Superbear BBQ

Jackie McMillan
28th Jan 2024

Chinese barbeque (BBQ) or shaokao comes different forms, but the most famous type comes from the Xinjiang region where the Uyghur people make their famous cumin-dusted lamb. Many regions of China have adopted Xinjiang BBQ, including the Northeast where they make chuan’r: small pieces of food roasted over coals on skewers. Superbear BBQ in Burwood specialises in these skewers, none are better than BBQ lamb rib ($12.80/5) that inspired them. Threaded onto wooden sticks, they are spicy, crisp and fatty, and even better with extra cumin added at the table. 

When you arrive at Superbear BBQ, the floor team will light your on-table burner candles and lay greaseproof paper over the metal tray that sits above them. This allows you to take your time with the onslaught of stuff on sticks that’s about to arrive. We got a bowl of kimchi fried rice ($11.80) to eat the skewers over and some salted edamame ($10.80) for something green. The rice here is particularly great: moist and well-threaded with cabbage. The silver on-table caddy also has a dry spicy powder to up the heat levels, and salt, necessary for the plump pork enoki skewers ($12.80/3) along with some chilli dust. With gristle still attached, the BBQ spicy pork rib skewers ($12.80/5) were tasty but a bit harder to eat. After you tackle each stick, you put the wooden skewer into the on-table receptacle that looks a bit like a vase. 

We worked our way through spicy BBQ chicken wings ($8.80/2)—where each skewer speared two large mid-wings—and BBQ chiba tofu ($6.80/2) that took to the cooking preparation particularly well with crisp glazed edges and soft, gooey inners. For a break from the same-same style of eating, garlic scallops ($12.80/2) are saucy, wet and intensely flavoured with garlic. I poured the remaining saucing and vermicelli noodles over my bowl of rice. While Superbear BBQ is licensed, ordering from their QR-code menu does require you to recognise labels of Asian alcohols, from moutai to Korean soju. Being a school night we settled for cans of Calpis ($3.50) to put out the fire though I actually found the dry heat much easier to tolerate than chilli oil.