Creativity the key to world-class feasts at Supernormal

2 March 2023

Devour hallowed lobster rolls, Szechuan chicken and peanut-butter parfait at Supernormal, a Melbourne Award-winning foodie heaven on Flinders Lane.

Headed by chef Andrew McConnell, Supernormal serves Japanese, Korean and Chinese-inspired dishes in elegant surrounds, featuring a long open kitchen and bar, and private dining rooms with optional karaoke.

Creativity, commitment to quality and a great location in the central city are among the secrets of Supernormal’s success, according to Trader House Group General Manager Chris Handel.

“With a large restaurant it’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day and maintain the status quo, but we don’t want to sit still for very long,” Chris said.

“We’re always looking for new activations and opportunities to evolve our business. We’re motivated by creativity, and it’s exciting to be so busy and help bring the buzz to the CBD.”

True to their word, it’s been a busy 12 months at Supernormal with the launch of pop-up Bar Paradox, an Australian Open outpost, and a collaboration with celebrated chef Jun Eun Chae for Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.

Plans are also underway for a new restaurant in Brisbane, opening this year.

Underpinning all this momentum is a keen awareness of Melbourne’s new city rhythm.

“We’ve seen new trends in Melbourne since the pandemic. The rulebook shouldn’t be completely thrown out, but we need to approach hospitality with a fresh perspective,” Chris said.

“It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking the city will never be the same – that it’s different and difficult now. But that’s not necessarily the case. In fact, some of the changes have been positive.

“While we’ve had some rough years, from what I can tell the appetite for quality food and beverages, and for Melbourne as a place, has really returned, and perhaps even improved on what it was before.

“People want to be inspired and they are looking for quality in Melbourne’s world-class offerings. I encourage emerging hospitality business owners to think carefully about customer demographics and to aim high.”

The City of Melbourne named Supernormal the winner of the Hospitality category of the 2022 Melbourne Awards, recognising the team’s exceptional contribution to the sector since the restaurant first opened in 2014.

“The Melbourne Award is one of real meaning for us. We’ve been at our Flinders Lane location for almost nine years, and to be recognised is really humbling,” Chris said.

“We love Melbourne, and many of our team members are from Melbourne, so it’s especially gratifying for us to receive this award. It’s been a real pleasure.”

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