Good Food Guide 2022: 10 of Sydney's best restaurants for big groups

XO pipis with crispy vermicelli at XOPP, Darling Square.
XO pipis with crispy vermicelli at XOPP, Darling Square. Photo: Supplied

XOPP

While the future of Golden Century is still in question, some may argue the legacy of the Chinatown institution is right here at its sibling, which brings a contemporary edge to proceedings. The room is modern and opulent while the menu, which offers three banquets on top of a la carte, is one to tackle with a troupe. Start with mini mantou rolls, peak with signature XO pipis and wok-fried lobster. There are plenty of private dining options, too.

1 Little Pier Street, Haymarket, 02 8030 0000, xopp.com.au

Good Food. Terry Durack review at The Gidley, Basement, Sydney. Photograph by Edwina Pickles. 21st Nov 2019

The Gidley practically screams 'bring a crowd'. Photo: Edwina Pickles

The Gidley

A throwback basement steakhouse specialising in rib-eye, The Gidley practically screams "bring a crowd". How else to tackle a 700-gram slab-like "Gidley Cut" prefaced by prawn cocktails, caviar and crab cakes? There are booths set for six, breakout rooms for medium possies, one for larger parties and even a full-service bookable poker room with croupier included. Time to go all in.

Basement 161 King Street, Sydney, 02 9169 6898, thegidley.com.au

Spicy Joint

Big, bold, hot, numbing and with a tome for a menu, Spicy Joint isn't a place to fly solo. Yes, there are individual dishes, but in the main plates are bigger than your average, meaning rolling up with friends is always a good move. Start with hot-sour potato threads, then dip your chopsticks into bowls of chilli-laced Chongqing mala chicken and feast on fish-fragrant eggplant. Fiery, and fantastic.

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4 Harbour Plaza, 25-29 Dixon Street, Haymarket, 02 9212 1777

SatOct21coverFood fantasy foodie tour australia ; copy by Terry Durack
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pictured: Restaurant Hubert , Sydney
credit : Daniel Boud

Coming with anything less than a crowd is missing out at Hubert. Photo: Daniel Boud

Hubert

While the bars here lend themselves to a more intimate evening for two, Hubert's preference for large cuts and whole animals means coming with anything less than a crowd is missing out. How else to fill your table with a whole chicken fricassee, a 1 kilo rib-eye and the oven-roasted poisson du jour, garnitures, salades and all the trimmings? Private rooms make celebrations a breeze, too.

15 Bligh Street, Sydney, 02 9232 0881, swillhouse.com/venues/restaurant-hubert

Chiswick

Chiswick has been built from ground up with group dining in mind, building its menus around large-format main courses and offering banquets for any parties over four, where Moran family lamb, coffee-roasted carrots and Bannockburn chicken are the centrepieces. A no-brainer.

65 Ocean Street, Woollahra, 02 8388 8688, chiswickwoollahra.com.au

Good Food. Short Black. Ho Jiak Town Hall restaurant in CBD.   13th March 2020. Photo: Edwina Pickles.

The new Town Hall outpost of Ho Jiak seats 250 people. Photo: Edwina Pickles

Ho Jiak Town Hall

Going to Ho Jiak with anything less than a full complement inevitably leads to a serious case of FOMO, so best skip the disappointment and go large from the get-go. And where better than the new outpost at Town Hall, a 250-seater where chef Junda Khoo lets his creativity run wild. Banquet menus help, but coming with friends also means adding marron to your CKT or hitting up the ginger-shallot mud crab much more affordable.

125 York Street, Sydney, 02 8065 6954, hojiak.com.au/townhall

Chin Chin Sydney
Banquet for Sydney lockdown
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Book a south-east Asian banquet at Chin Chin Sydney. Photo: Supplied

Chin Chin

Chin Chin have been doing Feed Me menus in Melbourne since before it was cool, doling out a chef's choice spread to tables that want to skip the pleasantries and get to the good stuff. There are a range of bookable spaces for events, but the big tables here are primed for overloading with south-east Asian dishes driven by flavour with cocktails to match.

69 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills, 02 9281 3322, chinchin.sydney

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 10:  <Porteno has moved to Surry Hills> on December 10, 2016 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Sarah Keayes/Fairfax Media)

The asado and the parrilla still deliver the goods at Porteno. Photo: Fairfax Media

Porteno

The (not so) new digs on Holt Street might be a little more up-market than the rough-and-ready original, but the asado and the parrilla still deliver the goods when it comes to large-format dining. Sausages, steaks, large cuts of pigs or lamb are delivered kissed by charcoal and with an array of forward-thinking sides. A South American-led wine list backs it up. And while the events space on Cleveland Street has shuttered, word is the team is working on something new and exciting. Stay tuned.

50 Holt Street, Surry Hills, 02 8399 1440, porteno.com.au

Nour

Led by Paul Farag's sure hand, the menu at Nour roves through the Middle East, dishing up pull-apart lamb shoulder glazed in date syrup or grilled snapper to share on its banquet menus. Weekends see those banquets extend to brunch, with a bottomless option to speed along the good times. Bottoms up.

3/490 Crown Street, Surry Hills, 02 9331 3413, noursydney.com

Queen Chow Manly, Manly Wharf. Photographed Thursday 19th July 2018. Photograph by James Brickwood. SMH GOOD FOOD 180719

Queen Chow Manly's menu is a roll call of shareable Australian Chinese classics. Photo: James Brickwood

Queen Chow Manly

There are countless excellent Cantonese restaurants where you can flood the tables and spin the lazy Susan, but there's only one with a prime position on Manly Wharf, overlooking the sparkling blue water. That Queen Chow's menu is so well executed is what tips the scale, with a roll call of shareable Australian Chinese classics – honey prawns, wok-fried pipis, sweet and sour pork – pulled off with real finesse. Bring a crowd.

Manly Wharf, 22-23 E Esplanade, Manly, 02 9114 7341, merivale.com/venues/queenchowmanly