There may be a recent surge in the Hellenic food scene of Australia, however famous Greek Australian chef George Calombaris actually started the trend of Modern Greek gastronomy this side of the globe years back. And when you mention some of the best Greek eateries worldwide, you will undoubtedly be listing one of his (soon-to-be) seven restaurants- all of which happen to be located in Australia’s food capital of Melbourne.
There is no denying George has an absolute talent, passion and flair for food, which has earned him a reputation as a leading chef, judge and presenter on MasterChef Australia, as well as author of five cookbooks.
George’s creative ideas in the kitchen, determination, plus hard work have also helped him become a successful restauranteur. Drawing lots of inspiration from his strong Greek and Cypriot heritage, a Mediterranean influence definitely shines through when it comes to the culinary and design aspects of all his stylish venues.
His much anticipated Hellenic Hotel in Williamstown, will officially open its doors to the public tomorrow night making this venue lucky number seven for GC.
“This project has been such a long time coming, but it will be well worth the wait. The pub has had a remarkable history and it’s a real privilege to give the old building new life – the Hellenic way. I call it Gastro Greek, which means a Hellenic touch on great Aussie pub food,” says George.
According to the lead architect Rodney Eggleston, the Hellenic’s new design reflects Greek hospitality with a seaside atmosphere. The feel is inspired by its local history and Greek culture; intimately connected to the water and celebrated through the colours and textures of the restaurant.
“What we are is simple. The ground floor is the tavern - it’s all about ‘Gastro Greek’ food. Level one is the Public Bar, offering great beer on tap, daily pub specials and a cheeky big screen to watch your favourite team. The veranda is perfect for people watching and a cheeky Negroni. Why not! And don’t forget, Hellenic Hotel takeaway for all your food and beverage needs, on the go,” adds George.
When you are in Melbourne and looking for some mouthwatering Modern Greek cuisine, check out one of George’s amazing eateries where you will be spoiled for choice.
The Press Club
Is by far George’s flagship restaurant, offering Modern Greek cuisine in the heart of Melbourne. This intimate restaurant offers 10 luxurious booth-style tables, with a tasting menu available for lunch and dinner. With its sleek and sophisticated decor, and offerings to match, The Press Club prides itself on taking Greek fine dining to the next level.
Open Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner.
Press Club – Projects
This is a specially designed creative and experimental kitchen for Calombaris. Located next to The Press Club on Flinders Street, it is the only test kitchen in Australia of its kind. A high tech ‘gastronomic workshop’ crammed with scientific equipment and exotic ingredients, it's a place where innovation happens and imaginations run wild. Usually closed to the public and only opened upon request, food lovers can experience this cool venue through a series of special public events designed to reignite a sense of wonder of food and the culinary arts. With space for just 14 people, guests are treated to an intimate, often theatrical, dining experience hosted by The Press Club’s executive team. As this space is fully unique, there are no boundaries or limitations, making it the ultimate culinary experience.
From the ink-splattered walls to industrial steel benches, GAZI is a no-frills, no-fuss bar-slash-Greek-restaurant where you can drink, eat and let loose. Inspired by George’s time in the Athens suburb of the same name, Gazi brings a taste of Greek street food to Melbourne. With an impressive range of sensational cocktails and a focus on Greek street food that embodies food which is best eaten with your hands, Gazi reflects the inventive and approachable style to Greek cuisine. Get lost in the cool and carefree atmosphere of the most eccentric neighbourhood in Greece, without leaving Melbourne’s CBD.
Open from 11.30am, 7 days a week.
Offers authentic Greek cuisine in Melbourne. Located in Brunswick East and Kew, Hellenic serves traditional Greek food with a modern twist, in a taverna setting that is bustling, warm and friendly. Offering a sharing style menu with banquet menus to match, Hellenic Republic only sources the best fresh and flavoursome produce from Greece and Melbourne to create authentic recipes in a clean, modern style.
Brunswick East: located on Lygon St, open Monday to Sunday for dinner and lunches Friday – Sunday.
Kew: located on Cotham Road in the heart of Kew, open 7 days for lunch and dinner.
Celebrates the story of Australia’s many immigrants and is inspired by Calombaris' Greek heritage that takes classic street food to another level. From the range of delicious souvlaki , their famous grain salad and the 'Jimmy Dimmy'; there is something for everyone to walk away satisfied. Available for takeaway or to dine in, Jimmy Grants is the perfect spot to grab a bite on the go.
Open 7 days from 11:30am, located in Fitzroy, Emporium CBD and Ormond.
Is all about "The Hellenic Diet" – lifestyle, health and happiness. With a focus on healthy eating, Mastic recreates classic dishes with a wholesome twist with breakfast and lunch served daily, ranging from nourishing Acai Bircher muesli to delicious homemade koulouri bagels that you can grab on the go. Located next door to Hellenic Republic in Kew, on Cotham Road, Mastic is open from 7am until 4pm daily.