A few months ago my Aunty from QLD presented me as the resident foodie in the family with what proved to be a most difficult task, even for a food obsessed Melbournian like myself. She wanted me to organize a dinner for 16 people on a Monday night as a surprise belated 21st for my cousin, who would be down from QLD for the Ed Sheeran concert. The basic brief was:
– on a Monday
– preferably not a set menu
– needs to have amazing vego options for my cousin who is vegetarian
– needs to have some simple options for my fussy teenage cousin
– needs to be delicious enough to satisfy the family gourmets
This may sound relatively simple to some, and yes, I could have just booked us all into a Vietnamese restaurant in Chinatown, but being the foodie that I am I wanted to choose something a little different and impress. It was SO hard to find somewhere that was willing to let us come in a booking that big and not have a set menu, but thankfully Belleville Melbourne went one step further and we were even able to order and pay separately at the bar.
My cousin was super surprised and enjoyed the vego options, and the menu was affordable for everyone and heaps of variety.
Belleville is a hidden gem in Globe Alley, in Chinatown. A second story converted warehouse, it is a trendy and funky bar and eatery that would suit anyone from a group of hipsters to an older group of friends looking for dinner with some atmosphere. It is colourful and vibrant, and the Asian influenced tapas style menu carries the same find of vibe.
Our table as a whole consumed a huge amount of shared tapas- my pregnant cousin alone hilariously ate about 5 or 6 dishes. From poutine to cabbage rolls to rotisserie chicken to soft shell crab burgers, we probably tried practically the entire menu. Everyone was impressed with their meals, from my body builder brother, to my Aunty and Uncle who said ‘everything was wonderful’ to my vego cousin and her super fussy sister who just ate chips.
The stand out for me would have to be the Mac and cheese lobster croquette, and the deliciously naughty poutine! Definitely take your next cheat meal here…
The staff handled our big table beautifully- the food came out quickly and was served with a smile. The atmosphere was fun and lively, and we had the dining experience of shared food in a modern pub like atmosphere, something that is sometimes hard to find for a big group.
Recommended by me, and 15 family members!
Have a delicious weekend,