Restaurants, Pan-Asian Central Manchester
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(4user reviews)
Australasia, Manchester
Australasia interior, Manchester

With its glass prism-shaped entrance bursting up through Spinningfield’s pavement, Australasia literally takes you ‘down under’ to sample its pan-Asian cuisine. It’s one of the only places in town serving dishes inspired by South East Asian, Indonesian and Japanese cooking. Despite being an underground restaurant it's certainly not a gloomy place. The mainly white, ultra-modern decor with its driftwood and soft beige finishings make it easy to forget that you’re seated below the bustle of Spinningfields.

The drinks list is vast - more of a book really - and with five pages of cocktails to choose from it can easily make for a booze-fuelled night of fun. Along with the classics you'll find vaguely Asian-inspired concoctions such as the Wasabi-tini, Golden Monkey and Thai’d Up. You can also browse the impressive, hi-tech wine list on the iPads provided.

The usual starter, main course, dessert route is available but for those wanting to sample a wider range of what’s on offer there’s also a selection of small plates designed for sharing, served to the centre of the table throughout the meal.

From the robata grill – a traditional Japanese style of cooking over charcoal - you can sample options such as grilled mackerel in banana leaves, Szechuan salt and pepper beef skewers and BBQ lamb cutlets, or simply choose from a range of premium steaks cooked to your liking.

Desserts are a must. From simple carrot cake, artisan ice-creams and Black Forest gateaux to roasted quince with yoghurt sorbet and garden buttermilk panna cotta, there’s no shortage of options. The mango soufflé with mango ‘soup’ served teapot-style is particularly good.

By: Shaun Barnes


Venue name: Australasia
Address: 1 The Avenue
M3 3AP
Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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Australasia has developed quite a reputation for itself over the years, and well deserved. The food is great, with an impressive selection of house cocktails to wash your dish down with - the smokey old fashioned is a must-try. The venue itself is stunning as well, with a relaxed atmosphere making it a great place to eat.

My experiences in the past have been hit and miss with Australasia.

From the first time I walked in, I was taken aback that such a light space can be created underground, although I was less impressed with the flim-flammery of the wine list presented on an ipad and the pantomime of the waiter sidling up to the table, grating a root into a bowl and smiling down saying "I guess you guys haven't *seen* fresh wasabi before"

But that was then, and this is now, so of a summer evening, it was a pleasant couple of hours spent tasting some items from their new menu.   The tempura vegetables and the monkfish were particularly tasty.

It was a bit too heady a night to have more than one glass of their drinkable house red, so tried the cocktails.

I'll never be one to say "there's hardly any alcohol in this" - however it can be applied to The Wax Seal.  It was like being hit over the head with a bottle of Bourbon.  

Although in a good way.


I was fortunate enough to attend the Summer Showcase of the new food and drinks menu at Australasia. 

Some of the new cocktails, including the Rattle Snake pictured below, are a welcome addition to a lot of cocktails in Manchester. I found all the cocktails I tried to be unique, and true to the literal Australasian theme - with flavours such as chilli, coconut and sake used in a number of drinks. 

The showcase of new dishes, in canapé form, gave an inkling into the clean and simple style that Australasia exhibits. The octopus dish was an exceptional knockout, and i'll definitely be heading back to try more cocktails and experience the restaurant side of things.