The 33 Best Restaurants for Group Bookings in Melbourne

These spots are large (and rowdy) enough to host all your mates for dinner.
Andrew Zuccala and Ellen Seah
Published on May 24, 2024

The 33 Best Restaurants for Group Bookings in Melbourne

These spots are large (and rowdy) enough to host all your mates for dinner.

Someone's asked you to organise dinner... for a group in Melbourne. Don't get anxious. Sure, it's a little daunting to have everyone's enjoyment hinge on your choice of restaurant — you've got to make sure that you can get everyone a seat, that dietaries are catered for, and, most importantly, that everyone has a good time. All you've got to do is find somewhere that's large, loud and takes group bookings.

And Melbourne's got plenty of those. With a large group, you have the luxury of making a booking at Chin Chin or eating copious amounts of seafood at Jim's. Great (and delicious) things happen when you bring people together, so get your best ones involved in a group chat and organise dinner at one of these restaurants that welcome big rowdy groups.

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Recommended reads:
The Best Set Menus in Melbourne for Under $100
The Best Restaurants in Melbourne
The Best Bars in Melbourne
The Best Restaurants in Melbourne's CBD

  • 33
    People drinking on the rooftop at The Local Taphouse in St Kilda - one of the best pubs and rooftop bars in Melbourne

    St Kilda’s The Local Taphouse is a Carlisle Street institution and must-visit location for draught lovers — its 19 rotating taps go through more than 400 different beers a year. Whatever it’s tapping, there’s no better place to enjoy it than by the outdoor log fire, which warms up the Taphouse’s spacious rooftop beer garden in winter. There’s also a second indoor fireplace downstairs for when the weather turns sour.

    Groups of up to 18 folks can book online, and there is no need to order a set menu. Just rock up to the table and order your food individually via the QR code. It’s a no-fuss spot to drink and dine with a really big group of mates or the fam.

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  • 32
    Jim's Greek tavern - one of the best Melbourne restaurants for group bookings

    Simple Greek fare is the focus at Jim’s Greek Tavern. From the whitewashed walls and unpretentious wooden tables to the smorgasbords of meat and seafood, this endearing, rowdy restaurant is the way to go for no-frills, big-portion eating.

    You won’t find menus here, but don’t worry — the Australian-Greek waiters will run you through the options, which include homemade dips, saganaki and all the protein you can think of. The restaurant is also one of the best BYO spots in Melbourne — with no corkage fee.

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  • 31

    Need to cater for vegetarians and gluten-free folk? No worries, the banquets at Moroccan Soup Bar will have even the most stubborn carnivore professing their love for vegetarian food — and it’s just $35 a head. This homely dining space is popular among locals, but — great news — you can book for groups of six or more.

    Go straight for the banquet and spend your time relaxing with a cup of warm mint tea. The dishes are filled with traditional North African herbs and spices — their legendary chickpea bake is the sacred dish here, so try to get that placed down your end of the table.

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  • 30
    Ichi Ni Nana - sushi melbourne - supplied -

    Fitzroy’s Ichi Ni Nana Izakaya manages to blend the contemporary and traditional with total ease. The sushi bar slings some of the best sushi in Melbourne every day, while the main kitchen delivers a series of classic Japanese eats and fusion creations — groups of more than 12 will need to get one of the banquets ($55, $75 and $95).

    Grab a seat in the huge courtyard with a retractable glass roof or inside the wood-clad dining room that’s always heaving with diners. A little-known secret is that the restaurant also has access to Hotel Fitzroy’s rooftop, which is usually only open for private events. When Ichi Ni books out, it sometimes puts guests up on the roof, so ask when making a group booking. The space is a proper hidden gem in Melbourne.

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  • 29
    Harley Rose Footscray - one of the best Melbourne restaurants for group bookings

    This bar-cum-pizzeria in Melbourne’s west is a 90-seat neighbourhood restaurant perfect for groups (including kids), and it has a front courtyard for summertime drinks with friends, to boot. The menu is simple, featuring nine woodfired pizzas and six mains alongside a heap of salads and snacks, including cured meats and tasty seafood plates.

    The pizza menu features all the Italian classics — everything from margherita, prosciutto and diavola to a pipi pizza with parsley, lemon and cream. For those who want a little more, mains include chicken schnitzel, squid ink linguine and the highly coveted eggplant lasagna.

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  • 28
    Chin Chin restaurant in Melbourne.

    Chin Chin’s Bangkok-style dining hall is always packed and almost always has a line out the door and around the corner. But if you’ve got a group of six or more, you can bypass the queue and book a table.

    Thai-inspired food decorates Chin Chin’s menu, but the dishes also skim Malay and Chinese cuisine territory. The best are the Feed Me options ($88, $110 and $130) for a handpicked selection of Chin Chin favourites. Each of Lucas Group’s other restaurants — Kisume, Yakimono, Society, Grill Americano and Hawker Hall — are also some of the best Melbourne restaurants for group bookings. They are big, offer great set menus and always bring the vibes.

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  • 27

    It’s been well over a decade since Cumulus Inc. entered the Melbourne restaurant scene. But it wasn’t until 2018 that the restaurant launched a reservation system for the first time ever — so you can take a group along without any long waits.

    The restaurant does a set menu for $88, which reads like a McConnell best-of, but ordering off the menu should be no issue. The waitstaff here are extremely attentive and will be able to make suggestions based on the size of your group and any dietary requirements.

    Image: Kristoffer Paulsen

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  • 26
    L'Hotel Gitan - group bookings in Melbourne

    L’Hotel Gitan offers casual (yet classic) French dining in the heart of Prahran in a refined, pub-like setting. While it doesn’t offer a banquet menu on days other than Sundays, you’ll have no trouble building your own feast.

    Start with chorizo and cheddar croquettes and duck liver parfait (everybody loves parfait) before moving on to a steak — some of the very best steak in Melbourne. At last count, the kitchen was doing six cuts, so you can choose whichever one works best for your table. There is, of course, a very French wine list — we suggest choosing a few bottles and settling in.

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  • 25
    Moon Dog Wild West - brewery bar in Footscray

    Moon Dog’s Footscray site is a new addition to the city, but it is already one of the best and most fun spots in Melbourne to nab a group booking. If the weather is behaving, head to the cacti-studded rooftop for drinks and eats in the sunshine.

    Otherwise, book a table on one of the other two floors to sample Tex-Mex dishes, barrels of cocktails (literally) and a heap of wild-west fun. Everyone’s also got to try the bucking bull down at the ground floor salon bar — just make sure you do it before you eat and drink too much.

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  • 24
    Serafina Pub in Hawthorn - Melbourne Pub

    Serafina is a brilliant local pub over in Hawthorn that takes great care of big groups. You will have to order the $75 set menu, which changes seasonally and includes the likes of house-marinated olives, jamon and manchego croquettes, lamb tartare, rainbow trout with a chickpea relish and chicken cotoletta. The food is all Euro-centric and plated up with love.

    And if you and your group of mates find yourself looking for a Sunday feed, you’ll have to get around Serafina’s bottomless Sunday deals. These change every few months but have included unlimited tapas and sangria, and unlimited woodfired pizzas and bellinis. These days can definitely get a bit rowdy.

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  • 23
    Longrain - one of the best Melbourne CBD restaurants. One of the best Thai restaurants in Melbourne.

    Owned by renowned restaurateur Scott Pickett (founder of Estelle, Smith St Bistrot, Chancery Lane and Matilda), Longrain is a vibrant contemporary Thai restaurant set in an impeccably restored horse stable, featuring a relaxed and communal eating experience. When booking for groups of eight or more, you’ll need to get the banquet ($89), which comes with a heap of longtime Longrain favourites.

    Longrain, one of the best Thai restaurants in Melbourne, also has a prolific list of wines by the glass — both local and international. After you dine, head upstairs to Longsong — a buzzing bar with Thai-inspired cocktails and local wines aplenty — to keep the good times (and good Thai) rolling.

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  • 22
    Yum Sing House - one of the best set menus in Melbourne

    There’s a lot to like about modern Cantonese diner Yum Sing House, tucked away down a quieter part of the city on Sutherland Street. Part-restaurant, part-bar, part-private karaoke room, this is a late-night dining and party spot that keeps good times rolling until the early hours of the morning.

    And to help you experience the whole offering here, the team has created a unique set menu that includes one hour of karaoke on Wednesday and Thursday nights. For $60, you get three entrees and a main, plus a go at singing along to some of your fave tunes in one of the private rooms with your mates. And if you go on Wednesday, you can even add on $2 freshly shucked oysters throughout the night. Winner!

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  • 21
    Welcome to brunswick - great for group bookings

    Welcome to Brunswick’s beer garden and beer hall are both ideal for big groups (as is Welcome to Thornbury). Those heading outside can score a table for up to 30 people without any dramas, and can easily order their own food from the regularly-rotating food trucks. No need to split bills. Everyone will order and pay individually as they go.

    Groups dining at The Hall can do so for up to 12 people without fuss, but bigger groups will need to organise a set menu via email. As of writing, Dimmy Su is running the kitchen and serving up a huge selection of dumplings, dim sims and bao buns. We highly recommend heading over with a group on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights to take advantage of the bottomless dumplings deal for just $29 per person.

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  • 20

    Le Bon Ton is a barbecue restaurant, saloon and cocktail bar, and an all-around great place for groups — it’s rowdy, has heaps of nooks and crannies, and you can make bookings (inside only).

    The banquet menu lets everyone try a serve of the restaurant’s signature fried chicken, chilli cheese fries and a selection of smoked meats for $72. No one will leave hungry. The restaurant is also open until 3am on Friday and Saturday nights, so, even without a booking, you can rock up with your crew into the wee hours.

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  • 19
    Shu - home to one of the best degustation in Melbourne under $100

    Why should carnivores have all the degustation fun in Melbourne? At Collingwood’s forward-thinking contemporary Chinese spot Shu, you can only order vegan degustations — whether you’re a group of two or 20. The ten-course vegan degustation ($95) has none of the animal products but all of the creativity. Dishes are cleverly executed and pack a serious visual punch, fusing traditional Sichuan flavours with modern techniques.

    The team even offers a shorter, five-course set menu for $65. This version is also vegan but is altogether more experimental. There are sure to be some surprising flavour combos arriving throughout this experience. And if you drop by from 12–3pm on a weekend, you get to try Shu’s unlimited plant-based yum cha for a mere $55.

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  • 18
    Sezar in Melbourne - one of the best restaurants in melbourne for group bookings

    If you and your group aren’t acquainted with Armenian cuisine, perhaps you should pop down to Sezar to find out. Its menu is dominated by superbly cooked meats, but also has some sides, salads and sweets thrown in the mix.

    That, paired with a well-stocked drinks menu, makes it an attractive choice for group eating — the banquets are either $88 or $98 a head and you can even book a private room if you prefer. You’ll be happy to know that its famed ‘new-style’ baklava served as an ice cream sandwich is included in both set menus. And if the group has the budget, wine pairings are also available for $60 or $75 per person.

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  • 17
    Chotto Motto - one of the best melbourne Japanese restaurants

    If you’ve ever ventured down Collingwood’s Wellington Street, you have probably been intrigued by a certain eye-catching corner building, decked out with a bold black and white façade. You’d be looking at Chotto Motto, one of the best Japanese restaurants in Melbourne.

    At this lively Japanese haunt, the humble gyoza reigns supreme, specifically crisp-based Hamamatsu-style dumplings that are served as a group and flipped upside down. You know the ones. Groups of 12 or more will need to get the set menu here, with the classic and vegan options both coming in at a reasonable $69.

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  • 16
    The Golden Orb at Yugen Dining - one of the best private dining rooms in Melbourne.

    In a two-level subterranean space beneath sibling Yugen Tea Bar, sits the luxurious Japanese restaurant Yugen Dining. It’s a multi-faceted drinking and dining destination with a dramatic aesthetic and an impressive commitment to detail.

    This is especially true for Yugen’s six-seat omakase bar and series of private dining rooms — including the nine-person Golden Orb that’s suspended in mid-air. Wherever you and your group sit, you have a choice of either the chef’s set menu ($180) or some huge sashimi platters that are made for sharing. This fine-diner isn’t cheap, but the restaurant is ideal for budgetless groups celebrating something special.

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  • 15
    David's in Prahran

    Yum cha is always a great choice for big groups. And we are obsessed with David’s bottomless yum cha experience. For just $64, each person gets 16 individual dim sum dishes — delivered at a rapid pace — before getting the option to reorder as many bites as they like within two hours. It’s an absolute win. This is available on weekend afternoons, but those heading down on weekdays and at night are also blessed with great group dining options.

    Groups of more than eight get the choice of two set menus ($65 and $78), each stacked with David’s favourites. You’ll get some dim sum bites — the xiao long bao are glorious — as well as some bigger dishes and sides. The dessert dumplings are also a real treat.

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  • 14
    Mr Miyagi - one of the best melbourne restaurants for groups

    As Mr Miyagi hits more than a decade of trade on Chapel Street, it’s proof that despite Melbourne’s ever-rotating door of hospitality venues, the best restaurants endure. Mr Miyagi is a rarity in this sense — brushing off momentary food fads and dizzying rebranding in favour of staying loyal to the original idea that won them hearts in Windsor and across the river nearly ten years ago. Modern Japanese is the bill here. And it does it brilliantly.

    The two-floor restaurant is also huge, with plenty of room for groups in both the main dining rooms and private ones. If you have a really big group, we are all about the Mr M’s Private Dining Room upstairs. It seats up to 32 guests and has its own bar for those wanting to hit the Japanese-inspired cocktails hard.

    Image: Visit Victoria

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  • 13
    Rumi Middle Eastern restaurant in Melbourne - Brunswick East

    If anyone has treated Melbourne to a contemporary taste of the Middle east, it’s Joseph Abboud, who first opened Rumi on the Brunswick East end of Lygon Street back in 2006. With this hugely popular venture, he helped lay a path for plenty of other Middle Eastern restaurants in Melbourne to follow and expand upon.

    Now in a sleek new site at Brunswick East Village, the team continues to offer up banging Middle Eastern eats to its many regulars. The à la carte options are great, but we are all about its set menu (which has to be ordered when booking for groups of eight or more). For $65 per person, you get a bunch of dips, bread, cheesy cigars and pickles to start. You then get meatballs, a selection of grilled and fried vegetables, a melt-in-your-mouth lamb shoulder (a longtime menu item), barbecue chicken wings and a couple of salads. Turkish delights finish off one of the best set menus in Melbourne.

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  • 12
    Someone pouring pints at The Standard Hotel - one of the best pubs in Melbourne

    Pubs are brilliant spots for big groups looking for a great feed. And the Standard is one of Melbourne’s best pubs. Here lies a labyrinthine of dining rooms and a huge tree-shrouded beer garden that’s packed with people in summer. What more, you can book tables for big groups both inside and out.

    And ordering food is a breeze. Simply head up to the bar, order your grub individually (and pay separately, too) and have it come out once it is ready. Yes, the group won’t get all their food delivered at once, but so what? When everyone’s drinking and chatting, it’s fine if people are eating at slightly different times.

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  • 11
    Flower Drum - one of the best Chinese restaurants in Melbourne.

    Internationally recognised for authentic Cantonese cuisine and exceptional service, Flower Drum’s menu emphasises fresh seafood and meats with a creative modern twist. You’ll find all the Cantonese classics at this lavish restaurant, from silky duck wontons and steamed tofu to delicate pieces of crab and tender Peking duck.

    The banquet is ideal for big groups dining around the big circular tables (the best set-up for communal chats). It includes five courses of refined Cantonese eats and will feature the restaurant’s famed Peking duck. It costs a hefty $150 per person, but those wanting a smaller and more affordable group meal can try the lunchtime set menus for $60 or $100.

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  • 10
    Movida - one of the best Melbourne CBD Restaurants

    MoVida is the name of Frank Camorra’s still-brilliant tapas joint in Melbourne CBD. Tucked away in stencil-drenched Hosier Lane, MoVida offers a grazing extravaganza in an enchanting room akin to what you’d actually get in downtown Barcelona.

    With a grand choice of aperitivo snacks, tapas, raciones (plates to share among two or more) and daily specials, Camorra’s inner city hideaway is a well-packaged empire of Spanish goodness catering to both locals and out-of-towners. Groups over eight will have to order the $85 set menu for lunch or $100 set menu for dinner, each made up of MoVida’s most-loved dishes, plus a few seasonal surprises.

    Image: Visit Victoria

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  • 9
    Cookie in Melbourne CBD - one of the best restaurants for group bookings

    Cookie beer hall, eating house and disco is a flamboyant venue full of chatter and laughter that serves up classic Thai dishes and innovative cocktails late into the night. Either come for drinks and snacks at the bar or go all out with a bunch of mates, getting one of the banquet options ($60, $70 or $80).

    This changes fairly frequently but is mostly made up of Cookie classics. You might find sticky pork baos, beef and ginger dumplings, crispy fish salad, a few curries and plenty of roti. Make sure you also get plenty of rounds of cocktails when visiting Cookie — these are next-level.

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  • 8
    Fancu Hanks - one of the best Melbourne restaurants for group bookings

    Since closing its venue at The Mercat, the the Fancy Hank’s team has moved into a flashy two-storey home on Bourke Street. It comes with 100 seats and a two-tonne smoker that had to be brought in through the first-storey window — so rest assured there will be enough space and food for your group.

    At $49 per person, the Pitmaster Platter is the easiest and best value way to order — your table will be piled high with brisket, pulled pork shoulder, and a selection of sides and starters. If you’ve got a vegetarian or vegan in tow, they’ll be looked after with an incredible barbecue eggplant. Bigger feasts can also be made for $59 and $69, depending on how hungry the table is.

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  • 7
    Bomba Rooftop - one of the best Melbourne CBD ars.

    Everyone can get on board with tapas. Classic Spanish food dominates the menu at CBD stalwart Bomba, including baked scallops, leek and manchego croquettas, and charcoal-grilled quail.

    Hungrier appetites can always opt for big plates of steak and barramundi or big pans of paella — and we’d suggest the set menu to make things easy ($75). You can visit the sleek upstairs rooftop bar for pre- and/or post-dinner drinks, but you can’t book a spot on the roof.

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  • 6
    Lagoon Dining - one of the best restaurants in Melbourne.

    Lygon Street and its surrounds might once have been wall-to-wall, old-school Melbourne Italian restaurants — and famously so. But a new wave of residents is slowly but surely shaking up the demographic. One of these is the relative newcomer Lagoon Dining.

    The menu is grounded in traditional Chinese sensibilities, though you’ll also spy plenty of other Asian influences, as well as a few clever riffs on Chinese food concepts plucked from further abroad. When it comes to the $80 set menu (required for groups of seven or more), you can expect about six to seven dishes that change all the time. This is one of our favourite Melbourne restaurants, and people are catching on quickly. Be sure to book well ahead of time when you’re a big group.

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  • 5
    Supernormal - one of the best restaurants in Melbourne CBD — Japanese cuisine.

    A pop-up turned perennial favourite, Supernormal first opened the doors to its current Flinders Lane digs in early 2014 and has been earning fans ever since for its crafty fusion fare — including the famous signature New England lobster roll.

    It’s also where you can have one of the most fun private dining experiences in Melbourne. Kick it off with a long lunch or dinner for up to 40 guests and follow it up with karaoke in the very same room. The team has a huge screen and all the gear required to keep the dancing and singing going til late. Otherwise, the main dining room is always busy with people taking over seats at the bar and down in the booths. Groups of seven or more will need to get one of the set menus ($85 or $120) when sitting here.

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  • 4
    mamasita - home to one of the best set menus in Melbourne.

    Mamasita has been one of the very best Mexican restaurants in Melbourne ever since it opened in 2010. And it manages to keep things fresh and affordable to this very day. That’s especially true for those visiting on weekdays from 3–5pm when the crew slings $6 tacos and $10 mini margaritas.

    But if you are heading over with six or more diners, you’ll be directed to the different banquet menus. The $59 set menu will fill you up with some classic Mamasita bites that include house-made guac, its famous sweet corn on the cob and mushroom tostadas, as well as chicken flautas, beef brisket and a heap of hand-pressed tortillas. Those opting for the $75 set menu will get a bunch of extra options like prawn tostadas, octopus chipotle flautas and kingfish ceviche. Add a jug of sangria for the table, and it’s likely you’ll keep the whole experience under $100 per person.

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  • 3
    Stokehouse in St Kilda - one of the best melbourne restaurants for gorup bookings

    St Kilda’s Stokehouse is home to some of the best seafood in Melbourne, has uninterrupted views of the beach and caters really well to big groups. Either book one of the private dining rooms for total privacy or set yourself up within the large main dining room overlooking the sea.

    Wherever you sit, locally sourced seafood is the name of the game, turned into a huge range of creative and highly contemporary eats thanks to Executive Chef Jason Staudt (Aria, Bea Restaurant). Groups of nine or more will have to get the luxe set menu ($175) or can order their own starters, mains and desserts from the special group menus. These range from $140–$200 per person, giving folks the option to choose their own spread without making it too difficult to split the bill at the end of the feast.

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  • 2
    Neighbourhood Wine in Fitzroy - best Melbourne restaurant for group bookings

    This beloved Melbourne wine bar sits within a legendary Aussie crime boss’ old underground casino. Alphonse Gangitano left this spot back in the 90s, and it was left untouched for about 20 years, until the current team took over and made it into a true drinking and dining destination in Melbourne — keeping most of the building’s charm and original features intact.

    Nowadays, you’ll find southern Italian eats on the seasonally changing menu, alongside a 300-strong wine list. Groups of seven or more will need to order the seasonal set menu, long lunch feast or Sunday roast. A bunch of private dining rooms are also available for a range of group sizes.

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  • 1
    Builders Arms on Gertrude Street - one of the best restaurants for group bookings

    This Gertrude Street pub has existed in many a form over the years. But its 2018 renovation saw it become a quintessential locals’ pub with enough style to impress your mum (and everyone involved in your group booking). When it comes to both food and design, the whole pub has a contemporary British feel about it. Grab a seat in the sleek bistro-slash-dining hall, ordering UK-accented dishes from Michelin-trained chef Andy Barkham — think fish pies, scotch eggs, and bangers and mash — or just hit the beers at the public bar.

    Groups of eight or more dining in the bistro will need to order the $75 Kitchen Menu, which can be altered for just about any dietary requirement. And big groups booking a table in the public bar can order whatever they like at the bar, paying separately.

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Top images: Neighbourhood Wine

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