MEL­BOURNE’S BEST BOOK­ABLE RESTAU­RANTS FOR BIG GROUPS

Time Out (Melbourne) - - PARTY ON, MELBOURNE -

Got an oc­ca­sion to mark and a gang to toast it with? No­body wants to feel the party buzz dis­si­pate in a lengthy queue. Here are ten great restau­rants where you can book your ta­ble ahead. Happy cel­e­brat­ing! By Sarah Jappy Best for: Par­ty­ing Peru­vian-style Warn­ing: what­ever you do, don’t Google what an al­paca looks like be­fore you eat at Pas­tuso. It may dent your en­joy­ment of this earthy (and very cute) meat, which Pas­tuso char­coal-grills to melt­ing per­fec­tion. Meals here are so­cia­ble – ev­ery­thing on the menu is de­signed for shar­ing – and plenty of fun, thanks to zingy Pisco Sours and the play­ful street art-style fitout. Don’t miss Snap­per ce­viche and a Pisco Sour. Veg­e­tar­ian-friendly? Yes: plenty of sal­ads. Gluten-free op­tions? Most items from the ce­viche bar are GF and some mains are, too. 19 ACDC Ln, Mel­bourne 3000. 03 9662 4556. pas­tuso.com.au. Daily noon-late.

Best for: Meat-free magic Trans­former will woo your meat-shun­ning crew and your ded­i­cated car­ni­vores alike, thanks to chef Luke Florence’s clever way with what grows in the ground. The fitout is eye-pop­ping: a for­mer light fac­tory given a glitzy re­jig with pol­ished con­crete, black mesh screens and walls of fo­liage. Cock­tails riff on what’s in sea­son; the sweet-savoury gnoc­chi with ri­cotta and blue­berry is a sure-fire con­ver­sa­tion starter. See re­view, p46. Don’t miss Tofu-stuffed bao buns. Veg­e­tar­ian-friendly? Pay at­ten­tion! GF op­tions? Eighty per cent of the menu is GF. 99 Rose St, Fitzroy 3065. 03 9419 2022. www. trans­former­fitzroy.com. Tue-sun 8.30am-11pm.

Best for: Wine, cheese and fire­side con­ver­sa­tions Ev­ery neigh­bour­hood should have a Neigh­bour­hood Wine. This Euro­pean-style res­tau­rant and bar reck­ons it’s rus­tic – we reckon it’s re­li­ably bril­liant. Chef Al­may Jor­daan grew up on a Cape Town farm; her ru­ral roots show in the sea­sonal menu that scorns fash­ion for qual­ity. Groups of six or more can or­der from the three-course set menu, washed down with choice picks from Si­mon Den­man’s im­pres­sive, 450-strong wine list.

Pas­tuso

Trans­former

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