Spinningfield’s Australasia is already known and loved by many as Manchester’s ‘place to be’ combining a carefully created, innovative Japanese menu with contemporary decor, dim lighting, exciting cocktails and DJ beats. The venue has always alluded to a sexy, underground vibe, coming alive at night, full of surprises for its customers. However, in recent months, a change has come about, with the bar at the front of Australasia being transformed into a vibrant daytime dining concept – and we couldn’t wait to check it out.
Walking through the busy but contemporary and clean cut Spinningfields, Sunset is hard to miss. Its subtle pink glow complete with shining fairy lights somehow teams cool, calm and collected with quaint, warm and welcoming as you step off the grey streets of Spinningfields into a little slice of paradise. With floral pink and white decor, rose gold accessories and velvet pink booths, sunset’s interior is an Instagrammer’s dream, with a cocktail selection to match.
The menu consists of a selection of snacks, classic sushi offerings as well as Bento boxes (great if you want a selection of everything). The Bento Boxes come with a bowl of Miso Soup and are available to order for one person or between two. There is also an Asian style afternoon tea available, consisting of a selection from the menu teamed with cocktails and dessert. Wanting to sample a bit of everything (and being great lovers of sushi) we went for the Vegan Bento box and a selection of California Rolls. To snack on; the Yum Yum Squares with spicy tuna and avocado and a big old bowl of garlic dusted Edamame. To drink, we opted for the staff-recommended Green Apple Martini which was fiery, tangy and sour in all the right places and a delightful raspberry and apple prosecco sorbet blend which not only tasted incredible but also fit perfectly with the pink and rose gold hues that were featured in the interior.
First up was a perfectly salted Miso soup with a generous helping of silken tofu, followed by our beautifully presented Bento box, essentially a wooden box with different compartments full of tiny little flavoursome Japanese surprises. All of the sections had their own unique taste and flavour, my favourite being the spicy rice pocket and the tempura sweet potato smothered in subtle yet rich soy sauce. The fresh wasabi grated in front of us at the table was the perfect finishing touch. Alongside our Bento box was a carefully presented selection of California rolls, from peking duck and soft shell crab to tuna blossom and salmon cream cheese, all tasting the way upmarket sushi should, with the texture of the warm sticky rice perfectly on point.
The combination of idyllic beach bar vibes, beautiful food and serene atmosphere created by Sunset by Australasia is enough to transport you out of Manchester for an afternoon, forgetting the world outside as you get lost in the exotic, colourful culture of Japan. So next time you’re rushing through the bustling hub of Spinningfields, follow the warm glow of Sunset’s interior and don’t resist the temptation to step inside.