We know, we know. It’s been so long since we’ve been able to catch up with friends and loved ones. So, what better way to see them than around a big table at one of Melbourne’s favourite eateries? Here are some restaurants getting ready to welcome you and your posse back.
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Dine in the City of Melbourne from Monday to Thursday, spend between $50 and $500 at a restaurant, cafe or bar, then submit your receipt online to claim up to a total of $150 back. Get in quick – it’s only available while funds last. Some terms and conditions apply, check the Melbourne Money website for more info.
Bottomless brunch at the B.EAST
Check out the B.EAST's new digs on Swanston Street. Think retro decor, slushy margaritas and all your fave loaded burgers. Pay a visit on weekends for bottomless beast feasts. That's an unlimited afternoon of cocktail jugs, prosecco, wings, poutine and fries. They even have vegan options! Book online.
Just look for the neon glowing over the outdoor terrace at Crown’s colourful Ging Thai. Slip inside and all the scintillating flavours of Thailand await. A snappy som tum, a silky kingfish ceviche, a vibrant vegetable curry. The $68 Feed Me menu, with optional wine matching, is a great group option. There’s a maximum of 10 guests per table. (Call ahead if you have a larger group.) As per Crown policy, diners over the age of 16 must be able to show proof of double vaccination.
Uncle serve up bright, modern flavour bombs of Vietnamese cuisine. Grab a group and book a table for one of their tasty banquets, ideal for the whole gang. You can choose from either the $55 or $79 Uncle Knows Best menus. At lunch, there’s also the option of the Lunchtime Quickie, a short, sharp, tasty hit available on weekdays for $33. Book online for up to 10 guests or email Uncle for larger bookings (and to let them know of any dietary requests).
Imagine sitting with your friends, staring at the city skyline with a perfect pasta and a glass of red. Imagine no longer. Group bookings are open at La Camera at Southgate. Get a balcony table or a private booth and enjoy perfect Italian cuisine. There’s a $60 minimum spend and groups of 10 or more must order a set menu. They’re also open for Christmas lunch.
Daughter in Law
Daughter in Law is Jessi Singh's exuberant restaurant on Little Bourke Street. It serves up playfully 'unauthentic Australian Indian' cuisine. There’s a stack of vegetarian and gluten-free dishes to be had here. (Try Colonel Tso’s cauliflower and you’ll be hooked for life.) Groups of six or more dine on the tasting menu with a seating time of two hours. Groups of 10 or more get 2.5 hours. All diners must show proof of double vaccination.
Cargo’s mantra is ‘sharing is caring’. This waterside Docklands restaurant does a great line in share plates of Greek classics. Their group menu features their most popular dishes. There's slow cooked lamb shoulder, grain salad and sizzly saganaki. The menu can be tailored to suit dietary requirements. Just finalise your numbers (minimum 10) and dietary needs 48 hours in advance. Reservations are for two hours. (Oh, and Cargo has a ‘no split bill’ policy so clue your group in.)
Oriental Tea House
Hands up who’s missed a hearty serve of xiao long bao, fresh from a bamboo basket? Then book yourselves a yum cha fiesta at Oriental Tea House. Seatings run for 90 minutes (lunch service is 12pm to 1pm, dinner service is 6pm to 8pm). Groups of 8 or more must dine on a feasting menu. You can also tailor your own cocktail or sit-down package. Just preselect the number and types of dishes for your group’s 1.5 hour booking. (Prices start at $48pp.) Vegetarian options are plentiful.
The Boatbuilders Yard
The weather’s brightening up and Melbourne is feeling brunchy. So why not head to South Wharf’s Boatbuilders Yard, grab an outdoor table and brunch on a classic smashed avo? Lunch and dinner menus feature pub-leaning dishes. Think Spanish mussels, buttermilk fried chicken wings and soft-shell crab burgers. You can book for groups of up to 20 guests for a two-hour spot.
The George on Collins
The George on Collins in the iconic Georges building, has got something for everyone. It’s a slick, glamorous space serving up spicy fusion dishes. You can book for lunch or dinner or a bottomless boozy brunch. You can even reserve a premium red booth with a dedicated hostess for up to seven guests. At this stage, all bookings are for the banquet menu ($65-$75pp). Not such a bad thing when you see those Pacific oysters with lime, sesame and chilli.
Duke of Wellington
Fall back in love with Melbourne. Book a two-hour spot for you and your besties on the rooftop of the Duke of Wellington. With a cold beer in hand and that peak Melbourne position on Flinders Street, it’s pretty hard to beat. They serve excellent bar snacks (try the crispy mushrooms) and quality pub grub. They also have a few different function spaces if you need a really big group booking.
Nothing will get you back into a Melbourne dining state of mind than a meal at Chin Chin. Book for lunch or dinner and enjoy the wild ride of the Feed Me menu for $69.50. Menus can be tailored to dietary needs. For groups of 10 to 14, why not dine under the neon bunny at the Chef’s Table? And make it super special by getting the Celebration Feast ($120pp). Hello kingfish sashimi!
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Last updated on Mon 15 Nov 2021
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