Supernormal achieves the perfect balance of flavours from Japan, Korea and China. The result redefines what Asian cuisine can be, offering diners an authentic culinary experience that pays tribute to the cultures while creating a new genre of food that’s worth every bite.
It’s no surprise, considering the man behind the concept. Andrew McConnell, is as much a Melbourne icon as Flinders Street Station, having transformed the culinary landscape of the city through the establishment of venues like Cumulus Inc., Cutler & Co. and Meatsmith.
As with all McConnell venues, design, produce and service are given top priority, combining to present a well-oiled machine that will have guests planning their return visit before finishing the first one.
The team from Projects of Imagination converted a bleak concrete bunker into a light and bright space where natural timbers and sleek, white walls dominate. There’s also a private dining room down a circular staircase where visitors can bust out a little Darryl Braithwaite or Queen with karaoke.
Despite the obvious entertainment value, the main act is the open kitchen, where Andrew is joined by Head Chef, Perry Schagen, as well as a passionate team. While the experience of the chefs plays a huge role in the quality of the fare on each plate, they also ensure they choose the best produce available to shine on each plate.
Take a seat in the main dining room and watch the magic unfold, as plates of Dashi Crackers topped with caviar and chives or Fried School Prawns whizz by. Start your culinary journey with a selection from the raw bar, where slices of ethically-fished seafood feature. You will find Kingfish served with dashi, celery and fresh horseradish, or Sea Bream with white soy and pickled wakame as its accompaniments.
From here, McConnell’s signature restraint becomes apparent: Marinated Mushrooms are served with yuzukosho and silken tofu, and Roast Cauliflower is flavoured, simply, with white miso and furikake. Flavours abound, but there’s no confusion: this is a unique riff on the elements of Japanese, Korean and Chinese cuisine.
When it comes to the proteins, you’ll find yourself wondering: do you go for Flat-Iron Steak with eggplant, pepper sauce and crispy tripe, or the John Dory with seaweed butter, leeks and ginger? The Supernormal experience is made that much better with a number of little flourishes. Soy-Roasted Sunflower Seeds are served as a complimentary snack, while a sesame seed grinder appears on every table, ensuring you get just the right amount of seasoning.
On the way out, don’t forget to pop a coin or two in the kitsch, Japanese vending machine, which is stocked to the brim with Pocky Biscuit Sticks – a tasty reminder of one of the best eating experiences in the city.