Hellenic Republic

Hellenic Republic - Kew

Hellenic Republic – Kew

Hellenic Republic in Kew held an event where a range of chefs from the Hellenic family collaborated to create a delicious and inspiring four-course banquet. The chefs involved were George Calombaris, David Tsirekas, Travis McAuley, Arron Lynch and Alex Xinis. The group of chefs cooked and presented the food in the spotlight in front of the diners. Like artists at work, they created our meals with precision and passion. It was great to watch them in action. The dishes were creative and contemporary but maintained authentic Greek flavours.

Hellenic Republic - Churros and dip

Hellenic Republic – Churros and dip

First up we had a lovely plate of olives. Yum. Then we had savoury Tarama churros w latholemono dip. It was a creamy herb dip with a good amount of zingy lemon, which balanced out the oil in the deep fried churros. Churros with dip is one hell of an idea! Loved it.

Hellenic Republic - Ouzo cured ocean trout

Hellenic Republic – Ouzo cured ocean trout

The Ouzo cured ocean trout was lovely. Thick pieces of ocean trout topped with black sesame seeds, pickled cucumber and some crispy fried Jerusalem artichoke chips.

Hellenic Republic - Smoked bone marrow

Hellenic Republic – Smoked bone marrow

The smoked bone marrow was incredible. We saw George carefully placing bits and pieces on the dish with his little tweezers, making it all pretty. And it was spectacular. Who knew bone marrow could look so pretty. It was gorgeous and tasted even better. The flavour combination was quite complex. It was moreish with the creaminess of the bone marrow, it had a sweetness from the beetroot, salty feta and a punch of horseradish. It was incredible. It was served with little round treacle bread rolls.

Hellenic Republic - Saganaki w truffle

Hellenic Republic – Saganaki w truffle

The saganaki was amazing. We had to take photos quickly because you’ve gotta eat saganaki while it’s hot. The beautiful Kefalograviera cheese was sprinkled with truffle and topped with a big round parmesan crisp. It was delish.

Hellenic Republic - Sheftalies

Hellenic Republic – Sheftalies

Sheftalies are like little sausages that were full of spices and meaty flavour served with tahini yoghurt and caper leaves. Tasty.

Hellenic Republic - Seafood kokoretsi

Hellenic Republic – Seafood kokoretsi

The seafood kokoretsi was delicious. It was a combination of seafood rolled into a log and covered in kataifi (wispy strands of pastry). There were big pieces of seafood like whole prawns and chunks of haku fish in the centre. The seafood was soft and creamy and delicious and then there was the crispy kataifi around the outside. So good! It was accompanied by skordalia, which was a thick creamy garlic sauce, which had a whopping amount of garlic that went perfectly. Delish!

Hellenic Republic - Tuna tartare w prawn crackers

Hellenic Republic – Tuna tartare w prawn crackers

The tartare of tuna was really fun, not to mention delicious. All the elements of the tartare were presented in a bowl individually just waiting to be mixed. Accompanied by a bag of prawn crackers.

Hellenic Republic - Tuna tartare after mixing shot

Hellenic Republic – Tuna tartare after mixing shot

You get to mix it all together yourself and then pop it on a prawn cracker. The tartare had a lovely balance with the oily tuna, the acidy pickles, the creamy mayo. It was just delicious. The prawn cracker was a great way to eat the tartare and it complimented the flavours in the tartare and added a crunchy texture. It was a cracker of a dish! Loved it.

Hellenic Republic - Melitzanosalata - variations of eggplant

Hellenic Republic – Melitzanosalata – variations of eggplant

The Melitzanosalata (eggplant salad) was variations of eggplant. There was thin strips of baked eggplant, bits of pickled eggplant, deep-fried eggplant chips and eggplant dip. It was an eggplant lovers dream come true.

Hellenic Republic - Duck and quince

Hellenic Republic – Duck and quince

The duck was beautifully pink on inside and brown and caramelised on the outside. It came with a sweet quince sauce. Great combination.

Hellenic Republic - Wagyu tongue skewers

Hellenic Republic – Wagyu tongue skewers

I was hesitant at first when I saw the wagyu tongue skewers. I hadn’t tried tongue before, but my fears quickly diminished after tasting it. It was surprisingly delicious. The skewers were a combination of wagyu beef and tongue. The meat was flavourful with spices and lemon then cooked on a flat iron grill. The tongue was so soft and delicate, not tough and fibrous as I had imagined. It was a very good first encounter.

Hellenic Republic - Lahanosalata - cabbage salad

Hellenic Republic – Lahanosalata – cabbage salad

The Lahanosalata was a modern looking cabbage salad, the colours looked fantastic. It had different types of fresh cabbage, warm cooked brussel sprouts and a creamy spice dressing. A lovely winter salad.

Hellenic Republic - Me and George

Hellenic Republic – Me and George

Selfie with my mate George Calombaris.

Hellenic Republic - The making of the magnamopolous

Hellenic Republic – The making of the magnamopolous

Then onto the sweets. Here are the magnamopolous’ in the making.

Hellenic Republic - Magnamopolous

Hellenic Republic – Magnamopolous

The magnamopolous is like a Greek version of a Magnum icecream. Love the name, so funny. The centre was a Greek yoghurt ice-cream which was icey but creamy at the same time and had the sourness of the yoghurt. Yum. The thin chocolate shell had a rich chocolate flavour and had a fragrant caramel poured over the top. There were spots of fig puree, which was quite bitter and dehydrated orange and raspberry bits, which added texture.

Hellenic Republic - Warm rosewater custard w churros

Hellenic Republic – Warm rosewater custard w churros

The warm rose water custard was lovely it was eggy (in a good way) and not too sweet. The touloumba (little chubby churros) were sitting in the custard, soaked up the custard, and were getting covered in the custard, you get the idea. And there were scattered honey walnuts in there which added crunch. Delightful.

It was a lovely experience to watch a bunch of talented chefs doing what they do best. The food was contemporary and innovative. The menu was modern style Greek food with traditional home-cooked flavours at heart.

I heart Hellenic Republic!

Olives x

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Note: Olive Sundays was invited as a guest to Hellenic Republic.

New Shanghai

New Shanghai - Emporium Melbourne

New Shanghai – Emporium Melbourne

New Shanghai is a Chinese restaurant located on lvl 3 of the Melbourne Emporium. The food is based around traditional recipes that have been passed down the line from generation to generation. And by golly they sure know how to make good dumplings. The dumplings are made fresh on site, you can see them hand crafting the little dumplings right in front of you. If you dig dumplings, this place is a MUST. Alongside the glorious dumplings New Shanghai has a delicious menu of a variety of authentic Chinese dishes at reasonable prices, which will keep you coming back for more.

New Shanghai - Venue

New Shanghai – Venue

While the recipes are traditional, the restaurant décor has a very modern vibe.

New Shanghai - Fresh pineapple & coconut milk

New Shanghai – Fresh pineapple & coconut milk

They have a variety of drinks on the menu. The fresh pineapple and coconut milk was delish, it was like a milkshake and tasted really fresh. The honey green tea is good too. It’s green tea but has the mouth feel of a crisp cold beer. It’s tastes clean and refreshing.

New Shanghai - Xiao long bao

New Shanghai – Xiao long bao

New Shanghai’s dumplings are beyond delicious. They deserve a standing ovation bravo bravo! The xiao long bao are one of my many favourites at New Shanghai, the skin is thin and soft and the pork and hot soupy filling is incredible. Add a little bit of vinegar and they are just perfect.

New Shanghai - Pan fried pork bun

New Shanghai – Pan fried pork bun

Another favourite of mine is the pan fried pork buns. The first time I tried these I was in awe of how amazing they were. They are in the shape of the xiao long bao and the filling is the same as the xiao long bao, but the skin is thicker and sort of cakey like BBQ pork buns. The pan fried pork buns are fried and have a golden toasted crispy bottom. They are truly remarkable.

New Shanghai - Pan fried pork dumplings

New Shanghai – Pan fried pork dumplings

The pan fried pork dumplings are delish too. The dumpling is fried and the skin is a little thicker and a little sticky in a good way. Delish!

New Shanghai - Shepard's purse & pork wonton w peanut sauce & spicy red chilli oil

New Shanghai – Shepard’s purse & pork wonton w peanut sauce & spicy red chilli oil

The shepard’s purse & pork wontons have the most amazing skin. The skin is thin and super silky, glossy and amazing. They were sitting in a spicy red chilli oil and had a peanut sauce drizzled over them. I couldn’t get over the skin on these wontons, they just had such an amazingly smooth texture.

New Shanghai - Deep fried crispy skin chicken w noodle soup

New Shanghai – Deep fried crispy skin chicken w noodle soup

The noodle soup w deep fried crispy skin chicken is really tasty. The soup has a subtle flavour and comes with a spicy vinegar sauce to add more of a kick. The noodles are fresh and the crispy skin is uber crispy. Yum!

New Shanghai - Shanghai fried noodles w shredded pork & veg

New Shanghai – Shanghai fried noodles w shredded pork & veg

The fried Shanghai noodles are full of flavour and stir-fried with a sweet soy based sauce, shredded pork and bok choy. They are the thick round egg noodles (sort of like udon). Very tasty and a little bit slippery, if you are not a chopstick pro you may need a fork for these.

New Shanghai - Braised pork belly marinated in a sweet soy sauce

New Shanghai – Braised pork belly marinated in a sweet soy sauce

The braised pork belly arrived in a big clay pot, it looked very traditional and was overflowing with giant chunks of juicy pork belly. The pork belly was marinated and covered in a sweet soy sauce and melted in your mouth.

New Shanghai - Deep fried tofu w salted egg yolk

New Shanghai – Deep fried tofu w salted egg yolk

The deep fried tofu w salted egg yolk was yum. The tofu had a light crispy batter and the tofu was really soft and silky in the middle. The salted egg yolk added flavour and a powdery-like texture to the dish. It was nice.

New Shanghai - Fried rice w X.O sauce

New Shanghai – Fried rice w X.O sauce

The fried rice with X.O sauce was delicious. It was your standard fried rice, fried up with X.O sauce. This simple alteration made the dish much tastier. The X.O sauce added that spicy seafood flavour which intensified the flavours in the rice.

New Shanghai - Pumpkin sticky rice cakes w red bean paste

New Shanghai – Pumpkin sticky rice cakes w red bean paste

For dessert we tried the pumpkin sticky rice cakes w red bean paste. Firstly awww they looked like little pumpkins. So adorable! They were steamed and came out in a bamboo steamer like dumplings. They were soft and a bit sticky and were a great dessert to end the meal.

New Shanghai - Red bean paste inside the pumpkin dumplings

New Shanghai – Red bean paste inside the pumpkin dumplings

They were like sweet little glutinous pumpkin dumplings filled with a sweet red bean paste. I loved them!

New Shanghai has a delicious menu of authentic Chinese food. Their service is good, the prices are reasonable, the food is delicious and the servings are generous. It’s a great place to gather a group of people and order a bunch of share plates. Also I like to go on my own so I can have a plate of dumplings all to myself.

I heart New Shanghai!

Olives x

New Shanghai
Address: Shop 323, Level 3, 287 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Website: http://www.newshanghai.com.au
Phone: 03 9994 9386
Trading Hours: Sat-Wed: 11am-7pm, Thurs-Fri:11am-9pm

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Note: Olive Sundays was invited as a guest to New Shanghai.