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Australasia – down under in Manchester

The term “potluck” originally referred to what was on offer to unexpected guests: if you arrived unannounced you took your luck with whatever was in the pot!  That is the theme for this week’s Sunday Stills Challenge, the aim being to post something new, not from photo archives, on any subject you choose.

I discovered a new restaurant in Manchester this week and I thought I’d share a couple of photos with you for this challenge.  There was absolutely nothing potluck about the food, mind you! It was excellent.

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Wander into the square to the left of John Rylands Library in the up-market Spinningfields area of Manchester and you’ll be reminded a little of the Louvre in Paris.  There’s a small glass almost-pyramid just in front of the Armani shop. It was a rare sunny Manchester day when I visited last week so I saw it at its best.

Venture downstairs and you’ll find a bright, smart but laid-back restaurant. They have handled the lighting so well that you forget you are in a basement.  And the most important thing, the food, is excellent.  Their own website describes it as

“modern Australian cuisine combines Pacific Rim flavours underpinned by European cooking tradition, a blend of Indonesian, Southeast Asian influences and Australia’s strong ties with Japan also help determine the taste and style”

The Japanese theme was obvious: Japanese chopsticks on the table, and sushi, sashimi and tempura all on offer. Then there are dishes with a more general Asian theme, such as Grilled mackerel in banana leaves and  Crispy suckling pork belly with a pineapple curry.  You can select several small dishes to share, tapas style, or go for a traditional starter and main course.  I was there with business colleagues and we went the more traditional route.  I had some of the most succulent prawns I’ve ever had (Prawns with red chilli and lime salt) followed by delicious Roasted monkfish with razor clams, chorizo and squid.

There’s also an extensive winelist which is presented to you on an iPad.

I couldn’t fault the restaurant and will definitely return.

Australasia, 1 The Avenue, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3AP

Posted as part Sunday Stills’ The Next Challenge: Potluck

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