Anywhere which serves smokey old fashioned’s, porn star martinis and delicious food is a winner in my book, and Australasia in Manchester does just that.
If it wasn’t for the price, I would definitely frequent this establishment much more however, alas, it can only be visited on special occasions, when I can justify spending more than I can afford! Don’t get me wrong, the food and drinks are definitely worth the price and if I could afford it, I would go more often. I do still go the bar, Grand Pacific, on evenings out to enjoy the cocktails though. So I still get a slice of the action I suppose!
My last visit to Australasia was for my birthday and I definitely made the most of it. You have two options when eating there. You can either choose a few of the smaller plates to share or have a typical starter, main and dessert. We had a starter of vegetable tempura, which was delicious. The vegetables were very lightly battered and did not feel oily or fatty to eat. There was a soft crisp to them with each bite. Perfect. We also shared what was possibly the most succulent, melt in the mouth beef skewers we have ever eaten. I think I may still dream of them actually…
This was then followed by some scrumptious mains. I went for the monkfish and razer clams and it really was delicious. The monkfish was succulent and cooked to perfection and the razer clams complimented it well. My only slight complaint was that it could have done with a bit more sauce. But that is more personal preference than anything else – I like sauce! My boyfriend enjoyed a pork belly curry which he said was extremely yummy – his only complaint was that he wanted more when it had all gone!
The best bit of the meal by far though was dessert. Everytime I go to Australasia I get excited for dessert. I always know what I am going to get – the chocolate soufflé. It is, without a doubt, the best chocolate soufflé I have ever had. And I have had a lot! You even get a little teapot of hot chocolate sauce to pour into the middle of it. Incredible. It is also served with a tangy raspberry sorbet, which compliments the intense chocolate flavours of the soufflé really well. Heaven. Literally, heaven.
Whenever I have been to Australasia, the service has been impeccable. The waiters/waitresses are very attentive and know the menu and drinks inside out. They can give great recommendations if you are not sure what to get and they genuinely seem to enjoy their job. I have been very impressed with everyone I have encountered working there and I find that is quite rare these days.
Although my boyfriend really enjoyed the meal, he did say it was a bit on the pretentious side. I personally don’t think it was, but he prefers big plates of good, honest food, which isn’t what you get here. Granted, the portions are small and there is a strong emphasis on the presentation of the food (which I think is what he meant by ‘pretentious’) but this is not at the expense of the quality. Plus, after 3 courses we were both pretty stuffed. He does rave about the smokey old fashioned’s though, he is still yet to find somewhere that does a better one!
I will leave you with a few pictures of the scrumptious food and delightfully delicious cocktails to get your taste buds going! If you are ever in Manchester and have some cash to spare, definitely take a trip here for some food. If money is a bit tight, head to Grand Pacific instead. You can get some of the smaller, taster dishes to munch on and enjoy the fantastic cocktails they have to offer.