Supernormal, Melbourne, Australia

Supernormal, on Flinders Lane, has been buzzing everytime I’d walked past it.

A number of my former colleagues and I try to catch up for a meal occasionally to talk about the old times, and where our lives are going.

That means finding a place to eat that can cater for a) a gluten intolerant, b) a fish hater, and c) someone who doesn’t like chili. It’s an adventure just to find a place!

But Supernormal went out of their way to ensure we all had a great meal. Most restaurants, if you ordered a banquet and then reeled off a list of restrictions would fire back with a quick, terse no variations, but our waiter took note of everything we said, and as the courses were served throughout the evening ensured that there was a personal replacement dish to cater for every dietary quirk!

Dishes served in the banquet included:

  • Red emperor, white soy & pickled wakame
  • White cut chicken, tofu dressing, cashew, noodles & chilli
  • New England Lobster roll
  • Prawn & chicken dumplings, chilli & vinegar sauce
  • Slow cooked szechuan lamb, spring onion pancake, coriander paste
  • Peanut butter parfait, salted caramel & soft chocolate

We got in early, about 6pm and the place was already almost full, I guess people eating early before heading out to a show. They won’t seat you until a majority of your party is present. And throughout the evening there was a constant stream of people pass through. Later on, they had to start turning people away. Very popular.

For $65 a head we had a great banquet in which we were all able to share, and the service was top notch.

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Ah Yat Kitchen, Food Republic, Capitol Piazza, Singapore

Several months back I visited Ah Yat Kitchen the the Capitol Piazza in Singapore and swore I’d be returning.

And so I was walking into the Capitol Piazza for lunch on New Years Eve and down the escalator to Food Republic.

The food at Ah Yat Kitchen is Hong Kong dumpling, the selection is wide and varied, and the taste is pretty damn good.

Today I wanted to have a meal rather than a snack so ordered 3 dishes that were then freshly cooked for me, and about 10 minutes later the buzzer went off for me to collect my meal.

I’m a sucker for duck on any day of the week so when I saw the option for rice with roast pork and duck I knew what one of my dishes would be. I also love dumplings so ordered a serve of Shrimp Dumplings and a serve of Shanghai Pork Dumplings.

All of the dishes were sublime. It was a decent sized meal and I was definitely full afterwards.

After this amazing lunch I headed up for a beer at TAP.

Love this place!

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TAP Craft Beer Bar, Singapore

TAP Craft Beer Bar in the Capitol Theatre in Singapore is a magnificent bar that I have visited several times before.

And so it was a short trip to Singapore between Christmas and New Year that saw me pulling out the bar stool at the bar of TAP for a couple of refeshing ones.

The tap beer menu is very good and constantly changing so you’ll always find something to your liking.

Mid afternoon on New Years Eve I was wandering back from a great lunch and popped in for a beer and noticed that there was a special offer going. For $15 you get 3 beers from the tap beer menu. Any beers – it was a pretty good deal but you didn’t get pints as you usually would, the glasses were slightly smaller.

My choices were:

  • Coronado IPA
  • Coronado Pilsner
  • Lost Coast Tangerine Wheat

The Coronado beers were pretty good, but I just couldn’t get into the Tangerine Wheat… but I had to try it!

Give TAP a go, if you like beer, you’ll like TAP.

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Ah Meng Restaurant, Singapore Zoo, Singapore

It was a hot and steamy Friday morning in Singapore with warnings of torrential rains late in the afternoon.

I enjoy Singapore Zoo, you don’t have the depressing concrete and wire cages that you see in many zoos around the region.

You can explore the zoo in 4 or 5 hours but be warned that on a hot and humid day you’ll be well worn out by the time you finish.

The temperature was hovering in the low 30s when I arrived and I spent around 3 hours wandering around and watching the show.

On the show, is it my imagination, or have they made the show shorter with less animals than 5 years ago? It was a little dissapointing, but I guess its really for the kids.

They’ve also started doing “theatre”, for the want of a better word, with a Dinosaur walk that was somewhat underwhelming.

But I’m not supposed to be writing about the zoo itself, rather the meal that I had.

Come 2pm I was feeling peckish and ended up in Ah Meng Restaurant which is setup as a mini hawker centre with about 5 or 6 different styles of meals available.

I chose the Indian chicken curry briyani option. It was freshly cooked which then allowed me to join the queue of 30 people who were snaking around the restaurant to pay the single cashier. Pathetically noone bothered to open the 2nd or 3rd registers to let us pay faster.

So, I then sat down with a COLD briyani – yes, it took about 15 minutes to get to the register to pay for my meal. While it had a decent taste, it had no kick to it and was not what I would have expected.

Overall, while the zoo itself is good, the whole experience at Ah Meng was pathetically bad. Food should be more authentic and the management need a good, solid kick up the arse for keeping people waiting so long to pay for their meals.

Ah Meng == don’t bother!

As I jumped into my taxi to get back to my hotel the heavens opened and one of the most torrential storms I’ve ever seen descended on the city. By the time I got to my hotel around 30 minutes later it was still bucketing down. Ahh… humidity!

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The Mint, Melbourne, Australia

The Mint is a reasonable bar and restaurant situated in the gatehouse of the former Royal Mint in Melbourne.

It’s in a central location on the corner of La Trobe and William Streets, right across the road from Flagstaff Gardens, Flagstaff Station and the Federal Court. You get a decent flow of people popping in for after works drinks before jumping on a tram or train.

On a lazy summer’s Thursday evening the patio area out the back wasn’t too busy so we were able to get a large table which we would end up occupying until closing time @ 10pm.

The drinks menu is fairly decent with around 10 beers and ciders on tap and many more available in bottles.

Our main poison for the evening was a McCracken Amber Ale. Its a quite refreshing, hoppy drinks. At $12.50 for a “metric pint”, aka 500ml, it was on the more expensive side of beers in Melbourne.

The others were onto the white wine and champagne and there were no complaints.

We’d heard good things about the kitchen here so decided to stay for dinner.

If you’ve read my blog before you’ll know that I’m a sucker for pork so when I saw a pork belly on the menu my mind was made up. My friends also ordered the beef burger, which was one of the specials that day, and salmon.

In all, we all really enjoyed our meals though I thought my pork belly was on the smallish side.

Mint is a good place to enjoy a drink and a feed if you don’t mint paying slightly higher prices than you’d be paying in other bars in the city. Foodwise the dishes were great but could have been a little larger.

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