I found this restaurant last year by searching in Google for “The best restaurants in Manchester” and this one came up on quite a few websites. I did try and book in last year to find it was all booked up and it had been recommended to me personally as well.
This time round I was able to get in without booking as it was 2pm on a Saturday so we probably just missed the lunch time rush and were in before it got busy for the evening.
The restaurant could be missed if you were just walking past as its located underground just outside the Armani store in Spinningfields. We headed down the stairs into the restaurant and were greeted by the hostess who took us to our table. The bar area and restaurant were both quite busy, probably about two thirds full. I personally think the restaurant looks great inside, the lighting was just right and there were some cool booth style tables off to the side!
There are 2 main way to order from the menu, and we went for the tapas style way and ordered 5 dishes to share between the 2 of us. Here are some pictures of what we ordered, along with what I thought of each dish.
One thing I will mention about the menu is that it doesn’t describe what is in each dish. If you are not familiar with this type of cuisine it could leave you feeling confused.
These were alright, cooked well, tasted nice. Could have eaten more of them but they weren’t anything special.
It was the teriyaki sauce that made this. Without the sauce it would have been just a bit of beef that tasted alright. I would not go out of my way to order this dish again.
Nothing too fancy here. Just deep fried vegetables really but presented a bit nicer than just being chucked on a plate. They can’t really go wrong with these.
Going back to what I mentioned above, I thought this dragon roll was going to be something like I had at Wasabi but it wasn’t and if I am honest this one was still nice but I wouldn’t pick the dragon roll again. It had cream cheese in which we were not aware of at the time and therefore Emma didn’t really want this once it arrived. I didn’t complain though and munched the rest down.
This was quite nice, presented on an overly sized plate which I don’t think there was much need for. A bit expensive at £12 though.
I decided that I had a bit of room left for a desert so went for the rhubarb crumble with ginger ice cream.
This was presented very nicely, but, there was just something missing! I wouldn’t pick this dessert again and it got me thinking about how much more I would have enjoyed a crumble in a pub by a fire with a massive jug of bottomless custard. This crumble was just a bit too arty farty with not enough crumble on top.
While searching for reviews of Australasia I came across a review by the food critic Jay Rayner (read his review here). I am not a big fan of some of these food critics but part of me really has to agree with him here. While this place was really nice inside, it just felt like something was missing. The food was good, but nothing that really made me think WOW i want to come back here again. We both agreed that if we wanted to go out for sushi we would pick Wasabi everytime over Australasia, and thats even if they were both the same distance to travel and the same price! The service was great in Australasia, i can’t fault that. All the staff are very polite, smartly dressed and have fancy ipads (not sure what for, as he just put it on our table when he explained the menu to us).
The total cost was £60 for 2 of us. This included 1 beer, 1 latte, the 5 dishes and 1 dessert. Slightly on the expensive side I feel, especially as there wasn’t many drinks included in this.
Now, I will do my bit like they do on the channel 4 program 4 in a bed where they have to overall say if they would come here again, and my answer is no. It wasn’t a bad place by any means, but for the cost it didn’t amaze me and theres so many nice places in Manchester that I want to try that for the price I wouldn’t be dying to come back here again. At the same time if someone had arranged a meal with me and they decided we were going here I wouldn’t be disappointed.
- Service: Very polite waiter, kept us updated of where the food was up to. Can’t complain about that.
- Atmosphere: Nice atmosphere and decor inside. Slightly stuck up.
- Food: Good, but lacks something for the money you pay and I’ve had better sushi in loads of other places.
- Cost: On the expensive side!
Date of visit: Saturday the 25th of January
Have you been to Australasia before? What did you think of it? Do you agree with my review? Let me know what you think in the comments below.