Hellenika is located at the Calile Hotel in Fortitude Valley in Brisbane. The ‘Valley’ as it is colloquially known, has come a long way in recent years. Hellenika is in the James Street precinct full of lovely restaurants, hotels and shops. This is the place to be seen!
While in Brisbane catching up with friends Michelle and Mark they suggest we head to Hellenika for lunch. I was totally up for it as I love Greek food. The earliest booking we can get is for 2.30pm, but thats ok as I am really wanting to try this place!
Hellenika is where the beautiful people go (I feel like an imposter…) and be seen. The outside area is relaxed chic, think California, or Palm Springs… OK, maybe Mykonos?… Some were enjoying their lunch around the pool while others froliced in the water.
We are dining inside and we have a clear view of the hectic kitchen. The decor is easy and light and there see to be a lot of staff on for todays lunch service.
Sparkling water is served with fresh lime wedges and we order a bottle of Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc from Martinborough, New Zealand (AU$75).
These are the perfect start to the meal. I’ve always been an anchovy fan and I adore white anchovies. If you haven’t had a white anchovy before, I recommend you do! They’re nothing like the brown ones most often found on pizzas, these are light yet firm and come served in a mild vinaigrette.
This is no supermarket dolmades. Everything about this dish was spectacular. Served warm, each component literally melted in the mouth and there is a larger ratio of veal to rice. I could eat these again and again.
Of course we have to try the saganaki and the slice is huge! While kefalograviera cheese is renowned for its buttery and nutty flavour, I found this one to be quite salty, nonetheless, it was delicious.
For mains we ordered dishes we could share, Arni souvlakia, pastitsio and a seafood dish – snapper. After the first two were brought out, we were asked if we required anything else. We mentioned we still had another dish to come, however that snapper never arrived…
When we ordered the Arni souvlaki, we were told they were a serve of two skewers, hence this is why we ordered the snapper. However, when the skewers arrived there were four on the plate. I am unsure how this misunderstanding happened – it may have been us. The souvlakia’s were really great though, like mini lamb roasts, pink and tender on the inside with a smoky flavour and those crispy burnt bits on the outside everyone loves from a roast. The only disappointment I had with this dish was the price.
While enjoyable, the pastitsio was probably our least favourite dish. While there was a lovely thick layer of the béchamel sauce on top, and the tubular pasts cooked al dente, the overall flavour was a little bland and under seasoned – nothing a little salt and pepper could fix!
I don’t think we could have fit the snapper in anyway as we came out quite full from this meal. While a little on the pricey side, we all enjoyed our lunch here at Hellenika. If you’re in the ‘Valley’, in Brisbane, this is the place to enjoy some great Greek food and be seen.
Whats your favourite Greek dish?
Meals were paid for independently.