batter...

  • At 5/04/2011 11:08 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Helen,

    My husband and I use to love this place, always quick when you are starving and pretty cheap. We hadn't been for a couple of years though as like you we found the squid too floury, use to be much better nice and crunchy.Feeling very hungry whilst reading your post at work!


  • At 5/04/2011 12:24 pm, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    mmm salted egg yolk prawns oh baby that is one dish i will not share..

  • At 5/04/2011 12:37 pm, Anonymous Nic@diningwithastud said…

    With my recent black sesame obsession (drinks, ice cream, you know, whatever I can get my hands on) I have got a bit of a thing for that drink. Its a shame it wasnt up to standards :(
    The prawns with salted egg yolk look amazing!

  • At 5/04/2011 2:08 pm, Anonymous Vivian- vxdollface said…

    mm i need some of those golden salted egg yolk beauties!

  • At 5/04/2011 2:12 pm, Anonymous Hannah said…

    That Black Sesame Drink makes me sad inside. Thank heavens for savoury-wonderful salted egg yolk batter!

  • At 5/04/2011 7:51 pm, Anonymous Joseph said…

    Love the look of those pork ribs, makes me hungry ....

  • At 5/05/2011 9:14 am, Blogger Kate said…

    Argh, it's 9am and I have just eaten 3 pieces of toast but now I am starving! All that crispy fried food - I'm in hell!

    Yummy post, Helen, I'm off to research salted egg batter now :)

  • At 5/05/2011 4:33 pm, Blogger Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said…

    Ahhh, I miss this place when it used to be a Superbowl and was the original place to get bubble and pearl drinks! The service has always been somewhat "cool" and silent though heh.

  • At 5/05/2011 7:53 pm, Anonymous JasmyneTea said…

    "The pearls have yet to be cooked"? LOL. Looks like a bit of a hit and miss!

  • At 5/05/2011 8:05 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Don't know why Supermeal sounds so American to me... even before reading the former business name.

  • At 5/07/2011 11:33 pm, Anonymous sara (Belly Rumbles) said…

    I am a big black sesame fan, shame the drink was separated like it was. I have never had salted egg yolk, the prawns look really fantastic.

  • At 9/23/2012 10:18 pm, Anonymous CJ said…

    the shandong chicken is amazing, how dare you insult the shandong!!!

  • At 9/23/2012 11:23 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    Chinese food was established in 1892. A chicken during its delivery from the farm was accidently dropped in a wooden barrel full of vinegar. The buyers of the chicken did not know and continued to fry it thus the shandong was born.


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