Monday, May 31, 2010

Lemon Meringue Pie - by Kara

This was so yum, and even if it nearly killed me, I had to have two pieces.  So worth it though!

Perfectly formed scorched snowy peaks, hiding a delicious lemony filling!  And the pastry!  It would have made even Matt Preston feel happy in the pants!  It was so amazingly short but it still all stayed together.

And the recipe - thanks to the good old women's weekly!

My best chips ever

Finally, after much tasting, crunching, testing, more tasting, burnt crispy bits, crunching, and lots more tasting, I have finalised my ultimate chip recipe!  These home-style, chunky cut chips go perfectly with steak and red wine jus.  Spot-on crunch, and heaps of flavour on the outside, and perfect fluffy insides!

My Ultimate Chips

Serves 2 greedy people

Preheat oven to 220deg Celsius.  Place 1tbsp oil in a large baking tray, swirl around to coat the base, and place the tray in the oven.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.  While it is warming, peel 3 medium size potatoes, and slice into your desired chip or wedge size (about 15-20mm wide is good), and place in the water once it is boiling.

Boil for approximately 5 minutes, or just until the chips begin to soften.  You don't want to overcook them - if you do your chips will turn into mush.  The chips must be quite firm when you take them out, just softening around the edges.

Drain the chips in a large strainer for around 5 minutes.  Swirl them around gently every minute or so to help get all the moisture out.  While they are still in there, sprinkl with approx 1tbsp wholemeal flour.  Swirl them around, very, very gently to coat.  They do not have to be completely coated, nor coated evenly.

Remove the baking tray from the oven, and gently place the chips into the oil.  Sprinkle with 1/2tsp paprika, 2tsp thyme, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Take 3 cloves of garlic and smash them with the flat of your knife.  Place into the tray with the chips - leave the skin on.  Take one more clove, peel, and thinly slice.  Place this in with the chips.

Gently swirl the chips around inside the tray so they get an even coating of oil.  Place on the top shelf of the oven, and cook for around 20-25 minutes.  Take the chips out after 10-15mins and turn over (add more oil if you think it's needed).  Check regularly and remove once they are golden and crispy on the outside.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Last Supper - for a while!

I just realised that we had on Friday night what will be the last roast dinner cooked by Dad before he goes overseas for a few months!  It was especially sad seeing as we never bother to cook roast meats at home, although luckily we do get to have them once a month or so at K's dad's house.  It just seems like too hard an option for the three of us (well really 2.5 considering one of us would only eat the vegies!)

There's nothing like digging into perfectly cooked roast pork, with beautiful, crispy crackling.  This meal was that good I didn't even reach for the apple sauce, and didn't let the gravy anywhere near the meat (potatoes only)!  It was honestly one of the best roasts I have ever had - made all the more impressive by the fact that when we were kids all I can remember Dad cooking was sausages!

Oh and yes, Dad we are sad you won't be here six for months, we'll miss you as well as your roasts!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hutong Dumpling Bar

I booked in at the last minute for this Chinatown restaurant, and was able to get a seat on the proviso we were out by 7pm!  Normally this would have been an issue, but seeing as we were only after a quick dinner before seeing a movie at 6:40, it suited perfectly!  I had heard that this place could be hard to get a seat in, and this seemed to confirm those rumours.

Once we got there we were very efficiently ushered up on to the third floor, by the front of house staff on each level who already knew where we were headed before we got to them.  Somewhat puzzling at first until we noticed the 'secret service' style two-way radio earpieces!

I had heard that the staff here could be a little un-friendly, and also that the service was poor.  Well on the night we went, nothing could be further from the truth.  The staff on our floor were extremely attentive, friendly, and always smiling.  They were constantly topping up the obligatory tea, and also the water, and seemed genuinely interested in what we thought of the food.

For this visit, we mainly stuck to dumplings due to the time restraints, however I look forward to returning and checking out more of the menu, which seems quite authentic.  The steamed pork, and pork and prawn dumplings were to die for.  The wrappers (pastry?  I'm not quite sure what you call it) were perfect - had just the right amount of give, until you broke through and the juicy insides started coming out for a huge flavour hit.  They tasted extremely fresh and almost zingy, there was some ingredient providing a citrus-type flavour.  The szechuan style chilli wontons, although had a 2-chilli rating on the menu, were not that hot, but were extremely tasty.  The chilli hit was fairly subdued, only warming your mouth a few moments after you finished eating the wonton.  The soup I chose (szechuan hot and sour) was delicious, not too spicy yet still full of flavour, and packed full of tofu pieces.  We also tried the steamed dim sum, and the spring rolls, which were the best I have ever had!  A huge call I know but they were amazing, with the best, crispy pastry.

All in all it was a great (albeit very quick) meal, and easy on the wallet too.  I can't wait to go back for the Shao Long bao and the crispy duck.

Hutong Dumpling Bar on Urbanspoon

Hutong Dumpling Bar
14-16 Market Lane

Zingy, zesty gingerbread ice cream with ginger and lime syrup

This recipe is adapted from Karen Martini's column in the Sunday Life magazine in the Age a while ago. I had ripped the recipe out and it had been sitting in the kitchen for a few weeks and every time I walked past it was saying 'make me, make me'... eventually I gave in and the results were delicious!

Gingerbread Crumb ice cream with ginger lime syrup

1/2 L of vanilla bean ice cream (recipe will follow - eventually - or you can use store-bought)
1 pack Arnotts gingernut snap biscuits
150g Caster sugar
200mL Stones Green Ginger wine (who knew there was a use for this stuff!)
1tsp vanilla bean paste
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Juice and zest of 2 limes
8cm piece of finely sliced, peeled ginger

Place your gingernut snap biscuits in a plastic bowl, and crush using the end of a rolling pin (or whatever you prefer). You could also use a food processor, which gives a good result as you end up with some very fine 'powder' as well as some coarse crumbs.

Make ice cream according to a basic vanilla bean ice cream recipe and stir the crushed biscuits through as soon as the ice cream finished churning. Place into a plastic container and freeze for an hour or until hard. If you are using store bought ice cream, simply leave out for an hour or so, stir the crumbs through, and re-freeze.

Heat the sugar, stones ginger wine and vanilla bean paste in a small saucepan over low heat for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the juice, zest and ginger slices and simmer over low heat for around 15 minutes, or until the ginger is translucent and the syrup has thickened. Allow to cool (I used a water bath in the sink).

Serve your ice cream drizzled with the ginger syrup.

I knew the ice cream would be a winner, however the ginger/lime syrup was worrying me.  I thought the ginger would be over-powering (as it often is), and this recipe sure does use a lot of it.  My fears increased when I tasted and smelt the syrup as soon as it had finished cooking.  Inhaling it felt like it burnt the inside of my nose!  Also, the taste of ginger was extremely strong - eating 1 tsp was like a kick in the face!  I actually added a tablespoon or so of water to dull it down a bit.  The zestiness and acid of the citrus flavours were great though.  My fears were allayed however, once I tasted the cooled down syrup on top of the ice cream.  The creaminess cut right through the ginger flavour and mellowed it out.  The syrup still had a great zesty gingery, citrusy kick.  The flavour was so amazing for such a simple little concoction.  I did find however the next day that the syrup had lost a lot of it's kick.  No big deal, I just made cookies and cream ice cream that night!  Super simple - process 1 pack of crushed (or blitzed) choc ripple biscuits, and stir through some home-made (or quality store-bought)  vanilla bean ice cream.   I never thought I would be able to top Conniseur brand cookie and cream ice cream with such a simple idea, but it worked.

Next challenge - the above gingerbread ice cream with real gingerbread crumbs, and cookies and cream flavour using real, dark chocolate cookies!

I have to mention the great bowls you see in the photos (yes crappy photo I know) however these are the best ice cream bowls I have ever seen!  One of my favourite wedding presents, and all the way from the UK. They are made by Alessi (link below) and are incredibly stylish, and make eating your ice cream even better!  They even have little heart shaped spoons. Thanks Heather!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Yummy Pork Kebabs

This was such a quick and simple dinner, and incredibly tasty.

I used pork fillet, cut into 2cm cubes, and left to marinate in approx 1tbsp olive oil, 1tbsp lemon juice, 2 garlic cloves crushed, 1 tsp dried oregano, and cracked pepper.  I threaded these onto pre-soaked wooden skewers, and cooked for a couple of minutes per side on the griddle pan.  Served with cos lettuce, tzatziki (recipe below) and flatbread of your choice.


Mix 2 cups greek yoghurt, 1 small grated lebanese cucumber, 1 tbsp finely chopped dill, 1 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves, 1 tbsp lemon juice and salt and pepper.  Top with olive oil.

KFC Double Down sandwich

Apparently this thing has just sold 10 million in the USA

Photo: Rachel Been, AOL

2 pieces of bacon, two slices of cheese, surrounded by 2 chicken breast fillets - and no bun.  It sounds amazing! Although meat can usually be made better by whacking it in a sandwich, i'm not sure that this beasty needs the bread.

Is it coming down under, so we can start destroying our bodies even more?  I know a bloke called Andrew who sure hopes so.  Hang in there mate!

Lamb Filo Cigars

Inspired by our last visit to Little Creatures in Fitzroy, we decided to whip up some turkish lamb filo cigars - I wasn't quite sure what to call them, but that's the best description I can come up with!

From new

I started by making our lamb shanks (recipe below).  To the usual recipe I also added a couple of teaspoons of ground coriander, and a tablespoon of ground cumin to make it a bit more middle eastern.  K then shredded all the meat, and mixed it through with some of the sauce to make the filling.  We then simply wrapped them up in 3 layers of buttered filo pastry, and baked in the oven at 200deg for about 15 minutes.  I served them with some of the sauce from the shanks, and some greek yoghurt with chopped mint and lemon juice added.

Sam and Kara's Lamb Shank recipe - inspired by 'Huey' - that crazy brace-wearing man

2 lamb shanks
1 large onion, diced
1 carrot diced
3 celery sticks diced
2 cloves garlic crushed
4 bay leaves
olive oil
(other ingredients are in the recipe)

In a cast iron/heavy based dutch oven, brown off the lamb shanks.  Remove, and cook the onion and garlic in olive oil over a low heat until translucent.  Add the carrot, celery and bay leaves and cook until they are soft.

Add 1 tsp dried rosemary, 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, 2 glasses of red wine and 2 of white wine, 1 bouquet garni, and reduce by half.  Add about 2.5 cups of passata, 2 tsp of smoky paprika, 2 tbsp tomato relish and 2 cups of beef stock, mix well and bring to the boil.  Add the shanks back in, put the lid on, and pop in the oven on 180deg and cook for around 3 hours, or until the meat is falling apart.  This not only tastes good, it makes your house smell awesome!  Serve on mash potatoes.

Bulga Estate Shiraz 2003

Mum bought down two of these bottles, which we opened on Tuesday night - great wine!  Very smooth Shiraz with loads of flavour.  Apparently its about $15 a bottle which makes it a bargain!  Another great find from an often overlooked wine region.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Breakfast pizza - an amazing combination

From Recently Updated

I just finished eating something I had been thinking about making for a while - breakfast pizza!  I could eat this every day and not get sick of it.  I had been battling in my mind for a while over whether to go with a bread base, or a pastry base.  I went with pastry and was extremely happy with the results.  I guess maybe it's not technically a pizza, more of a tart, but what the hell, breakfast pizza sounds much better than breakfast tart.  Kinda sounds like the one night stand that is only in it for the breakfast!

Anyway, this is how it goes:

Sam's Breakfast Pizza

Preheat oven to 180deg c.

Take 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, and thaw.  Chop some Monterey jack cheese into matchsticks, and line these up about 5mm from the edge of the pastry, on each side.  Fold the edge of the pastry over the cheese and press down.  There is your cheesy crust!  I'm pretty sure most of mine just leaked out, I will have to experiment with a different type of cheese.  I also brushed the crust with some beaten egg.

Fry or grill half a dozen pieces of bacon until they are about 5 minutes away from how you would regularly cook your bacon - remember this is going to spend some time in the oven.

Smear the inside of your pizza with a few tablespoons of sour cream (as you would with your tomato-based sauce for a regular pizza.  Sprinkle this liberally with grated tasty cheese.  Top with thinly sliced chorizo, and now add your bacon (after draining on paper towel), and place in the oven for 5-6 minutes.  The cheese/sour cream should be starting to bubble and cook a little bit.  Crack 2 or 3 eggs carefully on top, add a few thin slices of tomato, and sprinkle some shaved parmesan over the lot.  Chuck back in the oven for another 5 minutes.

At this stage i turned the oven down and turned the grill on, to cook the eggs on top of the pizza a bit more.

Slice up and serve with guacamole (recipe to come), some parsley to make it look pretty, and mum's awesome home-made relish!  I tossed around the idea of more sour cream, or even marscapone on top, but I didn't feel like a heart attack today.  You could go crazy and even bake on some crumbled fetta or mozzerella if you wanted.

K and I were extremely happy with the pizza, and although we said we were only going to have one piece, we polished off half of the pizza in no time!  The crispy, flaky pastry around the outside was the perfect foil for the creamy, cheesy goodness on the inside.  And the browned bacon and chorizo added a great smokiness to the pizza.  And when you cut into the egg and the yolk was still that tiny bit oozy (is that a word??) - amazing!

From Recently Updated

Next challenge - a strawberry breakfast pizza!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I love driving home from work around 7pm....

That seems to be when the are 'making' vegemite at the Port Melbourne Kraft factory!  The car fills up with the smell of the salty, yeasty goodness!

this is disturbing

A vending machine that sells hot chips??

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dhaba at the Mill - Kyneton

Just go there.  No really, just do it.  It may be around an hour from Melbs, but it is so worth it!

The love affair started when my sister grabbed some take-away from there late last year (before you could actually dine in).  There had been a bit of a buzz about this place, but I was a bit skeptical - a good indian restaurant in Kyneton???  Man was I wrong, everything about this restaurant is spot on!  Rustic fitout (while still cosy), friendly, personal service, and great food.

I visited for about the third time last week, for yet another birthday dinner with the family.  The restaurant have a no bookings policy, however we got there about half past six and got a table without any problem.

We started with a samosa and the obligatory indian beer (steered clear of Kingfisher though).  The samosa had a perfectly crunchy outside, with some very tasty soft vegetables inside.

It's so hard to know which curry to order here, as it all sounds so good (and is so good)!  We had to go for the butter chicken - tender chicken pieces in the most amazing curry!  Beef Vindaloo and Lamb korma were also amazing, as was the lighter, but still tasty yellow dahl.  The dishes are fairly mild (for all you spice wimps out there) but you can order a spicier version if you like.  A highlight is the parantha (flat bread) which is delightfully soft, but at the same time has some blackened char-grilled areas and a great flavour from the grill.

I did not indulge in any wine that night, however the restaurant has a couple of great local wines on offer, as well as some indian beers and beers from the macedon ranges region.

To finish off a great meal, Jessi bought out a special dessert, after finding out it was my birthday!  The name escapes me now, however it was a small bowl of buckwheat noodles (cooked somewhat like rice pudding), topped with a little ball made from evaporated milk, and delicately spiced - delicious!  I think it may have been called gulab jamun.

I believe the menu changes quite often, if you go look out for the cardamom chicken curry which I had another time, it was fantastic!

Dhaba at the Mill on Urbanspoon

Little Creatures Dining Hall

My new favourite place to eat/drink in Melbourne!  I have been to this venue quite a few times, and every time I have been impressed by the great fitout, the friendly staff, the huge range of beers available, and of course the amazing food.

From Food

I visited again a few weeks ago, and was not let down.  They even catered for a 3yo, which I was surprised about.  A high chair was offered, and she was even brought her own little blackboard and chalk to scribble with!

We actually chose to meet at little creatures, with no firm plans of where to actually eat that night.  I knew that I wanted to go there for the fresh little creatures pale ale on tap, and the incredible chips.  These would have to be some of the best chips and aoli in melbourne.  They are hand cut, a little of the skin still on, and cooked perfectly.  The aoli is light and creamy, and I can only guess, but it seems like it is lightened with the addition of cream, or egg whites - whatever they do, it's amazing! 

From Food

So after settling in for a few pints, some chips, and an overdue catchup we decided to eat there.  Very much a 'sharing' type menu, there is heaps to choose from.  We went first for a delicious pork belly confit - crispy on top, and melt in your mouth material underneath. We also chose a calamari salad, perfectly barbecued, served on top of a mandarin salad.  I could eat this every night!  The potato and chorizo pizza was incredibly tasty, as was the beetroot dip and char-grilled bread.  The highlight though was the lamb 'cigars'.  I can't remember what the cut was that they used, but it was something like slow cooked shoulder, cooked in a rich sauce and shredded, then placed inside filo cigars, served with some of the sauce and sour cream. Delicious!

From tastes like yum

From tastes like yum

Little Creatures Dining Hall on Urbanspoon

Little Creatures Dining Hall
222 Brunswick St, Fitzroy

Highly recommended, not just for the great beer!  Thanks to Trent for the great service!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Imperia pasta machine (and resulting mushrooms and fettucine)

Kara bought me a fantastic pasta machine for my birthday which was just what I wanted. We tried it out for the first time tonight and it worked beautifully!

When I unwrapped it, I thought that I must have been bad and that she had given me a housebrick or something because this thing weighs a ton! It feels so solidly made that I think I will have it forever! You would not want to drop this machine on your toe - the machine would be fine, but your toe, not so crash hot.

All you have to do is bolt it to the bench, plug the handle in, and voila - ready to make pasta.
For the dough I mixed 3 eggs with 30mL of olive oil, and 300g of pasta flour (a mix of durum semolina and strong flour) until it came together into a smooth dough. I let this rest for 15 minutes in glad wrap (in the fridge) and then started making pasta!

After rolling the pasta through the machine as per the instructions, and fiddling with the width between the rollers a bit, it was surprisingly easy to make fettucine with the attached pasta cutter. I really cannot believe how easy it is - goodbye san remo and barilla dried pasta forever! No more dried out lasagne sheets either from now on.

While the pasta was boiling in salted water, we gently cooked some sliced garlic in olive oil, and added a good couple of handfuls of sliced swiss brown mushrooms. I had wanted pine mushrooms, but every time I go to the black forest farm shop they have already sold out for the day! We sauteed these, added 1 tsp thyme and deglazed the pan with a glass of white wine. We let this cook off, and then served on top of the pasta, topped with grated parmigiano reggiano. All up the cooking process took about five minutes, and it was such a quick and tasty after work dinner.

Recipe inspired by Guy Gross on Food Safari Italian. - link to pasta machine manufacturer

death cake!

side by side comparison of birthday cakes cooked by James and Dad - both equally deathly due to large amounts of cream or cream cheese!

From tastes like yum

From tastes like yum

You decide which one looks yummer! They both tasted pretty good.

fried goodness

Here is a pic of the leftover wontons fried up after making the soup last week.

mmmm... chocolate

From tastes like yum
This is the lovely present I received off my lovely sister, and wow this chocolate is amazing! The chocolate flakes made a fantastic hot chocolate, and the dark chocolate with cocoa beans was surprisingly yummy! The beans added a nice crunch to the chocolate. I am yet to try the dulce de leche but it looks awesome. Thanks Gab!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

taco bill giant burrito

Another eating challenge to add to the list of giant plate sized hamburger and 1kg steak - now we have a 2.5kg burrito!

Could you really eat a 2.5kg of mexican goodness in under 35 minutes?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Enchiladas Nuevo Mexico (for Bryony!)

Inspired by my love of Mexican food, this dish has become the one asked for most often by my wife, Kara. It's richness is created by the addition of a secret ingredient – cocoa. It makes all the difference to this dish – just don’t add too much.

There is only really one match for this dish, and that is of course the margarita! However for those who would prefer a beer, you really cannot go past Dos Equis Amber ale.

Enchiladas Nuevo Mexico

Preheat oven to 180C. Brown a chopped onion and 2 finely chopped garlic cloves in a heavy based dutch oven over a gentle heat with the oil. Add the 1kg beef (skirt steak, rump steak, chuck steak) and brown in batches. Add 1 tsp beef stock powder and deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup of tequila. Add 4tbsp cumin, 1 tbsp smokey paprika, 1 red chili (finely chopped), the juice of 1 lime, and a scant 1tsp cocoa. Add water to cover the meat and bring to the boil.

Place the lid on the pot, and place in oven. Cook for 3 hours, checking every now and again and stirring any well cooked pieces from around the outside of the pot.

Once that is in the oven begin the red sauce. In a saucepan sweat the garlic and onion for a few minutes. Add 1 tin crushed tomatoes, 1 tsp chili paste, sliced roasted capsicum (if using), 1 tbsp lime juice, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp basil, 1 tsp vege stock and 1 tsp cumin. Bring to the boil, remove from the heat and allow to cool. Pulse in a food processor until you have a smooth sauce.

Once the beef has finished cooking, remove from pot and shred with 2 forks (if you even need to!)

Prepare the rice by cooking 1 cup rice and 1 onion (finely chopped) in 1 tbsp oil in a large saucepan. Stir to coat the rice with oil. Add water and chicken stock to cover. Bring to boil and reduce to a simmer. After 20 minutes add corn, tomato, capsicum or any other vegetables you like, or even some sliced chorizo. Reduce to a low heat and cook until all the liquid has gone.


Preheat grill. If using packet tortillas, microwave according to packet instructions. Spoon a few tablespoons of meat filling down the middle of each tortilla. Roll up, and place on plate with the join on the bottom. Add another enchilada if desired. Spoon the red sauce liberally over the top, and sprinkle with a handful of grated cheese. Place a serve of frijoles (refried beans) on the plate alongside enchiladas. Carefully slide a fried egg (sunny side up!) on top of the enchiladas, and place under the grill until cheese is melty and starting to brown. Remove from grill, add some sliced, crunchy iceberg lettuce, and some salsa and cheese on top of the frijoles. Enjoy!

Yes it looks ugly but it tastes oh so good!

From Drop Box

Sunday, May 2, 2010

wonton soup

I really felt like something light for tea, and have been craving dumplings or wontons for a while now, so I came to the only logical conclusion. This was the first time I had cooked dumplings in soup, and I was pleased with the results.

From tastes like yum

My recipe for chicken wontons

1 pack of wonton wrappers
2 chicken breast fillets, minced
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 tbsp sherry (I used sweet, not sure if it would matter much)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 egg
1 tsp ginger
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
2 tbsp finely chopped water chestnuts
4 mushrooms, finely chopped
1 tsp chilli paste
1/2 tsp sesame oil
cracked pepper

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl until combined.

Lay the wrappers out on the bench and place 1 tsp of mixture into the centre of each. Brush the edges of each wrapper with water, and bring 2 diagonal corners together, and then the other two corners. Sort of squish it all up however you like, as long as all the edges are sealed.

For the soup:

Soak a handful of dried chinese mushrooms in water 15 minutes before starting.

In a large saucepan add 1L chicken stock, 1tsp and ginger and 1 cup white wine and bring to the boil. Once boiling, add the mushrooms (sans water) and 1 buk choy (broken apart). Add the wontons and boil until they come to the surface. Boil for another couple of minutes.

Serve topped with chopped spring onion. Mmmmmm I'm getting hungry again just writing this!

This soup was so fresh and fragrant. And the left over wontons were fantastic the next day fried and served with soy sauce!

watching masterchef......

makes me hungry!

hellenic republic, brunswick east

I visited this restaurant recently, for a birthday celebration with Kara, my Mum, my brother, and my 3 year old daughter Ella. Again I was extremely impressed with every aspect of this restaurant. My only complaint would be the fact that the waitress forgot to bring some textas to the table for Ella!

The fitout provides a great sense of theatre as you walk down the long dining room, past the large group table surrounded by drawers full of spices, past the bar, and past the open kitchen's prep bench and grill. You feel like you are actually in the kitchen as you walk past and feel the heat and hear the sizzle coming from the grill, and you watch the chefs slicing and dicing not one foot away from you. We were seated at the end of the room, right next to a cabinet full of tasty looking smoked meats (which I tried last time and were spectacular).

Our waitress was extremely friendly and helpful (as were all the staff) and nothing was too much trouble. She took the time to explain the menu, and the concept of ordering sharing plates or the banquet option (can't remember the name of this now). We opted for making our own selections and were not disappointed. We started with kefalograviera topped with a sharp, acidic, but still sweet spoonful of stewed figs, which was amazing! We also tried the classic spanakopita (i'll stop here and say that I have no idea how to spell some of these dishes but i'm sure you'll get the picture), tzatziki and skordalia, along with the obligatory pita bread, and chicken and lamb straight off the spit (which you can sit right in front of in the outdoor area). The meat was fantastic, great flavours and an awesome smokiness from being roasted slowly over coals. Just the right amount of crispiness from the outer pieces, along with some tender and juicy pieces of meat from the inside. Went down a treat on some pita, and topped with one of the dips. We also ordered some very simple but extremely tasty mushrooms cooked with parsley and garlic, and some hand cut chips. The plates appeared small at first but we were soon all extremely full, and very pleased with the great value. That's not to say there was anything leftover at the end, I think every last morsel had been scraped off the plates! Desserts sounded tempting, but we all needed a bit of time, and churros at chocolateria san churro is Ella's new favourite treat, so we headed there later in the afternoon.

I would go back there in a heartbeat, and think it would be a fantastic place to go with a big group of people, as this style of food is perfectly suited to sharing with friends.

( - yes chocolate and churros will be your salvation!)

Hellenic Republic on Urbanspoon

Hellenic Republic
434 Lygon St
Brunswick East