Best Set Menus in Melbourne for $75 or Less

Updated 2 weeks ago

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You don’t need to break the bank to order big and try a restaurant’s best hits. Wine bars, pizzerias and more plate up multi-course meals that nail the sweet spot between big flavours, a great selection and incredible value. You might hit up Joseph Abboud’s Rumi in Brunswick East for a Lebanese feast, or head to Zia Rina’s Cucina in Armadale for home-style Italian that feels straight from nonna’s kitchen. These stalwarts, along with many others, still manage to offer a satisfying set menu for $75 or less.

  • Since 2006, Joseph Abboud’s Middle Eastern diner has reached institution status. See what the hype is about with its 12-dish banquet ($60pp), which includes favourites that have been on the menu since day dot. The 200-strong mostly Middle Eastern wine list is a nice bonus.

  • This is the gold standard of Cantonese cuisine in Melbourne, and you’d be right to fork out for it. Or, you can book a table for its $60 two-course lunch – and sample some standouts without hurting your hip pocket.

  • Marama has just launched its Sunday Market Menu, featuring three courses for $45. Past menus have included burrata with romesco and whole flounder with caponata. The menu changes weekly, and uses produce the Preston, Queen Victoria and Carlton Farmers Markets. Available every Sunday, 12.30pm–8pm.

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  • This 24-seat Mauritian wine bar is a real date-night winner. The laid-back spot – by ex-Capitano chef Nagesh Seethiah – turns out sophisticated seafood-centric dishes from the island nation, alongside lo-fi wines. And its $75 set menu is a steal.

  • Book an elegant burgundy booth and come hungry for Moonhouse’s unlimited weekend yum cha ($62pp). The feast includes XO scallops, chicken-and-prawn wontons and roast duck pancakes – and there’s also a plant-based option.

  • Picture yourself on the streets of Palermo as you tuck into Bar Idda’s $75 set menu. The slow-cooked lamb shoulder and knockout fried potatoes are just as good as they are in Sicily.

  • A gleaming 100-litre still takes pride of place at this red-accented bar. The next most impressive thing is the bang-for-buck set menu options, which start at around $55. Find Wagyu beef tartare, mapo tofu and beef short ribs – best paired with one of its creative cocktails.

  • This schmick chicken shop might have a glitzy $2.5 million fit-out, but you can still enjoy it on a budget. The bird-based banquet ($68pp) lets you sample its creamy hummus, golden fried haloumi and fire-grilled chicken slathered in garlicky toum and harissa.

  • This Lebanese diner serves a hefty banquet ($60pp) that’ll leave both your stomach and heart full. It’s the chef’s choice, but you could land the stuffed capsicum, crisp falafel balls or creamy baba ganoush.

  • Bar Thyme has an old-school charm, with vintage prints on the walls and Miles Davis on the record player. Book its three-course set menu ($50pp), which features French-influenced dishes by an ex-Movida chef. Its wines run the gamut from funky skin-contact numbers to the more traditional.

  • Tick two things off your list at Sunday lunch ($55pp): trying underrepresented Georgian dishes and getting bang for your buck. It’s by pastry messiah and All Are Welcome founder Boris Portnoy, so you know you’re in good hands.

  • Follow the luminous red thread inside Japanese fine diner Akaiito to find subterranean bar Ototo. Its two feed me options, starting at $55, include Wagyu tataki, spicy tuna tacos, crab xiao long bao and more.

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  • This family-run Lebanese restaurant is rightly a Melbourne institution. Its smoky baba ganoush, djaj a riz (chicken and rice) and fried potatoes have kept it humming since 1979. And its banquets ($55pp for lunch, $70pp for dinner) are certainly worth your coin.

  • Glistening views of the bay make a fine backdrop to this Cantonese restaurant’s banquet ($69pp) or yum cha Sundays ($60pp).

  • A Syrian couple serves dishes they’ve perfected over more than 25 years at this laid-back family restaurant. You can sample the lot across three budget-friendly banquets (including a $35pp vegan feast). BYO makes this spot extra economical.

  • Since 1998, Hana Assafiri’s neighbourhood restaurant has gained a loyal following for providing comforting Middle Eastern food at affordable prices. That’s still true at its North Melbourne iteration, where you can have a budget-friendly banquet for $45 (or $35 takeaway).

  • Work your way through hawker-style classics for $69 at this buzzy beer hall. Bring a crew and opt for the feed me, with plates of char kway teow, nasi goreng, Nyonya-style popcorn chicken and more.

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  • This dim basement full of character serves a $59 feed me that includes more than just tacos (and there’s a plant-based option). There are around 70 mezcals and 20 tequilas on the back bar, too.

  • This tiny trattoria has all the intimacy of a nonna’s dining room. The team serves a standout set menu ($75pp) that might include kingfish crudo with avocado and green tomato, prosciutto and melon, spaghettini cacio e pepe, and crisp cannoli to finish.

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  • Come for the crystal-clear lagoon and surfable wave park. Stay for the bang-for-your-buck feed me menu ($70pp).