Walking towards the entrance of Australasia you’d be forgiven for thinking you had just entered the pages of a novel. Looming out of the pavements of Spinningfields comes a huge glass triangle with doors leading you down a staircase under the streets of the city, I just wasn’t sure what was going to greet me at the bottom.
We were greeted by one long room flooded with tea-lights and chandeliers which made sure that the absence of any natural light does not detract from the beauty of the décor and the experience that you are about to have. With the bar and a mixture of seating to the left of the staircase and the restaurant tables to the right; there are distinct areas which flow into one with decorative lanterns, soft furnishings and bright creams throughout. Whether you’re coming for dinner or just a few drinks after work, Australasia helps to blend the drinkers and diners together with effortless style and grace.
The Clientele and Atmosphere
I was happy to find the restaurant almost full and the bar thriving with a mixture of office workers and late shoppers. We settled ourselves at a high table within the bar area and set about doing what I do best, people watching. While we sipped cocktails at the bar, we saw various groups of professional types, from the offices workers of Spinningfields to couples on dates and people celebrating. The impeccable level of service was constant throughout the evening, from the moment we sat down until the moment we left.
The Food and Drink
In Australasia, you go for the starter and main option or, as we did, you try ordering a selection of smaller dishes so you can sample and savour each dish individually. The waiter helped to recommend some beautiful dishes for those of us, who like me, are incredibly indecisive. The order was topped off with our cocktail choices from the bar; a TukTuk which is their Japanese twist on a Manhattan infused with rose sake instead of the usual bourbon, and a stunning Thai Basil & Elderflower, exactly as it says on the tin.
The food didn’t disappoint either as it arrived with each plate looking beautiful, freshly adorned with perfectly sliced salad accompaniments. Our recommendations are without a doubt the black cod roasted in a hobe leaf, edamame beans pan-fried with garlic, chilli and ginger, as well as the salmon, mango and mixed herbs pressed roll – delicious! I then moved on to the chocolate soufflé served in a miniature saucepan with raspberry ice-cream and chocolate sauce served in a sweet little glass teapot. Everything was gorgeous.
Australasia certainly has a feel of decadence and luxury; helped by a team who obviously love their jobs and are incredibly passionate about looking after their customers, making sure that you never just have dinner and drinks, you have a true Australasia experience. The food and the drinks are fantastic on their own, but add in the service by their team and I would have happily stayed in the Australasia bubble without ever having to resurface to the city streets above.