Independant Foodie reviews from Melbourne

Hellenic Republic February 7, 2010

Filed under: Restaurant Reviews — foodiefile @ 4:39 pm
Tags: , , ,

One thing you all must understand is that a short, balding Greek man gets my waters moving, and George Colombaris is no exception.

2 weeks ago a group of us attended Hellenic republic to enjoy a group menu (The Trapezi) on the wings of Mr Colombaris and Masterchef… First I bought his new cookbook, which is marvellous and from what I have been told by Real Greeks, is authentic, and a worthwhile purchase..

Hellenic republic feels like a juxtaposition of sorts, with graffiti down one wall that whilst feels historical and representative of Hellenic with warriors yet strangely modern and “cool”.  I actually disliked the wall of work, which is unusual for me, it felt misplaced and try hard.

We arrived, and were rushed through to our table, a FANTASTIC table right down the back of the restaurant, near the kitchen, however not in a sot we felt “shoved down the back” it was a great table, with a great view.

Water’s arrived (Still and Sparkling) as did some marvellous wines from Greece, a phenomenal rose for a start…The Trapezi menu is a 4 to 5 course menu starting with a meze menu. Our meze included orgasmic olives, cold meats, fish croquette’s, taramasolata (the most amazing white roe dip whose recipe is included in his latest book) and due to my allergy to eggplant they even delivered an amazing “moussaka” cheese dip that really hit the spot!

The olives… oily and wonderful

The Kitchen

The Mousakka “Dip”

Other Meze including the house wine – sold by the kilogram!

Last of the meze to arrive was Saganaki with peppered figs.. The most amazing flavour, bitter sweetness from the figs broke the richness of the cheese perfectly… I could eat plate after plate of it!

Saganaki with Peppered Figs

The fish course arrived with grilled barramundi slabs that were lemony, Smokey and delicious. Next was slow braised cuttlefish with chickpeas. This dish reminded me a little of poorly cooked calamari with a can of soup poured over it, it was far from a perfect dish for me, or any of the other diners. It even looked like a tin of soup. In comparison to the barramundi, it was a bitter disappointment.

Braised Cuttlefish with Chickpeas

Grilled, amazing Barramundi

The meats followed with grilled chicken and lamb. While the meat was delicious, it wasn’t the best I have had… It felt a little pedestrian in comparison to other dishes we had that evening.

Deserts included Greek Donuts (another recipe from Georges new cookbook and worth every second required to prepare), date cookies and Watermelon with Feta and Mint – i never thought feta would fit with watermelon, and unfortunately I was so full from the earlier courses that it really didn’t work for me, but I could imagine it was wonderful.

Hmmmm donuts!!!

The service was some of the best I have had ever at a Greek restaurant with amazing food, I would rush back in a second and would love to enjoy a long brunch here at anytime. The large communal table at the front tiled within an edge of its life was magnificent, and I highly recommend…

Hellenic Republic
434 Lygon Street
Brunswick East
Phone 03 9381 1222