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Beat Eats: Melbourne is a treasure trove for the best BYO restaurants

Uncovering Melbourne BYO generals, Teta Mona, Tiamo and Shanghai Village.

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Let’s unpack Melbourne’s BYO side to dining. Teta Mona, down Brunswick East way, offers honest and jazzed-up Lebanese food that’s affordable and fun. Their meals present in lovely wooden bowls, each dish vastly differing from the next, and bringing along a pairing beverage of your choice is welcomed. Although, I would recommend a Rose’ which works well with the array of flavours offered at Teta Mona. For food, go with their tasting menu, showcasing all corners of their eatery at just $39 per person. This includes two small [like house dips or sautéed spinach], two medium [like spiced beef or haloumi and feta  envelopes], two mains [like stuffed zucchini or slow-cooked lamb], and one dessert platter featuring an array of traditional sweets. As perhaps you’ve gathered, this is designed to share. 
 
Walk a tad further down Lygon Street and you’ll find one of Melbourne’s most renowned Italian restaurants, Tiamo. Lygon Street is no stranger to a lively eatery where the atmosphere sprawls onto the sweet European streets and Tiamo champions this best. 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. 
 
Now head to the CBD, and to China Town – the longest, most continuous Chinese streetscape in the western world, and possibly the longest strip of BYO restaurants too. Simply select your wine, sake, or take my recommendation and bring a cold beer (exactly the crisp compliment needed with heavy Chinese flavours), and choose almost any restaurant you like. Shanghai Village is without a thought top of my list. Although you may have to line up for a short while, their dumpling plates of 15 pieces for just $7.50 is worth the line. 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.