On the 'other' end of Lygon St, in Brunswick East, you'll find Hellenic Republic, taverna of renowned chef, George Calombaris. Its white-washed frontage and Greek striped awnings give way to street art designs along the side wall, declaring its position as a Hellas meets Melbourne eatery infused with a relaxed vibe that's becoming rare in the establishments of the celebrity chef set.
Don't expect regular eggs on toast with chipolatas – there's not quite that much contemporary Melbourne in the mix. Instead, look forward to Kapnisto Arni (grilled bread with smoked lamb, roasted tomato and fried egg), Spanokopita (spinach and cheese pie with poached free range eggs) or Avocanto (toast with smashed avocado and dodoni feta).
The lunch and dinner menu is one and the same. For a midday delight that keeps it light, try the Patzari Salad with beetroot, yoghurt and coriander, or the Cypriot Grain Salad, with a few char-grilled prawns or Hervey Bay scallops.
Dinner: Mon – Sun, from 5:30pm to late Start fasting before dinner at Hellenic Republic, because you'll kick yourself if you're not hungry enough to get through the Trapezi Menu, a feast designed to be shared by a whole table for $58 per person. Start with 'small tastes', pita with dips and salads, followed by fish, potatoes and meat from the spit, then top it off (if you can) with Loukoumathes, Greek donuts with honey and walnuts.
Take Away The atmosphere of the restaurant is fun and noisy, but if you want a quiet night in, this would be the way to go, with many of the regular menu items available.