Greek culture and wood-fired cooking is a combination with a
pedigree that stretches back centuries. And so it is at Hellenic
Republic. Hunks of juicy, herbed chicken carved straight off the
spit; lamb with a caramelised carapace of sticky, finger-lickin'
skin; tiger prawns soaked in the delicious char of the ironbark
grill. It's all profoundly satisfying stuff, but George
Calombaris's cheffy touches spin this modern taverna into something
more memorable. Savour the smoked taramasalata on an octopus
terrine with sharp green pickles; the grilled peach and golden
raisin-led sweetness cutting through a buttery slab of grilled
haloumi. He isn't afraid to dip his lid to the rustic, from a
simple spanakopita to loukoumades, the honey-drenched doughnuts.
Greek pride is everywhere, from the loving list of ouzo to the
lobster-pot lampshades and Aegean-blue tiles that look as fresh as
the day this good ship Republic was launched.