Masterchef George is so hot right now and will soon give the people of Kew the Calomabis tan. I’ll freely admit that I’m a gusher, so it’s embarrassing that I’ve never been to his second child, until now. And it’s every bit as good as his first, albeit in a different way. There’s none of the typically stodgy and bloating meat fest of an old school Greek Tavern, Hellenic Republic rejoices in the simplicity of the cuisine. Sharing is Mr Calombaris’ philosophy, and we’re glad that he does. But you’d want the mildly salted white cod roe dip and plenty of warm triangles of pita all to yourself. Don’t feel guilty though, for selfishness is a common emotion for most of the dishes.
Peppered figs are beautifully caramelised, their delicate sweetness the perfect foil on top of the pan fried grilled cheese. You’ll get a combination of beautifully charred and tender garlicy lamb from the spit, a squeeze of lemon all that’s required. Parsley and lemon slices stuffed in grilled whole baby snapper the perfect way to enjoy fresh catch. Had to pass on the cured meats, salads, Thalassino Youvetsi (braised seafood “casserole”) and the Yia Yia’s Moussaka to save room for the velvety olive oil white chocolate and lavender mousse and sweet preserved cherries that read as a standout on the menu and duly delivers.
Hot food at a hot place. Slip, slop, slap to avoid the sunburn at Hellenic Republic.
4 / 5 yums!
Where? 434 Lygon St, Brunswick East, VIC
What? Smalls $8-19, Grills and Mains $20-32, Desserts $13
Left to Right: Taramosalata, Pita Bread, Saganaki, Lamb Spit, Baby Snapper and accompanying lemon sauce on ice, White Chocolate Mousse