Every discerning visitor to Melbourne goes straight to Cumulus Inc, another Andrew McConnell restaurant. The chef has become one of the leaders in the Melbourne food scene, and a booking at one of his restaurants is an insurance that great food is about to go down.
The relatively new Supernormal does some of the best food in town. Order the New England lobster roll, a hot buttered brioche with a couple of thick slabs of cold poached crayfish, Kewpie mayonnaise and watercress ($15). The raw bar is inventive, fresh, delicious. Cubes of raw tuna topped with a puréed dot of avocado, a twig of fried saltbush and the greenest possible kombu dressing is a must try.
The white cut chicken, with silken noodles and a sesame dressing, wombok and chilli oil, is a masterstroke. The dish is so tender, so elegant, creamy, crunchy and fresh, I could come in for a plate of it every day. This Asian twist is McConnell at his most wonderful. The pan-Asian menu draws on the chef's years spent working in Shanghai and Hong Kong, where he was exposed to a broad range of food in people’s homes, on the streets and in restaurants.
It’s a large concrete box of space with a neutral fit out; pale wood paneling, white booths, a long zinc bar and a basement that includes a karaoke room, less tacky than its counterparts elsewhere. Sydneysiders wish McConnell would deliver interstate.
Andrew McConnell, the chef behind some of Melbourne’s best restaurants, excels at his latest eatery that’s inspired by the cuisine of Tokyo, Shanghai, Seoul and Hong Kong. Expect beautifully executed takes on classic Asian food concepts, such as slow-cooked Szechuan lamb with spring onion pancake and coriander paste, followed by plum and green tea ice cream.