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Let’s try something new. Instead of heading out to the same local restaurants with your same old housemates, why not get a little inventive come August? Delve into the BYO side to dining, which I assure you in Melbourne, is in no short supply. I’m certain we’ve all had many messy nights when BYO gets thrown into the mix.  Why they get so wild is for reasons wide and many. Partly as you can now afford three glasses or four thanks to the $20 bottle you’ve come with, partly as you’ve managed to bring spirits to the party and partly as you’ve gone to so much effort selecting and carrying it, you simply can’t wait. Either way, it’s fun, affordable and brings a personal touch to any meal. Here are just a few restaurants that offer such luxuries in our city.


Teta Mona down Brunswick East way offers honest and jazzed-up Lebanese food that’s affordable and really quite fun. Their meals are served in wooden bowls, each dish vastly differing from the next. Bring along a pairing beverage of your choice, although I would recommend a Rose’ which works well with an array of tastes and flavours.


Walk a tad further down Lygon Street to Carlton headquarters and you’ll find one of Melbourne’s most renowned Italian restaurants now existing 30 years strong, Tiamo. Lygon Street is no stranger to a lively eatery where the atmosphere sprawls onto and along the sweet European street. Although, it can be said that Tiamo champion this best. If you can find a time you’ve passed a quiet Tiamo, you’ll have me shocked. My top picks are their Tortellini in Brodo (chicken broth with spinach and meat filled tortellini) and their scaloppine al Vino Bianco (veal medallions in a white wine sauce with fresh vegetables). Who could slurp spaghetti without a generously topped glass of red wine (sangiovese is a must) or a Peroni red if you prefer. Rathdowne Cellars are just down the road and have all you need.


Just a little further into the CBD and you’ll find China Town – the longest, continuous Chinese streetscape in the western world, and possibly longest strip of BYO restaurants too. Simply select your wine, sake, or take my recommendation and bring a chilled beer (exactly the crisp compliment needed with heavy Chinese flavours) and choose the restaurant which tickles your honey chicken needs. Shanghai-village is without a thought, top of the list. Although you may have to line up for a short while, their dumpling plates of 15 pieces for just $7.50 is worth it. Plus, you wait among the other China Town travellers while the neon red lights shine your way through the experience. My favourite dish is their beef dumplings in chilli oil soup, and luckily for you, you’re in the heart of late night bottle shops.