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Saturday, January 03, 2009

Lunch @ Hellenic Republic

Our first official dining out experience for 2009 is at Hellenic Republic, George Calombaris' month-old Greek Taverna in Brunswick.

Hellenic Republic© by Haalo

The dining area is dominated by the open kitchen

Hellenic Republic© by Haalo

and this ironbark powered grill.

Hellenic Republic© by Haalo

There's a courtyard out the back - I especially like the touch of the used olive oil tins being used a.s plant pots, reminds me so much of what I'd see growing up in Richmond

Hellenic Republic© by Haalo

Oil and Vinegar as well as salt are set on all the tables and once you've ordered, your bread and cutlery comes.

We start with the meze platter for two - the components you get do vary but the quantity and quality doesn't.

Hellenic Republic© by Haalo
mixed olives, pickled vegetables, white cod taramosalata, coriander salad - we especially loved that white cod tarama - yes taramosalata is not pink!

Hellenic Republic© by Haalo
dolmades and lamb ham - the lamb ham has a particularly interesting mouth feel

We also order

Hellenic Republic© by Haalo
saganaki with peppered figs - this was deliriously good and by the constant stream of these coming out of the kitchen, they are extremely popular for very good reason.

To drink, we did ask for advice on a Greek wine to go with our dishes since we have no idea when it comes to Greek Wine and based on the recommendations we ordered the 2003 Raspani Reserve - a very smooth and easy to drink red.

For mains:

Hellenic Republic© by Haalo
Moussaka - this is George's yia yia's recipe - underneath that molten crust is a mix of eggplant and potato slices coupled with a meat based ragu.

Hellenic Republic© by Haalo
Lamb souvlaki - somewhat larger than the teaser from Taste of Melbourne but just as good. The fluffy pita sees a little time on the grill to warm and crisp its edges, it's then filled with a mustard based sauce, copious slices of lamb, a little onion and herb salad and finally fries.

It was probably neck and neck in the popularity stakes between this and the saganaki while we were there but the funniest and groan-worthy occurrence was when one souvlaki was returned to the kitchen - the table wanted it cut into 5, so they could share it! Good grief, when it arrived on their table they ate the slices with knives and forks!

Hellenic Republic© by Haalo
With our mains we also order the Village Salad - a mix of cucumber, tomato, olive, onion and feta. Lovely and fresh and very cleansing.

To finish, we made sure we left room for these

Hellenic Republic© by Haalo

Loukoumades - greek donuts, hand made and cooked to order, come tossed through honey and walnuts.

The details:

Hellenic Republic
434 Lygon Street

Phone: 9381 1222

Dinner - Tuesday to Sunday
Lunch - Friday to Sunday
Breakfast - Saturday - Sunday


  1. Anonymous14:09

    I'm looking forward to going there soon. Thanks for the review and tantalising photos.

  2. Anonymous15:13

    im calling to make my booking NOW

  3. Anonymous11:19

    Hi - I'm trying to work out how they made the peppered figs for the saganaki. I had it at HR & also at The Press Club with halloumi.
    Any help? I told my Aunt and she really wants to make them.

    Lovley website. Great photos. Positive attitude.

  4. You can find the recipe on my other site - just follow the link here

  5. Anonymous11:56

    Thank you.
    Found recipe.

    Yor commitment is awesome.


  6. Sheetal Shah13:57

    Thanks for the review...I have been to the Press Club and loved it!! Definitely going to try this one out...

  7. Anonymous01:17

    We booked for 20, only 18 could make it, they insisted on charging us for the two that were unable to attend. This is on top of the $1600 for the rest of us. Arrogance knows no bounds...

  8. Anonymous18:31

    you should have called to cancel anon, they have a waiting list and 2 others could have gone in your place. your arrogance knows no bounds, its a business not a charity

  9. Anonymous17:49

    you should have called to cancel anon, they have a waiting list and 2 others could have gone in your place. your arrogance knows no bounds, its a business not a charity


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