When asking around about Manchester and where to go for lunch there only seemed to be one answer, the new Australasia restaurant. Duly noted I booked a table and started to get excited about the culinary delights in store.
As is to be expected in Manchester it was raining when we arrived and it is definitely recommended to get a cab from the station, as it isn’t near enough to make a dash for it without getting soaked. I’m glad the cab dropped us off right outside as the glass pyramid which doubles as the entrance and stairs down to Australasia is a lot smaller than it appears on google images and I probably would have walked past it!
The restaurant is below ground level but the lighting and white and cream design mean that it isn’t dingy and the decor is gorgeous and very relaxing. The staff were friendly and attentive with good explanation of items on the menu we didn’t understand but were not intrusive which I find so very annoying. I couldn’t fault our waiter in the slightest and he had plenty of suggestions of how to dine and what to have if you need it. We were sat at a table for two, I had the sofa with the view of the restaurant, the other seat didn’t have such a great view but you could see the kitchen from our seats and I do like that they have an open kitchen as you can see how fresh everything is.
Prices for cocktails were pretty much the same as central London so we went for a bottle of Sauvignon as it was more economical (it was only lunchtime after all). We decided to share a mixture of starters rather than dine in the usual 3 course fashion and went for soft shell crab California Rolls, Pork Won tons, Schezchuan salt and pepper beef skewers, Tuna Tartare, Beetroot smoked salmon salad and some Japanese croquettes, which was the item we couldn’t even pronounce. All were delicious and beautifully presented but the Tuna Tartare and Salmon and Beetroot salad were my favourites. The beef skewers were well cooked and tasty, there are just more exciting options to choose from.
The dessert menu was brought around but neither of us particularly had room, despite not eating a massive amount I was pleasantly full and didn’t want to over indulge and feel ill, ruining the whole meal. They had souffles, ice cream and fondant as three options from what I remember and I am sure they are lovely, based on all the food we did eat.
Overall the food, service and ambiance were great, prices were fairly high but this is more of a special occasion place. I would definitely return here and try and have a drink at the bar first to see what it’s like there too.