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FOOD & DRINK

Five Restaurants with Set Menus to Book for a Meal with Friends This Summer

From a $70 multi-course journey through Peru to a cheerful $40 Vietnamese feast.
By Jo Rittey
January 21, 2019
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Five Restaurants with Set Menus to Book for a Meal with Friends This Summer

From a $70 multi-course journey through Peru to a cheerful $40 Vietnamese feast.
By Jo Rittey
January 21, 2019
  shares

FIVE RESTAURANTS WITH SET MENUS TO BOOK FOR A MEAL WITH FRIENDS THIS SUMMER

From a $70 multi-course journey through Peru to a cheerful $40 Vietnamese feast.

Choice is generally a fine, fine thing. But sometimes it's not — especially when you're met with a menu filled top to bottom with mouthwatering dishes. Sometimes it's all too much and you want to just sit back, relax, and let the chef tell you what to eat. Summer has quite enough going on without you having to organise a feast as well. Well, that's where set menus come in. These banquets allow you to get together with your mates and catch up on all the news, without lifting a finger.

To make your life even easier, we've put together a list of top-notch and reasonably priced set menus that are good for a group. Whether you're after Middle Eastern, Peruvian, pan-Asian or American steakhouse feels, you are in for a treat with these menus. Start messaging the group — this weekend, you feast.

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    Chef Khanh Nguyen’s modern take on Southeast Asian food pairs traditional flavours with native Australian ingredients and modern cooking techniques. And the set menu ($80 per person) is a lovely way to become acquainted with this. You’ll be treated to a selection of Nguyen’s favourites from each section of the menu — expect the likes of pie tee (Peranakan crispy pastry tart shell) filled with whipped egg custard and salted vegetables, jungle curry with lemon myrtle or egg noodles with chicken crackling and pepperberry. Allow two hours for a nicely drawn-out dining experience (and to get through all the food).

    Image: Kate Shanasy.

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  • 4

    ‘The Journey through Peru’ menu ($70 per person) at Pastuso is designed for sharing, offering a selection of chef Alejandro Saravia’s signature dishes from across the four areas of the a la carte menu: ceviche, street food, slow-cooked mains and desserts. Start with zesty and refreshing ceviche, then move to house-made sausage, beef skewers, smoky roast chicken and grilled dry-aged rump, before finishing off with Peruvian pannacotta and traditional tres leches sponge cake. Yep, feasting will take on a whole new meaning. The menu is for a minimum of four people, so grab your friends and start clinking those pisco sour glasses. Soon you’ll be thinking you’re in Peru.

    READ MORE BOOK A TABLE
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    Natural History’s menu is about encouraging people to discover a variety of new food and the ‘401 Feast’ menu ($75 per person) is the best way to do this. The banquet is designed to share, so you’ll get to sample a good number of plates. Head chef James Wilkinson selects the dishes based on the produce he has his hands on at the time, which means the feast is irrefutably fresh. You can guarantee there’ll be some sort of American grill classic in there and the aged beef is always treated well here. You can also match your feast with beer, wine or keep thing natural with, well, natural wine.  

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    Annam is all about delicious Vietnamese-influenced food and good vibes. So, it’s no surprise the venue has three options as far as tasting menus go. The ‘Little Saigon’ ($40 for seven dishes) and ‘Big Trouble’ ($65 for 11 dishes) set menus are the standard banquets available to groups of two or more in the dining room. An additional $85 option is also available for groups who are super hungry and want to go all out. The banquets are served share style and could feature such delights as the crunchy-skinned chicken ribs with sriracha mayo, the sarsaparilla-braised oxtail dumplings or Milawa chicken jungle curry.

    Image: Jerry Mai.

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    Melbourne’s love affair with Middle Eastern cuisine is flourishing, and Yagiz’s chef’s selection menu ($79 for six courses) is a lovely introduction to these flavours. Chef Murat Ovaz’s vision for your dining experience at Yagiz is Turkish food with a modern twist. Tuck into a selection of smaller street snacks (confit of duck cigar or fava bean parfait with lavosh, perhaps), followed by entrees (lamb kofta with smoked eggplant or maybe kohlrabi carpaccio), shared mains (such as seared duck breast with sticky bulgar pilaf or roasted lamb rump) and a selection Turkish sweet to finish.

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Top image: Natural History.

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