Where to celebrate New Year’s with the whole family

Published on 2 December 2020

Photo: Pellegrini's is part of the New Year Street Feasts fun

There’s no need for a babysitter when you book a ticket to one of these New Year Street Feasts. With lunches, early dinners, dishes that appeal to all ages and even special menus just for the kids, these places will keep the whole family in high spirits, no matter your bedtime.

Now this is a good deal. While you get to savour the joys of char-grilled dishes straight from the parrilla, Palermo looks after the kids. Every child’s ticket includes a beef empanada, a choice of grilled chicken or steak with salad and, to seal the deal, a bowl of ice-cream.

Nearby, it’s a shindig for the whole family at +39 Pizzeria, who understand that choices are everything when you’ve got your miniature army in tow. Salumi, cheese and gnocco fritto, Modena’s popular snack of fried dough, are a strong way to start proceedings, and you can follow it up with either squid-ink linguine or the Neapolitan-style pizza that’s cemented +39’s reputation. To help you go out with a bang, there are cannoli or Italy’s answer to trifle: torta Verona, made with pandoro, mascarpone, cherry syrup and amaretto.

It’s always a party at Fonda – but that’s especially true on New Year’s Eve. Soak up the bright colours, Mexican flavours and cheery atmosphere as you enjoy a casual spread that all ages can get behind. Tortilla chips with guacamole, char-grilled corn on the cob and a variety of tacos and quesadillas are on offer, plus there are jugs of the house Margarita for the big kids among us.

Who doesn’t love a hot dog? There’s even more to like when Hihou is behind the grill, serving up Japanese-style pork or vegetarian shiitake dogs on Baker D Chirico buns. Go to town on the Japanese condiments and pickles or play it straight with a squiggle of tomato sauce. We think it’s a fitting way to make up for a year that was lacking in sausage sizzles.

Hallelujah for the early dinners that Meatball and Wine Bar are offering, not just on New Year’s Eve, but also the first day of the year. Roll into town for the first sitting at 4.30pm and get to work on the antipasti board while the team prepare the main event: super-tender pork and veal meatballs that come with potato and rosemary mash, plus garlic bread on the side for extra heft. And to finish? Everyone’s favourite, of course: a wedge of tiramisù.

Do your kids go wild for dumplings? Do the words deep-fried banana bring a smile to their faces? Make a beeline for HuTong, which offers all that plus other adventures in quality Chinese fare. There are salt-and-pepper scallops, beef with black pepper, and eggplant with chicken, plus you can even try and squeeze some greens onto plates, thanks to the salty wonders of oyster sauce. It’s official: everyone’s a winner at HuTong.

Leave it to Lupino to deliver the goods this New Year’s. Little ones are taken care of with a very reasonably priced menu and a choice of spaghetti, fish and chips or chicken schnitzel. Meanwhile, the adults get to linger over tuna carpaccio and oysters, fusilli with prawns and zucchini or, for New Year’s Day lunch, croquettes, vitello tonnato and porchetta.

The home of some of Melbourne’s most impressive steaks and other grilled delights, San Telmo also has a deft touch when it comes to family harmony. The New Year’s menu is a mix of light and shade for the adults, from kingfish ceviche to premium rib-eye, while the kids are handsomely fed with chicken or steak from the grill, paired with chips and salad, and dulce de leche ice-cream to finish.

Naturally, the whole family is welcome at Melbourne’s most hospitable restaurant, Pellegrini’s. The team are keeping the neon sign lit up on New Year’s Eve, and spilling out into Little Bourke Street to spread the joy among even more merry-makers. If you’re travelling with cargo, you can bring the whole brood to the six o’clock sitting and be out of there before nine, with full bellies of lasagne, tiramisù, gelato and a few drinks, if you’re so inclined.

Pack the whole family off to Peru this New Year’s Eve for a fraction of the price. A seat at Pastuso gets you your choice of a nine- or 11-course banquet, each showcasing the incredible riches of Peruvian cooking. Think grilled flathead with charred corn salsa or Peruvian-style pavlova with passionfruit sauce, while for the kids there’s a stripped-back menu that’s full of crowd-pleasers like tres leches cake.

Browse the full New Year Street Feasts program and book tickets now.




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