This modern Japanese restaurant is another venture opened by Melbourne's Andrew McConnell alongside Cumulus Inc and Cutler and Co. It has already popped up in Sydney earlier this year which has first caught my attention. Sadly I wasn't able to make it to the pop up but a trip to Melbourne has helped in redeeming that loss without the severe queues. OK, there are still queues at peak times but probably not as bad as a one-off pop up in another state would be.
Our visit to Supernormal ended up being a plan B since CC and Fifi were in a rush to go back to the airport for their separate flight and we were too late for Chin Chin and their epic waiting times. The decor had that same neutral, industrial appeal that Cumulus Inc and even Cho Cho San back in Sydney has. Since it was early on a Sunday, the vibe was a bit more quiet but it did get slightly busier when we left.
Supernormal has an incredible range of beverages (the drinks menu is 14 pages long!), which makes it an ideal spot to catch up for dinner and drinks on the weekend. CC tried this fruity beverage (I forgot the name arghhh) which was quite sweet with only a slight tinge of liquor inside.
Complimentary Pumpkin Seeds
We were all given complimentary pumpkin seeds to nibble on. They reminded me of the ones that dad has back at home. The crisp texture and the lightly salty flavour made these seeds quite addictive compared to the ones back at home.
Prawn and Chilli Dumplings with Chilli and Vinegar Sauce ($14.00 for 6pc)
The dumplings were succulent, plump and also pretty spicy. It was plated in a pool of chilli and vinegar sauce which gave it an even bigger kick to the taste buds along with a sweet and sour taste through the combination of those ingredients.
Sauteed Greens with Black bean sauce($10.00)
CC needed her greens so we got a side of sauteed greens to share. They reminded us of similar veggies with its soy flavour, plating and selection of vegetables on this plate. CC seemed to enjoy this dish though.
New England Lobster Roll ($16.00)
Finally the dish that I was looking forward to trying at this restaurant! At $16, the serving size was rather small even with two pieces. Despite that price tag, there was a good amount of pickled lobster to enjoy in this soft and buttery brioche bun. You can even get these as part of their takeaway menu which they have displayed on a sign at the entrance if you don't wanna deal with the queues at peak hour.
Ox Tongue, Pickled Chilli and Pig Ears
I don't think this dish is on the menu anymore from looking at the one on the website. Thought it was another highlight for me with its tenderness and spicy hit. Wish there were more pig ears though because they were as crispy as the ones I loved back at District Dining back in the day.
Pork Bao in Tamarind Sauce ($6.00)
I wasn't planning on ordering anymore because I wanted to go for a quick bite at Huxtaburger (which sadly didn't happen...again!). But I cannot resist the look of this pork bao especially when coated in panko(?) crumbs. The serving was also quite small but the crunchiness of the pork patty with the sweet sauce and the soft pillowy bun was satisfying enough for me. Would order this again and again.
Pan Fried Pot Sticker Dumplings ($14.00 for 5pc)
AC and T opted for this dish to share before they head out for an epic ramen feast (more on that on a later post). I tried a bit and really liked the crunchy texture however it wasn't as flavour-some as we hoped.
While there were some dishes that I liked, there were a few other dishes that we thought were average and pricey especially with the cheaper options you can get elsewhere. At the end we didn't get dessert because I was too full, CC and Fifi were hurrying back to the airport for their flight while AC and T were saving their (still hungry) stomachs for ramen. While a couple of my friends were less keen due to its prices and serving sizes, I've heard that the desserts were highly recommended so I wouldn't mind returning back when I'm in Melbourne next time depending on the schedule. Especially for their lobster rolls and pork buns.
180 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9650 8688