You enter Supernormal Canteen through a wood and glass entranceway into a narrow, dimly lit space with finished concrete floors and thin, dark-mirrored panels running along the wall. The only thing that remains from the space’s former iteration, Luxembourg, is the long, white marble bar. Blue noren partition curtains hang overhead. The space, designed with help from Zenta Tanaka (Cibi), is more intimate than the CBD Supernormal.
The menu is a line-up of share-friendly pan-Asian oddities. As in the city, there’s a bit of this – Chinese – a bit of that – Korean – and a lot of Japanese.
The beating heart of Supernormal Canteen is the long and smoky charcoal yakitori grilling station. Chicken yakitori includes thigh, fillet, skin or tsukune (Japanese meatballs), and is made with a top-dollar breed of chicken called Sommerlad McConnell orders for his butcher, Meatsmith. It’s served with a sweet soy-reduction dipping sauce, which comes with an egg yolk floating in the centre. There is also a carpaccio-style cobia fish with fresh and non-sadistic wasabi.
A few mainstays have made their way over from the CBD, such as duck leg bao; prawn and chicken dumplings; and the famous lobster rolls.
Dessert culture is slightly bizarre in Japan, and Supernormal Canteen seems to capture it well. Take the taiyaki: it's a fish-shaped pancake with a custardy amalgam of slightly undercooked batter and melted chocolate in the centre.