Went to Australasia in Manchester last month, this was my review:
The staff were lovely and we were sat right next to the kitchen, which I quite like as you get to see any number of dishes pass that you have not ordered yourself, but it gives you an idea of what choices there are. We were sat on a couple of sofa’s I can imagine that they would be really quite uncomfortable for four people, but for the two of us they seemed to work. They do that annoying thing of giving you an iPad in order to look at the wine list, it bugs me, I know it is a small gripe but just have a decent printed wine list, an iPad is a pointless exercise in showing off that you can use technology for something very pointless, especially as the iPad does not enable you to order what you want, and quite frankly if i have questions that is why you have a sommelier in the first place. Also I spend all day looking at a screen I don’t want one over dinner too.
We went with the option of small plates to share and I am very happy we did this, as the food was sublime first we shared the platter of 12 Californian rolls of the 12 the ones worth mention were the prawn and asparagus roll, salmon roll with masago and cucumber roll and the star for me was the spider crab roll. We also had the tempura asparagus and French beans with truffle which was a delicious surprise for us, as was the grilled seabass fillet with cucumber salsa and the pork wontons. We also shared two desserts the lychee and ginger panna cotta and the chocolate dome with peanut, salted caramel and blackberries of these the panna cotta was the star for me, it came with a sesame seed ice cream which worked so very well as a pairing, it really was stunning.
I very much enjoyed the wine I had with the food too it was the Sauvignon Blanc ‘Easy Tiger’, Spy Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand. It worked very well with all of the dishes.
All in all the meal was excellent bar my biggest bug (see below) and my little gripe, I will be back if I get the chance the food was outstanding and the staff were professional although they all look like they need a good feed. Based on my other reviews I can’t give this place less than five stars, but i think if you are aiming high,
which to be fair Australasia is, you do need to get the little stuff right too.
*My biggest bug… is that the bar and the restaurant seem to operate separately and seem to be unable to cope with adding drinks to a single bill, if you get this right life would be simpler and it is not too much to ask in my humble opinion.