Pornstar Martinis meet fusion small plates: we tried Sunset by Australasia

Added on . By Steph Whalley.

A cosmopolitan city wouldn’t be a cosmopolitan city without its cult hotspots and sought-after places which send Instagram followers skyrocketing. These often fall under the umbrella of bars and restaurants because ultimately, the way to soften most hearts in this cruel, cruel world we live in is through soul-soothing food, beautiful bijou cocktails and interior décor that makes us forget all about mortgages, deposits and how Help to Buy ISAs really aren’t that helpful.

For Manchester – in all its blossoming culinary glory – the flavours of the moment include the notoriously popular Manchester House, 20 Stories, Gaucho and, of course… Menagerie. Perhaps pipping the lot to the post, is the infamous glitterati go-to, Australasia and it just got cooler since its bar and terrace has been transformed into the brand new Sunset by Australasia.

Pink hues, gorgeous interiors and signature cocktails take you to a place faraway.

Situated in the metropolis of Spinningfields, above its parent eatery Australasia, Sunset is a complete and utter candy-coloured spectacle. Its striking colour palette comprises various shades of blush pink alongside a scattering of gold, copper and neon pipe lighting – a real Pinterest dream.

In the glittering light of a sun-kissed Saturday, the outdoor terrace really was something special. The intimate lounge inside was equally as easy on the eyes, and if upholstered baby pink leather is your thing, it’s the perfect place to sip a Frozen Porn Star Martini (£10) and grab some nibbles. Speaking of which…

Exotic flavours and indulgent combinations are the key to Sunset's Asian menu.

Australasia is acclaimed (and adored) for its luxurious pan-Asian menu which has now been translated into a more casual style of dining; with a range of small plates, sharing platters and bento boxes. We went for the 9-piece signature mixed bento box (£17.50) and the 15-piece premium mixed bento box (£40) which came served as a psychedelic arrangement of bitesize dishes that were all packed with flavour, immaculately presented and innovate in their combinations.

Highlights for us were the yum yum rice squares, braised short rib with beef broth, black cod, chicken skewer bowl and seared scallops with mango salad. We couldn't resist squeezing in a small dessert bento selection (£8 per person), which included the heavenly chocolate and peanut dome with pouring caramel and a rose and coconut pana cotta. All washed down with the most incredible Green Apple Martini (£9) I’ve had the pleasure of sipping!

The DesignMyNight Digest

I can’t think of too many people I wouldn’t recommend Sunset to... except maybe anybody who has a serious aversion to the colour pink. On the hunt for top quality Asian fusion food in Manchester? Sunset. After a comprehensive and expertly designed cocktail list that looks as fabulous as it tastes? Sunset. Looking for the perfect floral backdrop for your next #OOTD post? Sunset. In fact, you’re gonna hope the sun never comes back up.