Hellenic Republic

I had lunch at The Press Club once and I was absolutely awed. I loved the flavours, the food, the bread and the olive oil. Every dish didn’t disappoint, and hence I was looking forward to a meal at Hellenic Republic. I was also thrilled because it was only a few doors down from where I live, which means that if HP turned out good, I’d have a good go-to restaurant if I ever needed one and was too lazy to travel.

Unfortunately I also had a hunch. Judging from the crowds (and you should see how much parking space these diners have taken up!), the Jman and I suspected that this might just be one overhyped restaurant, but we held judgement before trying it out.

Sad to say, the food was only average; I’ve had better Greek food elsewhere (i.e. Jim’s Greek Tavern). The service was efficient but cold and brusque, very untypical of a Greek restaurant. The Greek service we’ve experienced have always been efficient and rushed, sometimes brash but we always felt that the waiters were personable.

Since we were only there to pique our curiousity, we ordered mainstream dishes which we thought were safe, such as the grilled octopus, a grilled fish, and some vegetables. Our theory was this: if they scored well in these dishes, we’d come back for more. The octopus was tough and chewy, and we didn’t like the seasoning that they used. I did enjoy the charred flavours, however.

The fish too was disappointing. We had 4 fish steaks, 2 of which were tough and rubbery, the other 2 were satisfactorily done. The vegetables were the highlight of the meal, if there even was one at all. It was a simple mishmash of silverbeet and spinach (I think), served cold, in a wrangled mess, with a hint of olive oil and lemon. I liked that one.

Considering the few dishes we ordered, I felt it was a little pricey but I guess it’s more the brand name and the location that you pay for.

I’ve also had breakfast there before and I have to say that it was pretty good, but the coffee was crap and over-extracted.

All in all, I don’t think I’ll be heading back there anytime soon. I don’t think Greek food’s meant to be this fancy, and as much as The Press Club impressed me, I still like my Greek food honest and simple.

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2 Responses to “Hellenic Republic”

  1. Interesting review and nice to see another perspective. I’ve heard so much enthusiasm about H.R. and wondered whether it was, at least in part, the same sort of breathless over-enthusiasm which accompanies certain tapas-style establishments around town.

  2. The Pseudo Epicurean Says:

    From my perspective, you’re quite spot on. In fact I felt rather rushed through the dinner. Not sure if it’s because we only ordered 3 dishes and were overstaying our welcome (because people there order heaps), but yeah, in my opinion, overhyped. You should see the crowds even now…but what I’m most peeved about is the parking space they have taken up in my neighbourhood!

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