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Meals for Many — Melbourne's Sharing Menus

The best way to experience a country is through its cuisine. Travel the world on shared plates, right here in Melbourne.

Whether you’ve got a party of two or you’re dining with a dozen, Melbourne has a delectable variety of delicious food from all over the world, and these hot spots have designed menus especially for sharing.

South-East Asian at Chin Chin

A bustling dining hall awash with bright colours, rich aromas and a DJ spinning the next big hits. This is Chin Chin [125 Flinders Lane, Melbourne]. The menu is laden with gorgeous food perfect for sharing — chilli salt chicken wings, wok-fried spanner crab omelette and mouth-watering wagyu beef rendang are all treated with flavourful flair.

Our favourite Caramelised sticky pork. It’s salty, it’s spicy and very, very sticky. The glaze-like sauce hugs the sweet pork meat, paired perfectly with a tangy herb and chilli salad.

Getting There Train to Flinders Street Station then walk 430 metres
Tram route 11, 12, 48, 109 to stop 7 then walk 160 metres

Mexican at Mamasita

Choice anxiety is about the only problem you’ll have here, as you watch the hip staff bring out plate after heavenly plate from the busy kitchen. Simply say ‘’Feed me” to your server and let Mamasita [Level 1/11 Collins Street, Melbourne] surprise and satisfy you with the flavours of Mexico.

Our favourite The grilled market fish tacos are flavoured with deep yellow-orange achiote. The bright onion salsa and creamy chipotle mayo really shake the achiote to life, creating a wonderfully zesty taste unlike anything else.

Getting There Craigieburn, Glen Waverly, Lilydale, Sunbury, Upfield line to Parliament station then walk 180 metres
Tram route 11, 12, 109 to stop 10 then walk 200 metres

Burmese at Burma Lane

At Burma Lane [118 Little Collins Street, Melbourne], the open kitchen releases waves of spice-filled aromas throughout the dining space. If that doesn’t whet your appetite, the menu will. The food here has influences from across Asia, with culturally diverse techniques evident in everything from the interior design to the plating.

Our favourite Barramundi with pickled mustard green broth, chilli, mussel foam and coriander. The happy collision of flavours and colours elevates this meaty Australian native fish to legendary status.

Getting There Train to Flinders Street Station then walk 750 metres
Tram routes 11, 12, 48, 109 to stop 7 then walk 290 metres

Spanish at Bomba

Bomba [103 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne] is a great place to get acquainted with the best of Spanish cuisine. Taste your way through some of the most creative tapas in Melbourne’s CBD, or order a larger plate to share. Finish your night with an after-dinner drink at Bomba’s rooftop bar.

Our favourite Complement your tapas journey with a plate of paella. We love the tender saffron-infused rice and the light flaky blue grenadier. Not into seafood? No worries. Here you can get a slow-cooked lamb paella or a roasted sweet potato paella instead.

Getting There Alamein, Craigieburn, Belgrave, Cranbourne, Frankston or Glen Waverly line to Melbourne Central Station then walk 600 metres
Tram routes 86, 96 to stop 7 then walk 500 metres

Asian Fusion at Red Spice Road

A culinary cousin to Burma Lane, the award-winning Red Spice Road [27 McKillop Street, Melbourne] offers long communal tables, a popping atmosphere and really good food. The tasting menus focus on distilling as many dishes, options and flavours into a selection of generous sharing plates.

Our favourite The melt-in-your-mouth claypot of steamed silken tofu is a worthy contender on the meat-focused menu. Red Spice Road packs just as much taste into the creamy custard-like tofu as it does with its roast duck or salt and pepper king prawns. It will have you satisfied and smiling.

Getting There Train to Flinders Street Station then walk 650 metres
Tram routes 19, 57, 59 to stop 2

Chinese at Shandong Mama

Generous plates of steaming hot dumplings with house-made chilli oil, soy sauce and vinegar are the reason people keep coming back to Shandong Mama [Mid City Arcade, Shop 7, 200 Bourke Street, Melbourne]. Choose from an overwhelming variety of boiled or fried dumplings and leave room for the scallion and egg pancake — it goes beautifully with Mama’s dumplings.

Our favourite The soft mousse-like texture of the filling in the mackerel fried dumplings is a joy to bite into. The classic flavours of coriander, ginger and chives are strong enough to stand up to the full-bodied mackerel without overpowering it.

Getting There Alamein, Craigieburn, Belgrave, Cranbourne, Frankston or Glen Waverly line to Melbourne Central Station then walk 600 metres
Tram routes 86, 96 to stop 7

Greek at Gazi

Looking for a place where the dessert is as much of a feature as the mains? Gazi [2 Exhibition Street, Melbourne] has really got the goods. After sharing your way through rainbow trout doused in lemon butter, lamb cooked on the bone with walnut dressing and fluffy potatoes with garlic oil and feta, make room for dessert.

Our favourite The delightful bombe Metaxa, a Greek version of bombe Alaska, comes to your table on fire and ready to serve three. Beneath the blazing Italian meringue crust is a decadent centre of tsoureki — a cake-like loaf — dark chocolate ice-cream and oozing salted caramel.

Getting There Train to Flinders Street station
Tram routes 35, 70, 75 to stop 6

African at the Abyssinian

Discover what Kensington locals have long known and cherished. The Abyssinian [277 Racecourse Road, Kensington] is dishing up slow-cooked, flavour-infused traditional dishes from Ethiopia. Cubes of fish and meat in saucy curries and chunks of vegetables softened in rich stews go perfectly with injera bread.

Our favourite The chef’s platter is a selection of meat, fish and vegetable dishes designed for sharing. Tear off pieces of injera bread to scoop up bites of your meal. Eat with authenticity, that is with your hands, the way this food was meant to be enjoyed.

Getting There Tram route 57 to stop 25

Indian at Gaylord

Welcome to the oldest Indian restaurant in Melbourne. There’s a very good reason why Gaylord Indian Restaurant [4 Tattersalls Lane, Melbourne] has been in business for more than 30 years, and that’s exceptional food, consistent high quality and genuinely warm service. Even if you aren’t a fan of spicy food, meals here can be ordered to your personal taste. It’s so good, this is where the visiting Indian cricket team eats when the players are feeling homesick.

Our favourite Perfect for sharing, the menu features five different set banquets, so that you can taste your way through Gaylord’s signature dishes. The sets vary from $30 to $70 a head and feature popular classics like rogan josh. Some lesser known but unmissable dishes like prawn masala make this one of Melbourne’s best banquet menus.

Getting There Alamein, Craigieburn, Belgrave, Cranbourne, Frankston or Glen Waverly line to Melbourne Central Station
Tram routes 1, 3, 3a, 5, 6, 16, 64, 67, 72 to stop 10

Italian at Il Pom

When it comes to meals designed for sharing, it’s hard to go past a pizza at il Pom [Federation Square, corner Swanston Street and Flinders Street, Melbourne], especially when it’s been made the way Nonna intended. Get stuck straight into the pizza or start off with a nice big bowl of polenta chips with truffle oil and shaved pecorino.

Our favourite It’s hard to choose between the picante, with its calabresi salami and basil rocket pesto, or the salsiccia with Italian sausage and parmesan. Why not get both? After all, pizza is made to be shared.

Getting There Train to Flinders Street station
Tram routes 1, 3, 3a, 5, 6, 16, 64, 67, 72 to stop 1