Hellenic Republic

April 30, 2012

434 Lygon Street, East Brunswick
This is just a quick revisit post on the Hellenic Republic to confirm that it is still brilliant, and their group sharing menu is still excellent value. We booked a table for eight to celebrate H and C’s birthdays, and the restaurant offered an excellent setting for a large chatty group; we didn’t feel out of place at all. The Hellenic Republic is large, relaxed and convivial, but somehow not noisy despite the enthusiasm of certain tables.
C has recently increased his chances of being employed by securing an internship, so we thought it fitting to buy him a celebratory tie, Hugo Boss no less. H, who is currently completing a mathematics-heavy economics honours degree, received a semi-joke present of a giant box of soft toy statistical distributions. Chi-squared, Log Normal, Poisson and Student t all featured. Said H of the “evil” Weibull distribution, “Hey, this guy was on our exam! Nasty little bugger!” Below is the rather cute standard normal distribution, who enjoys symmetry and dislikes skewness and small sample sizes. (If by now you haven’t gathered that I’m a bit of a statistics nerd, get with the program guys – surely the constant references to xkcd.com gave it away).

The Trapezi menu, at $58 a head, is designed for sharing and is delicious and worry free, because you are guaranteed that every dish will be delicious! Here’s what we ate.

First up, creamy white taramosalata, warm pita bread and Hellenic’s famous saganaki with peppered figs.

These were shortly followed by some croquettes and a deliciously light zucchini salad with beetroot and walnuts.

Hervey Bay scallops with a skordalia crust. Beautiful.

Swordfish skewers with fennel salad.

Cypriot salad of grains, pulses, nuts and yoghurt. One of my favourites. Thank goodness George has taken the word “ancient” out of the description of this dish – it was just getting a tad too pretentious for my liking.

Bannockburn chicken off the spit (left) and slow roasted shoulder of lamb with garlic and oregano. Tzatziki. Cabbage salad with kefalograviera cheese and honey. Patates.

To finish, doughnuts filled with warm semolina custard and cinnamon. We also sneakily ordered two pieces of baklava with candles for the birthday boys.

Asked C, “Is this actually Greek food? Or is it George being all fancy?” Actually, and the reason I rate Hellenic Republic as Melbourne’s best Greek restaurant, yes it it. It’s proper, honest Greek food, just executed perfectly and refined to a tee. They are, in essence, humble dishes that I often eat at home. The tastes and smells are familiar to me. I think it’s this balance between being true to the culture and serving up preposterously good food that keeps Hellenic so busy.

The very next weekend I again met up with C for some Greek of a decidedly different character in Oakleigh – look out for my souvlaki adventure soon!

Hellenic Republic on Urbanspoon

Filed under: Brunswick East, Greek

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