Due to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency, restaurant-going in the UK has been suspended. Visit Harden’s on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with the latest news. Please support the trade at this difficult time: use the links provided to the restaurant's own website and social media to discover any delivery, take-away or voucher schemes being run during the emergency.
Explore Harden's - The restaurant guide created by you for you

survey result

Summary

£63
  £££
3
Good
3
Good
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“From the same group as Grand Pacific but a major cut above in terms of food quality” – this “superglam” colonial-themed basement venue, off Deansgate, turns out some “scrumptious” Aussie/Asian-fusion sharing plates (plus afternoon teas, etc). “Given its rep as a ‘beautiful people’ hangout, in an act of inverse snobbery I’d been avoiding it – more fool me!”.

Summary

£63
  £££
3
Good
3
Good
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

This “uber-trendy” subterranean venue off Deansgate serves an “interesting fusion menu” of “Australian tapas” with Indonesian and Japanese influences. Fans love “trying different food via sharing plates here”, but a significant minority reckon it’s “nice but overhyped and overpriced”.

Summary

£70
  £££
3
Good
4
Very Good
5
Exceptional
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Cool but fun” – this atmospheric Living Ventures operation off Deansgate is “surprisingly airy” for somewhere underground, and all reporters “love the place” thanks to its “impressive fusion food” and “well-informed and helpful staff”.

Summary

£61
  £££
3
Good
3
Good
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“An excellent bar and cocktails” help drive the “always busy, always bubbly” vibe at this “slick”, subterranean operation (from Living Ventures), just off Deansgate, where “enjoyable”, eclectically sourced small plates provide “bursts of flavour”.

For 29 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. This year diners have submitted over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK.

Have you eaten at Australasia?

Restaurant details

Yes
150

Prices

  Cost Availability Courses
Menu1 47.50   15
Menu2 42.50   11

Main Veggies Pudding
£27.50 £4.50 £8.00
Drinks  
Wine per bottle £23.00
Filter Coffee £4.50
Extras  
Service 12.50%

Harden's says...

Australasia, Manchester

In Manchester's nascent trendy restaurant quarter, a large, comfortable and conveniently-located pan-Asian basement bar/restaurant, whose rag-bag charms include striking décor, very good sushi and a great mango soufflé.


All Manchester restaurants are, spiritually, bars. In a city where the headline industry is football, it seems there's simply no mileage in offering a straight-down-the-line central fine dining restaurant. Mancunian foodies have been beating themselves up about it for years, but it's undeniable that this apparently thriving city-centre has - unlike, say, Birmingham - yet to show it can ever keep a top-end restaurant in business for more than a year or two.


We hear on the local grapevine that someone with deep pockets is contemplating having another go. Good luck to him. The area he's apparently chosen - Spinningfields - didn't exist a few years ago. It's a big new office/retail development just beyond the former end-of-civilisation-as-we-know-it marker as which the once-celebrated department store Kendals (now 'House of Fraser') used to serve.


Rather as the City of London was expanded by Broadgate, however, Spinningfields is extending Manchester, and it is around the new frontier that all three of Manchester's currently trendy restaurants closely cluster: San Carlo (a brash but fantastically successful traditional Italian), its offshoot Cicchetti (best for lunch) and the new Australasia we review today.


We'd intended to do the whole works foodwise, but that morning's closure of the West Coast Mainline delayed our scheduled lunch visit till teatime. No matter. The place was still pleasantly busy. Whether these were late-lunchers, early high-tea-ers, or simply those who'd dropped in from shopping it was difficult to say.


The décor of this very large subterranean room has been described by one metropolitan reviewer as hairdresser-ish, so it must say much about us that we quite liked it. It's a comfortable setting, with good lighting and a lot of - yes, rather 'obvious' - glamour. It seems like a post-industrial space - a clever but fraudulent conceit, as those characterful rafters are apparently made of polystyrene. Ah well.


On the food front, it was a rather odd late lunch we had - essentially sushi and a soufflé - but what we had on that cold afternoon was irreproachable on the quality front, and most attractively presented too. California rolls were a particular hit, and the house speciality mango soufflé is certainly not to be missed. And up here you actually get local - read friendly and engaging - waiting staff, which all adds to the colour.


Our local spy warned that we'd had the best, 'bookend' bits of the experience - the main courses, he said, didn't quite measure up. Even in the grandest restaurants that is so often the case that we suspect that the criticism is well founded. But, hey, if you should find yourself in Manchester on a cold February afternoon, you really could do so very much worse than here.


See the Review
1 The Avenue Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3AP
Opening hours
Monday12 pm‑12 am
Tuesday12 pm‑12 am
Wednesday12 pm‑12 am
Thursday12 pm‑12 am
Friday12 pm‑12 am
Saturday12 pm‑12 am
Sunday12 pm‑12 am

Best Fusion restaurants nearby

Peter Street Kitchen
Fusion restaurant in Manchester
£40
    £
3
Good
3
Good
4
Very Good
Aagrah
Indian restaurant in Leeds
£36
    £
3
Good
4
Very Good
3
Good
The Bricklayers Arms
British, Traditional restaurant in Flaunden
£54
   ££
3
Good
2
Average
3
Good

Best similarly priced restaurants nearby

Hawksmoor
Steaks & grills restaurant in Manchester
£65
  £££
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
Randall & Aubin
Fish & seafood restaurant in Manchester
£66
  £££
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
The Ivy Spinningfields
British, Modern restaurant in Manchester
£60
  £££
2
Average
2
Average
4
Very Good