Feeling famished? Got a few hungry friends with you? Wearing some loose comfy clothes? Well then friends, you’re ready for a banquet. Classier than a buffet but with so much more to offer than a regular three course dinner, banquets are the ultimate way to eat. You get to try just about everything on the menu, you don’t have to umm and ahh over what to order, and there’s no arguing over whether to choose the chicken or the pork – you can just get both.
But if you’re not one to give up quality for quantity, we’ve got a list of banquet menus that will have you and your starving pals channeling both the inner gourmand and gourmet.
Libertine | Paddington
Your belly is rumbling, but you can’t decide whether you feel like delicate French fare or spicy Vietnamese street food. Well there’s no need to make a decision in hanger, just say the magic words ‘I’m hungry’ to the staff at Libertine, and you’ll soon have seven courses of French-Vietnamese dishes in front of you! Just make sure you get the last bite of braised beef short ribs – they’re worth fighting for.
Ahmet’s | South Bank
Seat yourself cross-legged in Ahmet’s harem-like dining room and you’ll soon have a wondrous Turkish feast appearing in front you. Golden filo pastres stuffed with oozing feta, mozzarella and spinach, Turkish pide full of spicy, flavoursome mince and sugary Turkish delight for dessert will have you as satisfied as if you’d just taken a magic carpet ride.
Chop Chop Chang’s | West End
Depending on just how hungry you are, you can go for a five, seven or nine course banquet at Chop Chop Chang’s. Take an adventure into pan-Asian cuisine with Korean fried chicken, crispy pork belly and creamy curries. Hot tip: when the corn and coriander cakes come out, shout ‘OMG LOOK!’ and point in the other direction, then swipe them all while they’re not looking.
Madame Wu | River Quay
Madame Wu knows how to take care of a hungry crew with a banquet menu full of divinely satisfying Asian eats. Starting with dumplings of course. Then move onto roasted pork belly and steamed spanner crab with some stir fried greens and steamed pumpkin on the side and finish it all off with a steamed chocolate bun and green tea ice cream. If you can fit it in, that is.
Sake | Eagle Street Pier
A shared feast at Sake includes steamed prawn dumplings, panko rice balls (basically the Japanese version of arancini – yum!) and popcorn shrimp with spicy dipping sauce as well as popular Japanese eats like salty edmame and wagyu teriyaki. Just don’t go all Kung Fu Panda and start chopstick battles for the last dumpling and the night will be smooth running.
The Vietnamese | Fortitude Valley
The Vietnamese is a Brisbane institution, filling bellies since way back in 1983. It may not be the fanciest joint in town but you won’t get better bang for you buck anywhere. Make the tough choice between one of their four banquets and the table will soon be groaning under the weight of spring rolls, deep fried salt and pepper squid, deliciously saucy curries and enough fried rice to feed a small nation.
Pawpaw Cafe | Woolloongabba
We wouldn’t blame you for not being able to choose only one dish from Pawpaw’s dinner menu, and luckily, you don’t have to! Relinquish the responsibility to the chef, and enjoy no less than five dishes from their drool-worthy menu, with eats like crispy pork bao, duck pancakes and the best massaman curry this side of the Java Sea. The only problem? You won’t have any room left for Cocowhip.
Wear the stretchy pants.
Words by Rebecca Grady