I have read good reviews of Hellenic Replubic and my cousin who is a big foodie speaking good will of this place. This place has always been on my ‘to go list’ but never made it until today.
Located in Carlton, which is one of the Australian Masterchefs – George Calombaris which is roughly 25 minutes away from the city via tram. I had made a book at this place 2 weeks prior, where the only available times I could get was fairly late in the evening at 8.15pm, which turned out about right as both Mr Wasabi and I were not very hungry after having such a large lunch.
We arrived to a packed out restaurant, but was taken to our awaiting table immediately. As we walked past the kitchen you can see the chicken on the grill rotating around, immediately thinking the chicken would be delicious and tasty.
We ordered a few dishes to share where most of the dishes were half portions with the exception of the lamb.
Pita Bread – warm flat breads
Beetroot Dip – served with feta and crispy shallots. The beetroot dip was interesting as the beetroot was grated, making it a fairly stringy dip. but was full of flavour.
Cava Dip – made from lentils, and was fairly gritty as you expect from pureed lentils. it as accompanied with some truffle oil, which you can clearly taste.
Grilled Octopus – char grilled octopus which you can clearly taste the charring.. the thickly chopped tentacles were relatively tender. which I quite liked.
Trio of Beetroot Salad – the menu said trio but only saw red and yellow beetroot in this salad. The salad was ok, but nothing to spectacular.
Grilled Chicken from the Spit – very disappointed in this dish. it had lacked seasoning and found it to be relatively dry. No amount of lemon, or salt helped with the seasoning.
Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder – again another disappointing dish. Lacked seasoning and flavour.
Was very disappointed in our meal here, especially coming from a celebrity chef that had been on Master Chef Australia who always complained to contestants who did not season their food. well, look who is NOT walking the talk. The highlight of our meal would have to be the two dips and the chagrined octopus.
I do not understand why people rave about this place. The food is average, lacked flavour and the menu seems fairly boring. Or is it the fact that this restaurant is owned by a Celebrity Chef? Dear reader what are you thoughts? would you expect better food coming from a Celebrity chef?
Location: 434 Lygon St, Brunswick East, Melbourne, Australia