Everyone in the world knows that ‘sharing is caring’, but in Melbourne we all know that sharing is also just so much more damn fun! For the indecisive among us who are panic-stricken every time the waiter approaches, those that simply must try every person’s meal on the table, and those who have to physically hold back tears when they order wrong and regret it for days, there is NOTHING better than a sharing menu – menus you can enjoy with a group, sample a little bit of everything, and keep the dreaded food envy at bay.
And lucky for us, the restaurant industry has caught wind of this, and there is no shortage of Melbourne restaurants that are serving up killer dishes for you and your friends. Here’s our round up of the best sharing menus in Melbourne.
With a section on the menu named ‘Beer & Wine Food WITH FRIENDS’, you know you’re in the money. For a small party of two-three, the braised lamb shoulder will set your tails wagging; for up to six, the whole-roasted rib eye of beef with root vegies and beef fat roasted potatoes promises to be as good as anything your mouth has ever encountered; but the buck stops at the whole sucking pig – $650 will get you an ENTIRE suckling pig, served with all the trimmings, for you and up to 10 friends!
When it comes to Melbourne sharing menus, it doesn’t get much better than Gazi. The entire Greek street food menu is perfect for sharing, but you seriously can’t go past the ‘Doing it Greek Style’ menus: $69pp for a 10-dish sharing menu, or $49pp for the 7-dish menu. Everything from the wood fire grill and spit, to the salads and the chips doused in garlic oil and feta will most certainly change your life.
This Fitzroy bar and bistro has a menu more conducive for grazing than a grassy field of cows. Whilst serving Euro-inspired dishes, Hell of the North’s ever-changing menu is all locally sourced, using only fresh and seasonal ingredients. Expect sharing dishes such as pulled pork and gruyere doughnuts, and grass-fed beef with marrow butter to wow your entire table.
Whilst we haven’t actually verified this (Wikipedia anyone?), Spanish Tapas was the first ever cuisine to encourage sharing, and storming into the Melbourne dining scene, Bomba has put it back on the map in Melbourne. With an awesome rooftop area in the heart of the city and an excellently priced $45 set menu, Bomba is a must with friends this summer.
If meat and sharing are two of your favourite things, Le Bon Ton is THE place for you. The pit-smoked meats, all smoked over iron bark and fruit woods for 12 hours, have been setting Melbourne carnivores’ tongues wagging since opening this year and if you haven’t been down with your buddies yet…what have you been doing with your life? Get a sample of all the meats for $49 (a side of chilli cheese fries is essential), or go the whole hog sharing menu for $59pp.
Japanese food is made for sharing, and when it’s reasonably priced, the ambience is next to none, and there’s a cocktail menu to boot, it’s a winning combo! Mr Miyagi features traditional Japanese dishes with nigiri, sashimi and sushi hand rolls (the salmon is the best we’ve ever tasted), as well as modern and inventive dishes like tempura broccoli with kimchi seasoning and wagyu bolognese on ramen potato gnocchi. The Miyagi fried chicken and the cold drip chestnut martinis are an absolute MUST. If you’re a bigger party, book one of the booths out back!
A Melbourne institution, Moroccan Soup Bar is in a league of its own when it comes to value. If you’ve been, you’ll be nodding your head, if you haven’t, you won’t even be reading this anymore as you’ll be on the next train there! $17 will get you and friends a three-course meal (all to share), and $20 will get you all the banquet. With huge dishes such as the famous chickpea bake, you will leave stuffed to the absolute brim, and with but barely a dent in your wallet.
Sezar is a contemporary Armenian restaurant with one of Melbourne’s best sharing menus – a tantalizing array of small, medium and large dishes perfect for small or large groups. The staff here know their stuff, so don’t be afraid to let them guide your dining experience and don’t go past their cocktail/wine matching recommendations! The triple-cooked chips, spanner crab dumplings and slow cooked lamb shoulder are next level standouts.
If ambience and a super slick interior are on your priority list, Newmarket is next to none, and come the summer time the outdoor seating is prime! Think tacos, melt in your mouth Latin cured, grilled, and woodfire BBQ roasted meats, and quite possibly the best patatas bravas in town. At only $55pp, their ‘So Cal’ menu is one of the best value sharing menus you’ll find.
Indian food is not ordinarily on the top of anyone’s list when they’re looking to share, but as the funky interior (including light installations) indicates, Horn Please is not your ordinary Indian restaurant! With dishes labeled as ‘Indian Street Food’, Horn Please offers up incredibly tasty fare unlike anything you have likely tried. Indian Nachos? Um, yes. Beetroot paneer tikka (aka marinated cheese)? Um, YES. Green mango crispy chicken rolls? YESSS!!! The set sharing menu is a measly $Fitty, and will be worth every singly cent.
If you don’t mind the wait, there might be no better destination for sharing. Chin Chin is famous for its $69 ‘Feed Me’ menu, which gives punters a bit of everything from their world-class and insanely popular menu. And the best part? They don’t stop until you tell them to. Is anybody else thinking of that Simpsons episode with Homer at the all-you-can eat seafood restaurant now?
A modern Moroccan restaurant that has taken the culinary scene by storm over the past 24 months, B’Stilla is the epitome of sharing. Grab your group a couple of small plates (do NOT go past the ‘B’stilla’ – duck and chicken pie, almond, cinnamon, saffron), a couple of large plates (don’t you DARE not order the beef short rib!), and some sides to boot. With chef set menus for $45 or $65, you’ll certainly be able to afford to buy a beer for the kitchen – featuring on the menu for only $1. Bargain!
Is there anything better in the summer time than an expansive sunny outdoor area, a group of good friends, some tasty beverages and some even tastier plates to share? If you’re in agreeance, Speakeasy is your spot for sharing, as every dish coming out of the kitchen is designed to share - think juicy pork ribs, zucchini and fetta fritters, and salt & pepper calamari. Winning at summer.
Image Credits: TUL, Mr Miyagi, Gazi Facebook