Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Hellenic Republic

434 Lygon St Brunswick VIC 3055 - (03) 9381 1222

I've eaten breakfasts all over the country, from Darwin, to Byron Bay, down to Sydney, to Melbourne, all the way down to Hobart. So, I like to think I know what makes a good breakfast. To me it's something a little out of the norm, something that is done different to the rest of the cafes around town. Living in Melbourne, every place thinks they do Melbourne's best breakfast, when infact all they are serving up is some average eggs and overcooked bacon.

This is why I was happy to see Masterchef Australia's very own judge serving up Spanikopita with poached eggs! Never seen that on a menu before and never thought that I would order it, but I'll try anything once. Apparently, however Mr George Calombares, isn't a fan of us food bloggers. Well, that's what he was telling the crowds at the Melbourne Food and Wine festival. Well George, just like you have opinions about what people cook on Masterchef, we have opinions about what you cook in your restaurants. That's only fair, isn't it?

Now, whilst I'm a huge advocate of George's other restaurant - The Press Club I'm not loving the breakfasts at his new joint - Hellenic Republic. Sure the Spanikopita with eggs is different, so too are the over cooked poached eggs that go with it. One of the poached eggs was almost over cooked and the other was WAY over cooked. The spanikopita, however, was delicious! Salty, soft inside, crunchy outside, a little slippery on the tongue from the spinach or silverbeet.

My mate had Ouzo cured Salmon with scrambled eggs - which from my side of the table, didn't appear to be over cooked and he said were fantastic!

Ok, so mistakes happen, it's an over-cooked egg - not the end of the world, so a few weeks later, I return to try something new.

On my next visit i try the smoked lamb sandwich with greek cheese and a fried egg. Yaay! Something a little different again! ...or not. My egg was cooked solid AGAIN! In this photo you can see a shiny yellow yolk, but below that - it was hard, pale and over cooked. As Darren Hinch would say - SHAME, SHAME, SHAME!!

Is the first thing you learn at chef's school, not how to cook an egg? Shouldn't you already know that before you go to chef's school? I can cook a fried egg and a poached egg with my eyes closed.

I have heard from a few people though, that the lunches and dinners at Hellenic Republic are far better than their breakfasts. Do I dare visit there again and hope for third time lucky?

So George, I guess I haven't helped you and your dislike for us food bloggers, but I tell it like I see it, and the photos here prove that I could have played table tennis with those poached eggs.


thanh7580 said...

Hi Adski, I've been to Hellenic for lunch and dinner and can confirm that it was a fantastic experience both times. The food was excellent and the service was good.

Gabi said...

Hi Adski
My first Hellenic experience was also the Spanakopita and Poached eggs, Spanakopita, I agree, was divine. On the other hand, when I sliced open the eggs, a fountain of poaching water errupted, soaking my plate and some of the spanakopita before I managed to rescue it.
However, having said that, I have returned many times for dinner and lunch, and it never dissappoints. You should definately revisit (third time lucky?) and try the chicken and lamb on the spit (same meat as in the souvalaki). Really Lovely.

Anonymous said...

Hey I went here for the first on Sunday and had the Spanakopita it was fantastic my eggs where perfect and everyone else on my table had a perfect meal we thought the place was amazing and it was a great experience. Will go back any time. Unfortunately I live in Sydney so it won't be often which makes me very sad.

Adski said...

Hi Anonymous,
Good to hear that they're sending out some decent eggs these days!
I've been back since this breakfast episode for dinner. Dinner is by far their strong point in comparison to their breakfasts!