Oh Manchester, you really are the gift that keeps on giving. Every week, there’s a new grand opening of a new bar and restaurant and I’m not complaining. Gone are the days when a new nightclub opening was the place to be and the distant memories of being stood in a never ending VIP line, shivering my wotsits off can stay in the past. I am so much more in my element by indulging in a good meal with a few glasses of vino and a cocktail or two. Thankfully, Manchester is the place to be and my bustling metropolis contains some real hidden gems.
With the rise of living crazy lifestyles as seen on Instagram and tailoring decor around your most lusted after pins on Pinterest, I think that Sunset Manchester have literally nailed it with their interior design. Blush pinks, copper and rose gold. Marble touches and white wooden seating with neon light fittings, it’s an actual dream. The attention to detail is superb and it’s a perfect place for afternoon drinks as the sun goes down over the Mancunian skyline.
Australasia, which is situated underneath Sunset, is the parent bar and restaurant and has been a firm fixture in Manchester for several years now. The bar and terrace which is now known as Sunset, has been subject to other names across the time it has been in Spinningfields, however I do feel that they have hit the nail on the head with this rebrand. Australasia are known for their pan-Asian cuisine which has been taken into Sunset with a focus on light bites and small platters, with the introduction of their Bento Box, which also comes as an afternoon tea with dessert.
I had the signature mixed bento box which comes with nine pieces and a bowl of Miso soup to start. Presentation, as expected was absolutely beautiful and again, the attention to detail made it feel very special. Freshly grated wasabi, dipping plates and soy sauce in copper decanters. Gold chopsticks, should you wish to use them, and an ice cold glass of Sauvingnon blanc to hand. The miso soup was perfect and surprisingly, although it contained mushrooms, I had no issue with them at all. Made with dashi, seaweed and greens, it was an ideal, lightweight and warming starter before digging into the bento box.
I do feel that whilst the bento box was spectacular to look at, a few of the dishes lacked taste and flavour and were in need of some seasoning. That being said there were some dishes that were delightful and that I would definitely have again. The sushi was fresh and tasty, and the pickled salad was a particular favourite. The broth served in the traditional style kettle was also a personal favourite of mine. Warming, comforting and tasty. I did find that the tofu dish wasn’t to my tasting and whilst I found a lot of the dishes needed seasoning, the deep fried rice cubes were overly salty. The noodle salad was quite bland but in comparison, the sesame topped chicken was a taste sensation on my tongue.
I would be very interested to go back and try the menu again, especially now that it has been open for some time. The service was impeccable, the setting was picture perfect but maybe there was a bit more style over substance on the occasion that I visited.
Have you been to Sunset? What did you think?