Dining out with a big group can be tricky. There’s the whole ‘we’re a group of 16’ thing to deal with, the discrepancies that fall between how much some will eat (and others won’t) and the possibility that one member of your party will have temporary ‘beef’ with another member owing to the sleeping with a potential/past love interest/stealing of aa business deal.
And that’s all before mentioning the varied dietary requirements of your eating compatriots. Some might be pure omnivores, while others currently in the phase of being a fish-eating vegan. Yep, organizing a venue for a big dinner can sometimes be lumped in the too hard basket.
Ergo, we’ve done the groundwork for you. And admittedly while we can’t put out the potential fires in your group, we can give you our picks for big group dining in Brisbane. Enjoy.
If the stunning decor and the giant plush pink booths aren’t enough to impress you, Donna Chang also offers up an epic modern Chinese menu designed to share, full of fresh locally sourced seafood, handcrafted dumplings and wood-fired meats. It’s the kind of place where you’ll drink three bottles of wine and wonder how it happened—and for extra large groups there’s private dining rooms upstairs.
A huge two level venue that dishes up a drool-worthy menu of Asian street food, Chu The Phat is the younger sister to Madame Wu, and comes with all the cool, edgy vibes of West End. With cosy separate dining areas all over the restaurant, you won’t feel like your posse is just part of the crowd. Plus, their $45 banquet menu is a seriously good deal, although odd numbered groups may find themselves fighting to the death over the last sweet corn and coriander dumpling.
Ensconced in one of Hellenika’s poolside cabanas with your crew, sipping an Aperol spritz and nibbling on zucchini chips, you’ll feel like you’re on a tropical holiday—let’s hope you’re there with people you like, not Aunt Josephine and her split personality. Even if it is the estranged fam, at least you’ll get a good feed—Hellenika’s eggplant moussaka is legendary.
Not only is their menu expansive, and their cocktail list impressive, but Madame Wu caters really well to rather large groups, with banquet menus full of modern Asian eats like Bay bug dumplings and miso braised lamb shank. And if your group is nearing 20 in number you can opt for private dining, which makes the whole event much more seamless.
With massive round tables and the biggest lazy susans you’ll ever lay eyes on, both in the main dining room and the private rooms, sharing yum cha eats like crab xiao long bao, prawn and garlic chive dumplings and steamed BBQ pork is easy at Brisbane Phoenix. Just make sure the steamed BBQ pork buns wind up in front of you.
El Camino Cantina
Bowen Hills and Chermside (Opening Soon)
Multi-coloured sombreros? That alone should be enough to entice the gang in for a Mexican feast, but El Camino Cantina has plenty more on offer for a memorable gathering, including giant (GIANT) margaritas. Book yourself one of their long bar tables (happy hour is from 4pm-6pm on weekdays, just FYI) and settle in for a night of tacos, quesadillas and wings, plus a Spotify fueled jukebox situation so you can boogie when the tequila kicks in. Plus, they're coming to Chermside soon—good news for north side crews.
Itadakimasu! This is the deal. You meet at Sake’s bar, have a drink, wait until everyone has arrived and then flow on through to your table. Depending on your number you’ll either be in the main section of the restaurant, at the communal banquet table or perhaps in one of their private rooms. Plus, everything on the menu is super easy to share and the fish eating vegan will be delighted with their sushi and sashimi options.
Corbett & Claude
Brisbane City and Garden City
Corbett & Claude is the perfect choice if your crew are big fans of carb-loading, and with a location in Mt Gravatt and soon to come in Everton Park, you don’t even have to trek to the city. Bonus, if you don’t want to have to wait for everyone to finally decide on which of the many pizzas and pastas they’re going to order, just say ‘Feed me!’ and the team will bring out a selection of everything.
Darling & Co are pretty much experts when it comes to functions and events, so they’re well equipped to deal with you and your party of 15. The decadent sun-drenched interiors will put you into a celebratory mood immediately, and if you don’t fit into the glam blue booths at the back, a long table will definitely accommodate everyone, ready to be piled with share plates and cocktails.
Chop Chop Chang’s
Dining with what amounts to a small herd is no trouble at Chop Chop Chang’s—just take over one of their long share tables, ask for the Hawker Banquet or Market Feed and the chefs will arrange a selection of their favourite dishes for you from $38 per person. It’s no wonder this is one of West End’s most popular spots for group hangs.
Phat Boy’s massive neon-lit space has plenty of room for a big group, especially local office crews looking for a post-work feed with their entire floor in tow. The only problem will be trying to decide what to order—we say just embrace the Phat Boy inside of you and order one of everything. Bonus points if you can get everyone to make a glorious mess with the DIY San Choi Bow—and capture the shirt stains for tomorrow’s mass email.
Aperol spritz and mussels by the river—what could be better? Dishing up river views and plenty of space out on the deck for big groups, Bar Alto also boasts an impressive sharing menu including pots of fresh mussels doused in chili, garlic, white wine and tomato and served with grilled ciabatta. Add in a few baskets of zucchini fritters and many bottles of wine and you’re good to go.
With both indoor and outdoor courtyard seating, there’s a space for you at Libertine no matter how rowdy you plan to get. Opt for a banquet feed if you can’t possibly choose from the menu of shared French Vietnamese dishes like the cracklin’ twice-cooked free-range pork belly but make sure you peruse the cocktail menu for yourself—you don’t want to miss out on sips like the strawberry and mint mojito.
Prefer your dinners intimitate? Here’s where to find Brisbane’s best $50 date spots.
Image credit: Donna Chang, Daniel Maddox (Chop Chop Changs), Sophie Spencer