Nothing says relief like seeing the “chef’s choice” option on an à la carte menu – because when you’re dining out, what’s better than a banquet? You get to try all the restaurant’s specialties and fill the table with food without having to sort through the list of share plates yourself. And, best of all, it’s often better value – for both you and the restaurant. From a slick Mexican classic to a low-key Carlton institution, here are five of Melbourne’s best set menus for less than $100 a head.

Tokyo Tina

Tokyo Tina is the modern Japanese outpost from the team behind south-side staples Moonhouse, Firebird and Studio Amaro. Here, the “all-in” menus include snacks, mains and dessert, with vegan ($66), classic ($76) and super ($86) variations. Tokyo Tina classics, such as the pork and kimchi gyoza, crisp sticky chicken or eggplant, and DIY pork belly bao, make an appearance. With your extra cash, make sure to grab a bottle of sake for the table.

Hawker Hall

Hawker Hall is a buzzy Chapel Street spot from the Lucas Group, inspired by the boisterous food and beer halls of Singapore and Malaysia. It shares a lot in common with its sister restaurant Chin Chin – the main focus here is fun, delivered in the form of food. Copious amounts of it. If that’s what you’re after, the $69 per person “feed me” menu is the way to go: five courses customised for your table, based on dietaries and preferences. The pork-and-chive wontons, the roasted eggplant and the spicy kingfish with sesame crackers are highlights, and if you splash out on the chef’s banquet ($88), you’ll get all that plus a big plate of Peking duck.

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Mamasita

CBD institution Mamasita has sat above the 7/11 on the top end of Collins Street since 2010, and all these years later it’s still at the top of its game. This Mexico City-inspired restaurant dishes out Mexican street food classics, and the set menu is a great way to familiarise yourself with some of its greatest hits. At $59 a head, the “classics” menu is a selection of, well, the classics: guacamole, tostadas and hand-pressed tortillas served with chicken and beef brisket. If you’ve come with a big appetite, go for the slightly larger chef’s banquet ($88), which offers the classics plus oysters, ceviche and sides. Everything on the menu pairs perfectly with a Margarita.

Gilson

The owners of Touchwood and Barry mastered the Melbourne cafe aesthetic before moving on to open Gilson, an airy all-day Italian diner in prime position near the Royal Botanic Gardens in South Yarra. With lots of outdoor seating, it’s a lovely spot for a long lunch or dinner, and there are two set menus to choose from. For $65 you’ll get two pastas and two woodfired pizzas (choose your flavours), and for $85 you’ll get a huge dry-aged porterhouse served on the bone for the table, with a side of pasta and fried calamari. Both menus include woodfired flatbread, sides and, of course, tiramisu to finish.

Abla’s

Abla Amad’s home-style Lebanese restaurant, Abla’s, is a Carlton icon. It first opened in 1979, 25 years after Amad immigrated to Australia from Lebanon. The banquet menu here is exceptional value for money, offering more food than you likely fit in for $70 per person (dinner) or $55 per person (lunch). Dinner includes mixed dips (hummus, baba ganoush and labneh), makanek (sausages), loubyeh (green bean stew), chicken wings, tabouli, kibbeh, and lamb or chicken skewers, plus Amad’s famous chicken and rice and dessert (coffee, baklava, Turkish delight). With your leftover cash, get a bottle of pét-nat for the table.

This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with HSBC's Everyday Global Account. You'll receive 2% cashback on tap and pay transactions under $100 whenever you use your Visa Debit Card. Set menus have never looked so good.