Ian Jones, Food and Drink Editor

It’s hard to fault Australasia. It’s modern, sleek and spacious, with well-informed, engaging staff who know the menu inside and out. And while it’s probably not a place to casually drop by – it’s more of a special occasion destination – the atmosphere is warm and welcoming, with a refreshing lack of snootiness.

We’re here on a wet and freezing Manchester Sunday to try out a new menu, Australasia’s alternative Sunday roast. It’s described as ‘sharing waves’, and as you’d expect, it’s based around sharing courses. For one of the city’s leading high-end venues, the prices are surprisingly reasonable: £30 for two courses, or £37 for three, including a drink each (either a cocktail, glass of wine, beer or a non-alcoholic cocktail).

But how does the food stack up? The starters are a delight. Perfectly-prepared edamame beans with a light coating of truffle oil, garlic spiced prawn skewers (some of the thickest, freshest prawns you’ll find anywhere on a Sunday), lightly-battered squid tempura that prove impossible to stop picking at, plus some Japanese curried korokke (a deep-fried croquette). The idea of a sharing selection should appeal to curious diners, and works well in this instance.

Then the mains, half a dozen slices of beautifully soft teriyaki beef at one end of a grill-topped heatbox, with a succulent spatchcock baby chicken at the other, with sides of rough cut chips and broccolini. The respective dipping sauces, variations on sweet soy, one thicker and stickier than the other, are truly incredible. Simple, sure, but a wonderful match for both meat options. One small criticism might be that the portion size could be bumped up a little – if you’re used to a classic Northern mum Sunday roast dinner, you could be left wanting.

But this is where the desserts come in. Word to the wise, you should absolutely opt for the three ‘sharing waves’, as these desserts are some of the most exciting range of sweets in the city. Arriving in a nin-square wooden chessboard of carefully-crafted dessert, here you’ll find everything your sweet tooth could desire: kaffir lime creme brulee, lychee and strawberry cheesecake, pistachio and passion fruit macarons, coconut friande, and chocolate with peanut parfait. All wildly different, all wildly brilliant. So good they should write songs about them.

If you’re tired of the standard Sunday roast – and come on, there are only so many ways of combining roast chicken and mash – then Australasia provides the perfect alternative. It has a well-deserved reputation as one of the city’s better high-end restaurants, and they’ve just stepped up with one of the most moreish and memorable ways to punctuate your week’s eating. An absolute must.

The Avenue, SpinningfieldsManchesterM3 3AP View map
Telephone: 0161 831 0288 Visit Now

Services and Facilities

Restaurant, bar

Opening Hours

  • Monday12:00pm - 10:45pm
  • Tuesday12:00pm - 10:45pm
  • Wednesday12:00pm - 10:45pm
  • Thursday12:00pm - 10:45pm
  • Friday12:00pm - 10:45pm
  • Saturday12:00pm - 10:45pm
  • Sunday12:00pm - 10:45pm

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

What's on near Australasia

Museum displays about the Miners’ Strike
City Centre
Strike! A guided gallery tour

Join a strike themed guided tour highlighting key strikes represented in the museum’s galleries, with a particular focus on objects relating to the 1984 to 1985 Miners’ Strike.

from £0.00

Where to go near Australasia

BLVD Manchester

Taking over the space formerly occupied by Neighbourhood, BLVD promises ‘exceptional food and drink’.

City Centre
Bar or Pub
The Oast House

A rustic Kentish Oast House (that’s a traditional hop-drying shed, of course) plunked down amidst the glass and steel corridors of Spinningfields.

Honest Burgers

This burger joint focuses on high-quality burgers and sides, homemade using local produce. After a series of pop-ups they’ve found a permanent home on Bridge Street in the centre of Manchester.

City Centre

Rocking, rolling, rum bar on Manchester’s Bridge Street

The Alchemist
City Centre
The Alchemist

Following a huge refurb, Spinningfields cocktail The Alchemist is back with an impressive new food and drink menu.


Provence is a brand-new, all-day day wine bar that has wine for any occasion you can think of.

MUSU Restaurant & Bar

Musu is a modern Japanese restaurant and bar in Manchester City Centre, specialising in awe-inspiring food. We take an advance look at their festive menu. 

Culture Guides

Festival-goers at Green Island
Music in Manchester and the North

Gazing longingly towards the good times that will accompany the surely imminent sun, we take a look at the best music festivals coming up in Manchester and Salford.