Saturday, 28 November 2009
I feel like the last person in Melbourne to make it to Hellenic Republic. I’ve also never eaten at the Press Club. *shame* And, after the whole George Calombaris hating on the bloggers, I wasn’t rushing out to try them. However, the promise of feta at breakfast time was enough to convince me and we finally made it there last weekend in the middle of the stormy weather that had our roof leaking and anxiety levels high.
Tash had been raving about breakfast at Hellenic Republic since she moved to Melbourne a couple of months ago; she and her housemate had gone one morning and all I’d heard since was “breakfast spanakopita”. Never one to shy away from filo at breakfast, I was intrigued and excited to check it out. Fast forward, two months and we had finally made a date to go and eat.
We hadn’t booked but it seemed easy enough to get a table as we were pretty early for Sunday morning breakfast (9:30). I felt strangely pleased to see that their roof was also leaking, even though it did result in Tash getting wet at the end of the meal. There were buckets set up in a couple of places over the dining room to catch the drips and the staff looked a little bit harried as well. That said, the service was great and our coffee order was taken very quickly. (One of tweeps was inspired by my early morning tweet about going to HR for breakfast and also decided to breakfast there that morning. I believe she had a 20 minute wait for her coffee order to be taken. Bad news.)
The menu isn’t huge and it is the usual breakfast stuff with an interesting spin on it. I had already decided I was having the spanakopita but I was also interested in the omelette with feta, leek and potato and, if I ate meat, I’d definitely try the breakfast souvlaki. Tash had tried the omelette before and loved it but one of her Perth friends had tried it the week before and found it a little bland. I will have to go back and try it myself soon.
The spankopita was outstanding – there was a lovely balance of flavours with the feta being nice and salty but perfectly matched by the mix of spinach and herbs, the filo was great with the bottom being particularly crispy and delicious and the eggs added a lovely element to the whole dish. This isn’t really ‘fancy’ food but it is pretty frickin’ ‘fancy’ on flavour. A+++++++++++++++++++++++
Tash also had the spanakopita because she’s an addict.
Esther had a very simple but very delicious breakfast of sourdough, spreadable feta, avocado and tomato. I’ll be honest and say that it didn’t look that exciting to me but Esther assures me that it was lovely – the avocado nice and ripe, the tomato well seasoned with good olive oil and pepper and the feta was outstanding. She was very happy with her choice and I think if I was in the mood for simple or light (for a certain value of light), this would be my choice.
And then we shared breakfast dessert because that’s how we roll. Greek doughnuts with honey and walnuts. Amazing.
So, all in all, I really enjoyed it – the food and coffee were excellent, the service was great and the atmosphere was nice. It is a bit more expensive than our usual breakfast haunts but I think it was worth it.
Also, George, I’m sorry if my unsophisticated palate and amateur review isn’t good enough for you.