Monday, February 2, 2009

Cool as Hell

Hellenic Republic is the sister restaurant of the uber cool Press Club in Melbourne. Inheriting the family genes, this fresh faced dining room is understated in its delivery of modern Greek food in chic surroundings.

We stopped by for a weekend breakfast and were immediately drawn to the refreshing menu here. Nothing overly pretentious, you instead get an interesting range of breakfast items to give you that all important kick start to the day.

From a creamy spanakopita topped with poached eggs to a refreshing watermelon salad with chopped mint, fetta cheese and toasted almond flakes… the food here is simple but good. The modern Greek take on standard fare here was definitely evident in the lamb ham sandwich (cured ham, fried egg and cheese in sourdough) and the omelette of loukaniko sausage and potatoes.

I also enjoyed what was labelled on the menu as “yesterday’s gemista” – basically a baked tomato stuffed with rice. The use of rice that had probably been from a risotto like dish for dinner service the previous night actually meant that the flavours were deliciously mellow. Served on crunchy hot sourdough toast with crumbled fetta – this is a great vegetarian breakfast and one that’s sure to satisfy.

Our well informed waitress was also great in helping us navigate through the Greek translations of the menu – showing what a difference professional service makes. I glanced at the dinner menu on the way out and whilst I have had limited exposure to Greek food previously, I felt confident that the process of discovering it would be a pleasant one on my next visit... and I sure as hell hope there's going to be one.

Hellenic Republic
434 Lygon Street
Brunswick East


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