because I can't cook
Hellenic Republic in Brunswick East.
|Address||434 Lygon Street
Mon-Thu 9am-11.30am, noon-4pm, 5.30pm-late
Fri-Sun noon-4pm, 5.30pm-late
|Visited||18 February 2011|
What was better than going to Hellenic Republic with a friend, was going to Hellenic Republic with a Greek friend. He liked Stalactites, he loved Hellenic Republic much more. It took him back to Athens, he said.
With a booking made one month in advance for a weekend dinner, the wait was surely worth it. We had a seriously traditional Greek dinner that evening. Ouzo on the table, alongside Hellenic Republic's spit combo (chicken and lamb) complete with pita bread and tzatziki, olives, patates (chips), and Greek salad.
The spit combo was excellent where the lamb was crispy yet tender and the chicken was succulent. The pita bread was soft and warm, the tzatziki was very garlic-y tasty, the Greek salad was fresh, the chips were cooked to perfection, and the olives... I did not try since I was never a fan of olives!
To close our dinner, we were offered tea/coffee and dessert. On specials that day was Tsokolata fondant, looking similar to your everyday chocolate melt, served with baklava ice cream. Hellenic Republic's service was fast and impressive up to this point; it took them quite a while to deliver us our dessert and when it finally arrived, it was official that I disliked Greek dessert. The fondant was warm, freshly made, and very rich in chocolate that I expected total sweetness but, no, the fondant, similar to Stalactites' Baklava, was rather savoury making my sweet tooth disappointed. We also ordered mountain tea, which was suggested to us by a staff since they did not have my favourite lemongrass tea, and it turned out to also be highly unusual and nowhere similar in taste and scent to lemongrass tea?
Just like Stalactites, Hellenic Republic did not have specific ambience; it was casual and a bit 'cheap' with wooden school chairs and tables and minimum decorations. However, this was consistent with the fact that Hellenic Republic was definitely not a fine dining restaurant.
Despite their tea and dessert (highly subjective), Hellenic Republic was no doubt one of the nicest restaurants Melbourne had to offer that deserves another (and maybe another and yet another) visit.