180 Flinders Lane, Melbourne 3000
Date visited: 30th August 2014

There has always been some regret on my part, that I never got to visit Golden Fields when it was still open.  I held some consolation when Andrew McConnell had opened a new venture, Supernormal not long ago, and to make things even better - it was in the CBD, just on Flinders Lane.  

The dishes at Supernormal are based on McConnell's personal interpretation of food he experienced in Shanghai and Hong Kong, including favourites from Golden Fields.  After learning that Supernormal was awarded Victoria's best new restaurant of the year at the Good Food Guide awards, I decided that it was our cue that a visit was in order.

We headed down to Flinders Lane on a sunny Saturday for lunch.  We were greeted at the door and offered either a table for two or seats at the bar.  We opted for the former.  

The interior was simplistic, full of clean lines and a more Japanese rather than Chinese feel.  Our waitress was friendly and helpful, proceeded to explain the menu and make recommendations.  We decided to go with four dishes to share, knowing full well we planned to leave space for dessert ;)

Each table had its own platter of condiments.  

I had the Pop up cocktail which was sake, seasonal syrup and soda.  Refreshing with just a faint touch of alcohol.

Pop up cocktail $16
MerlinFan had the lemonade.   Could have used less ice for $8.

Fresh lemonade $8
We started off with salty, roasty pumpkin seeds.

We couldn't not try the New England lobster roll - the "signature dish" at Golden Fields.  It was even tinier than I expected - about the size of the palm of my hand.  The warm, toasted brioche bun held chunks of cold poached lobster, watercress and was topped off with Kewpie mayo.  Although many rave about the awesomeness of this roll, I am going to be brutally honest here - it was pleasant but we really didn't see what the fuss was all about.

New England lobster roll $16
Next we tried one of their more popular dishes, the Prawn and chicken dumplings.  The fillings were decidedly prawny, the slippery wontons sitting in a pool of tangy chilli and vinegar sauce.  Again, nice but rather unremarkable.

Prawn & chicken dumplings, chilli & vinegar sauce $14

For our main, I would have loved to try their 600g rib eye, however, MerlinFan the picky eater isn't a fan of steak, so we settled on the Whole roasted flounder.  It said on the menu it came with spring onion and ginger, but it turned out to be coriander - I hate coriander!  That was pushed aside.  The fish itself was delicious, the meat silky, the skin salty and crisp, covered in a fragrant gingery sauce.

Whole roasted flounder, spring onion & ginger $34 

We shared a bowl of Steamed Japanese organic brown rice to go with the fish.

Steamed Japanese organic brown rice $5
We were comfortably full, with good space for dessert.  We got two to share.  First up was the Miso and Pink Lady ice cream.

Miso and pink lady soft serve $9
The bi-coloured soft serve came with a thin wafer of sesame for texture.  I was intrigued by the curious combination of flavours.  The pink lady tasted more like dried sour plum than apple.  The miso flavour wasn't prominent either, more savoury and almost like very salty salted caramel.  Whilst MerlinFan proclaimed it to be rather peculiar and funky, I really liked it, found it interesting and refreshing.

Lastly was their other infamous dish, the Peanut butter parfait, salted caramel and soft chocolate.

Peanut butter parfait, salted caramel and soft chocolate $15
Now, this dish lived up to all expectations - it was nothing short of sensational.  Creamy peanut butter parfait drowned in gooey salted caramel, a generous sprinkling of peanuts and topped off with a quenelle of soft rich chocolate.  Indulgently, sinfully good.

We had high expectations of the best new restaurant of the year.  Mind you, nothing we sampled was bad but food was pricey and had a few hits and a few mediocrities, which was a little disappointing giving its status.  I'm glad to have tried it, but don't think I'd be rushing back anytime soon, although I sure will be thinking of the peanut butter parfait.

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