We are huge fans of George Columbaris, avid watchers of Masterchef and enthusiastic diners of Greek food. To visit Helenic Republic, to have it as our local, to drag friends and family visiting from Perth to try it has been a great joy. Hellenic is such a relaxed eatery, it has a bit of style and a warm and friendly atmosphere that feels so very Brunswick. We were quickly seated and served when we arrived for our booking. We opted for a cocktail jug to share among the table and took in the variety of choices on the extensive menu.If you’re unfamiliar with George Columbaris, you might recognise him as the exuberant and bald chef from Masterchef, from some of his publications like Greek, his latest, as well as some of his other restaurants like Press Club and Gazi. Though he doesn’t spend as much time in the kitchen these days, his hard work and passion is present in every venture he undertakes and Hellenic Republic is a fine example of what he has been able to achieve.
George’s food is about generosity, passion and flavour. It can be simple, but it’s always delicious. Hellenic Republic has a focus on purity, enjoying food in the form it’s meant to be. The menu is designed to be shared and we selected a wide range of options, small plates, salads and meats to share between us.
Starters always set the mood for the meal, and we went for the good stuff! While we loved the simple selection of Olives and the Cheese with peppered fig and honey it was the taramasalata that really stole the show! Taramasalata is actually a whipped roe dip, it might sound strange but stay with me here – it’s amazing. Not just good, or interesting, it really is something very special. It’s salty and creamy and light, the flavour is so striking, so delicious that you find that you’re already reaching for more. I’m not saying to visit just for this dip, but since it’s now sold in take-away containers there’s really no excuse not to try it!We ordered a selection of items across the menu to share amongst the table. They came out as ready and we all tucked in.
We loved the salty and light Sardines and the pop of the pomegranate with that hint of sweetness. The Farmhouse Greek Salad had all the traditional flavours, feta, tomato and red onion and you could season it as you saw fit. A dash of balsamic made it just heavenly!
The chicken was an absolute standout. It was so tender and juicy, only lightly herbed so the flavour of the chicken is what really shone through. The meat just melted in your mouth and the crispy, caramelised edges were heavenly.
We’d also recommend the roast potatoes. They’re actually a bit more like fries, served cripsy and hot with plent of herb seasoning. The serving size was incredibly generous and it’s a great dish ot share amongst a table. We finished the meal with Greek donuts. Light, sweet, hot and fresh, they were the perfect end to a delightful meal!