"Food, Memories and Mary" event at Hellenic Republic

4/20/2012 12:03:00 PM

As part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2012, we were invited along to "Food, Memories and Mary", an event at Hellenic Republic.  Apart from PM24, I'd never visited one of George Calombaris' restaurants, so was interested to see what it would be like.  This event was a bit different from the restaurant's usual offering though, in that it was a special Cypriot sharing menu created by George's mum, Mary.

Hellenic Republic
434 Lygon Street
Brunswick East, VIC 3057
Ph: (03) 9381-1222

Wine and soft drinks were included, but as I was driving, no wine for me!  (...I say as the long-suffering designated driver!)  Despite the room being packed and very busy, our waitress was really attentive and lovely, making sure I had some funky soft drinks to keep me going.  I loved this Greek sour cherry soft drink - it tasted like that gorgeous liquid you get in a jar of Morello cherries!  Anyone know where I can purchase this in Melbourne?

There was a lot of food, so I won't describe each dish in great detail.  Suffice it to say that everything was prepared skilfully and served generously.  I must admit that a few of the flavours were a little unusual for me (the spices in the meatloaf, and the braised cuttlefish, for instance), but I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the evening as a whole, and found it so interesting to try food from a cuisine that was brand new to me.

MEZE - Tastes

Olives - Cracked green olives, coriander and lemon
Hoummi Kopanisti - Chickpea dip

Zalatina - Pork in lemon and vinegar jelly

Kolokotes - Pastries stuffed with pumpkin

Ravioles - Fried ravioli haloumi and mint

Soupies Krasatiko - Cuttlefish braised in red wine
Pilafi - Burghal pilaf

Kounoupidi - Fried cauliflower with lemon

Loukaniko - Handmade sausages, red wine & pastourma
Yup, you read that right - everything above was just the meze, and we still had mains to come!

KYRIO - Main course

Rollo - Spiced meatloaf

Ortikia Sharas - Chargrilled quail

Horiatiki Salata - Village Salad

Salata Kokkinovoulia - Beetroot salad, olive oil and garlic

Patates Antinahtes - Cracked spring potatoes, red wine and coriander

A little ouzo after the meal to aid digestion...
...and then it was time for dessert!

GLYKA - Something Sweet

Look at all that kataifi pastry...

How many Melbourne restaurateurs does it take to make Ekmek Kataifi Pagoto? Two to spoon over the sauce, two to scoop the ice-cream, one to inspect the finished product, and one to take a photo for Twitter!

Ekmek Kataifi Pagoto
This dessert comprised kataifi pastry filled with custard, mastic ice-cream, and preserved cherries.  I found the cherries a little sweet, but loved the contrast between crisp pastry, smooth custard and cool mastic ice-cream.

A cup of fortifying Greek coffee, and the meal was over!
Greek Coffee
It was a great night, and a wonderful introduction to Cypriot cuisine.  Mary was so lovely, chatting with the guests, serving meals and making sure everyone had enough to eat.  She's also clearly very proud of her son.  (Bless!)  I loved the generous meal and the hospitality - I really felt like I was enjoying a meal in her home.  She even gave a little gift of a thyme plant to each of the guests!  Such fun.  Even though it was a very busy night, the service was efficient, friendly and welcoming.  I'd definitely want to come back to Hellenic Republic to try out their normal menu.

Sarah and Sandra attended "Food, Memories and Mary" as guests.

You Might Also Like


  1. You can find just about anything in Brunswick, right, so maybe the drinks are there too! Looks like a great night.

  2. Cin - Yeah I reckon a shopping expedition to Brunswick is in order! The evening was really fun, exceeded my expectations :)

  3. pork in lemon and vinegar jelly sounds interesting. :D

  4. Nice! I just blogged about my first Georgie establishment.. Maha.. I quite liked it to my surprise.. maybe because he's a quiet partner here.. :P I want to try Hellenic, but I can't get over the Georgie factor...

  5. Michelle - It was surprisingly delicious!

    I-Hua - Hehe, I totally get what you mean! :) I recently tried St Katherine's too for their lunch special and was very impressed. He seems to be a "quiet partner" there too :)



My email address is sarahcooks [at] hotmail [dot] com.