Brisbane is known for its warmer climate all year round and while most people tend to retreat inside on the really hot days, my fiance and I decided to brave the heat to try out Hellenika at the Calile. This Mediterranean restaurant highlights traditional Greek share dishes but takes it up a notch with its wonderful atmosphere and wide menu variety. Located in Fortitude Valley, Hellenika is the perfect spot to stop after an afternoon of shopping on James Street. The central location and long tables make it very easy for everyone to enjoy the share plates and create memories together. The restaurant itself sits right next to the Calile’s hotel pool which makes you feel like you are enjoying a nice meal on a European holiday.
Upon arrival, we were seated at a table that overlooks the pool area. I was instantly impressed with our waiter’s knowledge and ability to recommend a variety of dishes that pair well together. Hellenika itself prides themselves on their commitment to fresh produce and a hand-curated selection of wines.
First up on the menu were our drinks. We decided to try the spicy margarita and the passionfruit martini. Both drinks were extremely refreshing and added to the feeling we were sipping cocktails in the Mediterranean. Passionfruit is one of my favourite fruits so I was partial to that martini and could have easily sipped three throughout our meals. Our drinks were almost too pretty to drink, almost! If you’re not a hard alcohol fan, Hellenika has a large selection of wines, beer and non-alcoholic drinks to choose from.
As Hellenika is about coming together to share a meal and enjoy each other’s company, we asked for our mains and appetisers to arrive at the same time. We ordered kolokithia which is their zucchini chips, souvlakia (chicken), marouli salad, and the saganaki which is probably the best plate of grilled kefalograviera cheese I have ever had. The kolokithia is one of the most popular appetiser dishes at Hellenika and I could instantly see why. The zucchini chips were perfectly crispy and full of flavour, which set the tone for the rest of our meal.
The thing I enjoyed most about our meal is how the salad, cheese and chicken paired flawlessly together. Each dish had its own amazing flavours but paired together created a dish I will never forget. The marouli salad is Hellenika’s green salad which seems like a relatively simple dish but I’m not lying when I say I dream about that salad regularly. The chicken was cooked to perfection and was so delicious and juicy. Overall, It was a wonderful afternoon and I know I will eat there for many years to come! Next time we would love to try the fish, but you can bet I will reorder that delicious salad.