This is one of the multiple restaurants in Melbourne that have been in my radar for years. It belongs to chef Andrew McConnell of Cutler & Co., Cumulus Inc and Builders Arms Hotel fame (and a few other venues that are less known to me). Supernormal does pan-Asian food (aka Asian fusion) and, in my opinion, it does it well. Best of all, despite being extremely busy (parties of less than 5 are welcome as walk-ins only, which means a long wait list) they manage to keep their cool and provide excellent customer service.
We visited on a Friday night and waited for about an hour in a nearby bar because the bar at Supernormal was packed. When we came back, our table was waiting for us. We were served some tasty spiced sunflower seeds which we nibbled on while sipping sake. You can buy a jar of spiced sunflower seeds to take home, along with other merchandise such as t-shirts and cookbooks.
As it’s common these days, the menu is designed to share. My sister and I ordered one item from the “snacks and appetisers”, “raw bar”, “dumpling and bao”, and “plates and vegetables sections”, starting with some pretty good cabbage & radish kimchi.
Sunflower seeds, kimchi ($6)
Our raw dish was a sashimi of kingfish, dashi, celery & fresh horseradish, which was delicate and well-balanced.
Kingfish, dashi, celery & fresh horseradish ($17)
Next, we ordered duck bao sans bao. They give you lettuce cups if you order the gluten-free version. Despite its pale unappetising appearance the duck was flavoursome, and even better when drizzled with vinegar & plum sauce.
Duck bao with lettuce cups ($26)
Our vegetable dish was roast cauliflower, white miso & furikake, which I deeply enjoyed in part because I <3 cauliflower. This umami bomb was one the best vegetable sides I've had in a while.
Roast cauliflower, white miso & furikake ($17)
My friend Christine had some vegetable dumplings and a New England lobster roll that looked great and I wouldn’t mind to try served on lettuce cups.
New England lobster roll ($16)
We could have stopped there but the words peanut butter parfait, salted caramel & soft chocolate were too hard to resist. We ordered one to share between the 3 of us, so I don’t feel too bad about it. Good dessert, although way too sweet for my taste.
Peanut butter parfait, salted caramel & soft chocolate ($15)
180 Flinders Ln
Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9650 8688