Easyjet Traveller Article
England's second city hasn't had a restaurant that could compete with the rest of the UK's finest for some time, but new arrival Australasia could have the makings of such a heavyweight.
Words by Ruth Allen
Australasia's fusion-inspired menu is pulled off with aplomb by a team trained by former Australian chef of the year, Paul Greening. Highlights include pork belly and pineapple curry, and pan-fried foie gras with mango and almonds. Given Greening's Pacific Rim background, the sweet meets sour flavours are a natural fit for the chef, while the presentation is equally as impressive.
Tasmanian king fish, yellow-fin tuna and Loch Duart salmon sashimi, for example, sit on a bed of edible flowers, while the signature soufflé comes with a delicate mango soup in a syringe to "inject" over the dish yourself. Prioritising flavour over bombast, the décor has a similar, subtle allure. In a subterranean cavern, beach and clay tones whisper rather than shout, while driftwood and lanterns create a relaxed feel. To drink, the rose and lychee martini is a romantic twist on the cosmopolitan, while the wine list wades in on an iPad, complete with extensive tasting notes and prices that soar over the £1,000 mark for the celebrated likes of Château Latour 2000.
Already a favourite among the city's football and film glitterati, Australasia looks set to enter the country's top tier. 1 The Avenue, Spinningfields, tel: +44 (0)161 831 0288
A menu of Pacific Rim flavours underpinned by European cooking tradition, an exotic blend of Indonesian and Southeast Asian influences. Australia's strong ties with Japan also help determine taste and style.