Dining in large groups

By 30 March, 2009 21

Where do Canberrans dine out with a large group (20 or so) for occasions like Mother’s Day.

Recently I have had pretty ‘ordinary’ meals at a well known Club in Gungahlin.

Ideally I’m looking for a venue where you pay before you dine is available as it’s easier than trying to split bills.

Although we live in Belconnen we do venture to the Hellenic Club but would like some opinions about other restaurants/Club.

We’ll travel to Tuggeranong for a good meal.

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21 Responses to Dining in large groups
#1
sepi11:53 am, 30 Mar 09

El Dorado in Dickson is good for this kind of big group meal.

But I find that any restaurant is shocking on Mother’s Day – they are all packed and service is terrible.

#2
Sammy12:12 pm, 30 Mar 09

I like Mamak at the Garran Shops. Low-key, unassuming, willing to cater for large groups, and good food at reasonable prices. Ticks all the boxes for me.

#3
misspris12:37 pm, 30 Mar 09

My’s Vietnamese restaurant in Weston is good. Our family went there on Mother’s Day last year. Great food and really reasonably priced.

Another place to try might be the bistro at The Maram (used to be “The Venue”) in Erindale. We had my hubby’s 50th there the other night and the service was great. All the staff were friendly and helpful. The pizzas and finger food we ordered were great so I assume that anything off their a la carte menu would also be good. They’re also hoping to book regular music for a Sunday afternoon so may well have something on Mother’s Day.

#4
lisapom6812:45 pm, 30 Mar 09

Ainslie football club has a great range of food, and it’s very nice. It does get quite busy, but they are quite organised.

#5
Gungahlin Al12:46 pm, 30 Mar 09

Something that really grates with me is bloody restaurants trying on this stupid “No bill splitting” crap.

You want the money? Take it as it comes.

Was at Zeffirelli’s at Belco a few months ago and about half of our group were prepared to push the point, not having brought enough cash in this age of plastic. But one of our group was embarrassed by this possible scene. So half our group had to traipse over to the Mall to find a tin teller. Was the food OK? Yes. Am I going back there any time soon? No way.

So there you have it restaurant owners: in this time of the “GFC” can you afford to piss off 50% of your clients? I think not.

#6
peterh12:51 pm, 30 Mar 09

la porchetta lets you pay as you want. so does indian affair. I used to work for a restaurant that didn’t care how you paid, as long as you did.

#7
zagons1:12 pm, 30 Mar 09

Food was okay at Zefferellis??? Wow that’s a first! That place is AWFUL!!

Pho Quoc is cheap cheerful and fabulous food. You don’t pay first off, but afterwards there is no problem with bill splitting.

Dubious about club food.

#8
ant1:16 pm, 30 Mar 09

Probably pre-paid banquets are the way to go. Choose banquet ahead of time (easier on the kitchen, too, big groups are a pain as you have to get everything out at the same time), appoint treasurer to collect money, and then do a pay as you go for drinks, or bring a boxful of them.

We were at Rama’s on Saturday night (I should do a review I guess) and that’s what our hosts did. At Cafe in the House the other week, they brought us a calculator and a pad so we could work out who owed what. The Sunday surcharge threw us though.

#9
Whitey1:30 pm, 30 Mar 09

Pork Barrel Cafe next to The Lobby near Old Parl. House is an excellent location next to the rose gardens with plenty of grassy space next to it for kids to run around. They have a good range of beers there including Canberra brewed Zierholz.

#10
VYBerlinaV8_the_one_1:32 pm, 30 Mar 09

+1 for Pho Quoc, one of the most underrated places around.

#11
burkes081:34 pm, 30 Mar 09

It depends on how much you want to spend. Though I agree that Mothers Day is the worst day to go out. You usually have to pay extra due to the fact they are set menus and the amount of people usually means the service is not as good.

Delissio at Curtin is fantastic.

#12
Holden Caulfield2:04 pm, 30 Mar 09

If I had the choice between a large group to a ham steak’n'pineapple “club” on Mother’s Day or taking 20 people to Maccas, I know which I would take. Sure the Maccas option is very low rent, but you’ll know what to expect before walking through the door and won’t be back here after Mother’s Day starting a thread about how shit the service was.

#13
burkes082:13 pm, 30 Mar 09

Holden – I’m with you.

Or better idea, buy a few BBQ chickens, some salad and booze and make use of one of Canberras lakes. The weather will be nice during the day and you can be pretty sure it won’t rain.

#14
fox3:44 pm, 30 Mar 09

Rama’s does very well with groups, although it probably pays to be seated outside so you don’t suffer from the noise inside. I was there this past Saturday for my friends Hen’s night (@Ant – you may have noticed the sweet little red-headed nurse!) and although the food was fantastic, the noise was close to unbearable.

Legends in Manuka is another favourite of mine – particularly for larger groups. Plus, the range of banquets covers a range of tastes and can be customised to what you would prefer.

#15
misspris4:08 pm, 30 Mar 09

Rama’s is great and always good if you’re bored with your own conversation you can tune into the table next door! It’s pretty cacaphonic in there when they have a full house. I always tell them the only downfall is that they need to expand to a bigger space :-)

#16
astrojax5:22 pm, 30 Mar 09

+2 for pho quoc. delicious, cheap and a relaxed environment; and you can split bills!

a bit more upmarket, lanterne rooms can cater to larger groups, as can chairman and yip (i think their private room upstairs can sit 20)

#17
farnarkler9:02 pm, 30 Mar 09

I think I know which Gungahlin club you had the ordinary meals at. I ate some cardboard there myself the other day.

How about the family food court restaurant in Dickson. Ok it’s low rent but it’s a set food bill and there’s enough variety for most groups.

#18
s-s-a9:11 pm, 30 Mar 09

The Ottoman will also do a private room for functions and they have several of varying sizes. Private rooms are also fabulous if your group includes anyone who uses a hearing aid who generally will not be able to cope in large noisy spaces.

I agree with the sentiment that eating out on Mothers Day and/or at clubs is usually a recipe for disaster!

#19
ant9:59 pm, 30 Mar 09

Fox said:

fox said :

Rama’s does very well with groups, although it probably pays to be seated outside so you don’t suffer from the noise inside. I was there this past Saturday for my friends Hen’s night (@Ant – you may have noticed the sweet little red-headed nurse!) and although the food was fantastic, the noise was close to unbearable.

Oh god, Canberra is tiny, isn’t it! I was facing your lot, I was at the big long table going down the middle of the room. Saw your table arrive (hard to miss it really) with all the paraphanalia!

Yes, the noise was shocking, in fact once we’d been fed I made my excuses and left, it was like being belted over the ears with a stick. The food was awesome AND they know about allergies. Couldn’t believe how busy it was. Teh place was full (we had the big table, plus several of the booths on the wall) and outside was about half full, plus they always had people coming in for their takeaway.

#20
ant12:20 pm, 01 Apr 09

Musing on this, for mother’s day and a big group, what about one of the Yum Cha places? our hockey club used to have a tradition of going to the New Shanghai on Sundays for the Yum Cha, and it was awesome. The whole place was large groups, it seemed, and the place was made for it. You could all just graze away, having as little or as much as you wanted, no pressure to eat and run…

Who does the good yum cha now?

#21
Scissors12:59 pm, 01 Apr 09

Noble Palace in Phillip has very good yum cha.

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