Friday, December 22, 2017

Hellenic Hotel

28 Ferguson Street
Victoria 3016

We'd been talking about visiting George Calombaris  Hellenic Hotel for a while and recently arranged a family lunch there. The restaurant is on the corner of James and Ferguson street in a rather grand old building Federation style that was formerly the Hobsons Bay Hotel. Infact from a distance the old pub signage is more prominent than the new.

While the outside has maintained its heritage looks, inside things are quite different. The main dining area is a bright double height space, there is also a smaller section at the front of the ground floor.

There are a few tables out on the first floor balcony.

The open kitchen is next to the main dining space where we were seated.

We kicked off by trying the three dips on offer with char-grilled pita bread.  The Taramosalata was suitably fishy and the Tzatziki tangy. The Fava Yellow split pea dip came with olive oil, capers and softened shallots provided more colour and texture.

The grilled haloumi was perfectly cooked and soon sliced into 5 and shared amongst the table!

The better half was keen to have the Kipriaki Salata Cypriot salad of grains, pulses, nuts, pomegranate and yoghurt which she'd had at a sister restaurant. It turned out to be a good choice!

We had the half 'Kotopoulo Psistaria' Chicken which had been cooked on a spit and was served with lemon, garlic and oregano. It ticked the boxes of flavour, tenderness and remained juicy.

The brother in law had strongly suggested the 'Arni Sto Fourno' slow roasted lamb shoulder with garlic and lemon in advance. It was super tender and richly flavoursome.

We also had the 'Tiganites Patates' or chips with feta, garlic oil and oregano, which did the job.

We finished off with coffees, my long black was disappointingly average.

The service was friendly and the dishes were nicely paced for a relaxed lunch. The bill came to $228 for the five of, which included $95 for drinks and coffee. The menu is great for sharing with a group and I'd certainly be happy to dine there again like that.

Hellenic Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Brim CC Japanese Organic Cafe

Shop 2, 601 Little Collins Street,
3000 Victoria

We ended up eating at Brim CC Japanese Organic Cafe by mistake. I was due to meet Brendan next door at Spicy Korean, but got confused seeing another friend waiting for his takeaway at Brim next door and ended up there instead. It was only once I was at the counter that Brendan pointed out we weren't in restaurant I'd suggested... by that time I'd already decided on what I wanted, so it was a bit late!

The signage for Brim CC is unusual in that the name less prominent than the description, although it is helpful to know that they prepare organic Japanese food! It was a warm spring day and the tables outside were in the direct sun so we stuck to the indoor tables.

There isn't a whole lot of space inside, with a large shared table, a few smaller ones. We got lucky and were able to grab one of these after ordering at the counter. The lunch menu is fairly short with a few more options available for dinner.

I went for the Tokyo style vegetable curry with rice for $9.50. Apparently their "organic VEGE stock adds natural SWEETNESS on this curry!" and they "proudly recommend this as one of the best choices of vegetarian food in Melbourne." The plate was loaded up with a good portion of curry and rice, the sauce was mildly flavoured, rich and comforting.

Brendan went for the beef curry and rice which cost a dollar more. He also enjoyed the sauce, but was less impressed by the meat content, but happy overall.

The service was basic but friendly and efficient. The quality of the flavours and healthy, hearty feel for the price was a winner in my eyes, and I'd happily head back for more.

BrimCC Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato