Traditional Greek food has always been a favourite of mine - succulent lamb on the spit, soft calamari seared to perfection and a beautiful fresh salad cannot be faulted. But with the advent of more and more modern-day foodies it often seems that you can't have decent old-fashioned Greek food without a sprig of parsley from the top of Mt Kilimanjaro.
The pretention and snobbery which all too frequently comes with modern age cooking often compromises the authenticity of the tried and true, traditional recipes, which sometimes ends up with a 'contemporary' dish which doesn't resemble its predecessor.
So on my quest to find a decent Greek restaurant I couldn't go past renowned and much loved Greek, Masterchef's George Colombaris. After researching his extensive collection of ultra swanky restaurants on his website it seemed that Hellenic Republic best fit the mould of a good old Greek Taverna.
Anyone who is a fan of Channel 10's Masterchef knows that George Colombaris, whilst being a very contemporary chef, is also a stickler for adhering to the basic fundamentals of Greek cooking. Well let me tell you Weekend Notes readers, Hellenic Republic in Brunswick doesn't disappoint. One of the more affordable of the Colombaris chain it adheres to the traditional Greek family restaurant format with only some slight deviations.
On an outing with my family the waitress suggested the best way to order was from the Trapezi menu which is priced at around $58 per head. The idea is that platters of food are shared amongst the table. My personal favourite was an interesting pomegranate and nut salad which was surprisingly delicious, along with the saganaki which was - excuse the cliché - to die for.
The meat was a bit dry but perhaps if we could have had an earlier appointment this problem could have been avoided. Hellenic Republic is clearly a very popular restaurant for families and big groups so it is very, very noisy so be prepared to shout a bit. You can make a reservation here.