Hellenic Republic is a place I’d usually recommend if you were looking to make your night revolve around dinner. I’d probably say, “Get a couple of friends together, call to make a reservation for 7pm-ish, choose a good bottle of wine or 4, ask for each part of the meal to come out separate and order dessert. Assume you’ll be there for about 2.5 hours and you’ll be spending a portion of money from that savings account you keep for meals with friends such as this.” Then you’ll say you don’t have that type of savings account and I’ll think that’s really weird. I didn’t know I was the only one.
I have now learned though that Hellenic Republic is good for much more than your usual indulgent dinner. Sometimes it’s good for days when you’ve had a terribly unsatisfying pizza for lunch, and you can’t think of anything worse than italian food for dinner. You’re in a hurry, probably, but you also definitely don’t want fast food because your lunch was SO bad you need a meal that puts you back in balance.
Okay. This situation is not hypothetical is literal. It was 6pm. Jack and I were seeing Simon Taylor’s MICF show at 7pm. We were heading towards Hellenic Republic on Lygon street and didn’t even know it! It was perfect; we were running a little late because we were rehearsing Jack’s own Melbourne International Comedy Festival show called 10 Songs Each Better Than The Last (which you should totally go see!). I called Hellenic Republic to make sure they were cool with us only having 40 minutes to eat and the nice man on the other end of the phone smirked. “Of course”, he said! “Absolutely no problem”, he emphasized.
He wasn’t kidding. We were sat straight away, our waitress asked us if we knew what we wanted to order before we even took our seats.
We found the lamb on the menu, decided on corn and taziki appetizer. The waitress was back with our food in 5 minutes – not exaggerating. And I don’t mean she was back with the Taziki, I mean she was back with all of it. It actually came out faster the time it would have taken us to wait in the McDonald’s drive through.
And the lamb was splendid, it was perfectly soft and juicy, and lemony, and tasty. I cannot find words to explain to you how much I love that lamb. That lamb is a dream. I also reaaaaaalllyy enjoy good corn as you can tell by the picture above. There is no time to look good in pictures when you have grilled, cheese topped corn in front of you.
I’ve always disregarded nicer, higher-endy restaurants for these types of rushed occasions, but when push comes to shove and hurrying up – Hellenic Republic is where I’m heading.