It’s really hard to get Hubby out of the house these days, he is such a couch potato! Fortunately, this morning we both decided to go to the gym in the city, so I formulated a plan to get him to come to “brunch” with me :P Brunch is really lunch, you see, as I am dying to try Andrew McConnell’s new Asian digs- Supernormal Canteen.
180 Flinders Lane Melbourne
03 9650 8688
We got in at 11am on the dot and we are the only ones there! YAY! The space is clean and minimalistic, with lots of comfy booth seats for preggars ladies like me! :D
I started off with an Apple Mojito… hey don’t worry- it’s alcohol free! $8 and it certainly hits the spot. Super sweet apples with the refreshing hit of mint- nom nom nom… I love venues with a decent non-alcoholic list (and a friendly waiter who proactively pointed this out to me). It also helped that they must have known I am hangry and gave us a plate of pepitas to nibble on whilst waiting for other food to arrive.
Hubby wanted food from the raw bar so I can only watch him with doggy eyes whilst he devoured two oysters and this delicious sea urchin and seaweed cracker. He said this was awesome :’( I tried a bit of the seaweed cracker and loved what I tasted.
The hearty lobster roll ($16 each) came next, which I devoured as I was starving. I love love love the hot brioche bun and the creamy sauce, but what I wish was that the lobster is actually hot. The cold lobster quickly cooled down the delicious brioche which made it less yummy. :(
Pot Sticker dumplings were next $15 and whilst I love the crunchy thin layer on top and the pork and cabbage inside, I wasn’t impressed with the dumpling skin. 1) It was a bit thick and gluggy 2) The dumpling wasn’t wrapped nicely. If Andrew had been inspired by dumplings in Hong Kong he certainly needed to ensure that the dumpling skin is up to scratch. Might not be as noticeable many but I bet most Asian would go “Aiya, this dumpling skin is no good”. It’s not the worst, just not what you expected if you had to pay $15 for it.
Equally disappointing is this steamed rice roll $12. I could have had better in many yum cha places in Melbourne, let alone Hong Kong. The skin of the rice roll is too thick! What’s inside (mushroom, tofu and spinach) was delicious, just really really need to improve on the carbs matey.
What we were both super impressed with is this roasted flounder $34, supposedly with spring onions and ginger but it looks more like with spring onion and coriander. Not that it matters, we smashed this dish in a matter of minutes as it was so good. It even had fish roe in it which was the best bit, as well as delicious, crunchy fish skin. Oh my. I would definitely come back again and again just for this dish.
We ordered a side of lettuce hearts w nashi pears and miso dressing $8 to have with the fish. This was more gingery than the fish! Whilst the lettuce was fresh and refreshing I was slightly disappointed with the dressing.
We are dying for dessert but was constrained by time. Thankfully the waiter reassured us it will only take minutes to make this peanut butter parfait $15 and it turned up in a blink of an eye. Thank god we didn’t miss out on this fabulous dessert! I love every. single. bite.
Overall, I think Supernormal Canteen’s food is above average and the service kick ass, but just like Lee Ho Fook, I think it’s more suited to Western palate more than Asian. Whilst there are fantastic hits like the fish and the peanut butter parfait, some of the more Asian dishes needs improvement for the $70 a head we are paying. 7.5/10