It’s time to gather the crew for a big catch up, but where should you go? Finding restaurants that cater to groups can be difficult, so we asked Melbourne’s top chefs where they take their friends for a fun dining experience without having to sacrifice taste or style.
Here are their hot tips:
Garden State Hotel is great because it has so many facets. You can start as a big group and make your way around the different areas. It’s the perfect spot for dinner and drinks – a new Melbourne icon.
What was once an old Fitzroy ballroom is now Village People Hawker Foodhall – a hive of activity serving up South-East Asian treats with, truly, something for everyone.
The mezzanine level of Mister Jennings is perfect for a big group. The atmosphere of a private dining room makes any occasion feel special. You’re sure to be blown away by Ryan [Flaherty’s] food creation.
The private dining room at Philippe is the perfect space to entertain a big group. It’s a beautiful, stylish room and set away from the main dining area, ensuring lots of privacy.
That’s a really tough one – Melbourne has so many great group dining experiences that it’s hard to choose just one. In Flinders Lane alone you can’t go past Chin Chin, Supernormal or Coda for a great selection of shared dishes.
I want to feel like there’s a bit of Mexico with me. Keep it simple with tacos and margaritas at Si Senor Art Taqueria.
L’Hotel Gitan (owned by Jacques and his family) has a great kitchen theatre with a good vibe, with several private rooms for different sized groups. It’s got a great mix for all ages, including a striking rotisserie with roast of the day as you arrive.
San Telmo did a fine job at my bucks’ night, with about 15 chefs at the table. We ate a lot of chargrilled Argentinian steak that night.
At Lupino you’ll always get looked after here with genuine, warm hospitality. The food is delicious and authentically Italian. Share everything and have a great time.
The last time I went out with a big group, we found ourselves at The Point in Albert Park. The food is well thought out and focuses on the best produce.
Frank Camorra’s original MoVida is still the benchmark for casual dining because it is underpinned by all the principles of fine dining. Head chef Scott Stevenson is all about incredible produce.
Longrain is perfect for big dinners, great cocktails, love the flavours, it’s a well-oiled machine. It also serves my favourite pad thai in town.
Dainty Sichuan is such a fun place to dine with a group. It’s a must for lovers of Chinese food and chilli!
The big table at the back of Bomba is perfect for a big group to get a little rowdy. Book well in advance otherwise you will have to fight for it. The pork jowl braised in Pedro Ximenez, washed down with one of Melbourne’s best Negronis, is always a “happy place” for me.
Jinda Thai is really good Thai food in a busy but calm atmosphere with big tables, plenty of space and food perfect for sharing.
Whenever I have a larger group, family with kids, maybe to watch the football, we head to The Grosvenor Hotel in East St Kilda. It’s great for everyone, has the best steaks, a great wine list and plenty of beers on tap. It’s not expensive and very relaxed.
- 19 best beer gardens in Victoria
- Top Melbourne places for a date
- 18 of the best Vietnamese outlets in Melbourne