Hellenika may be a new name to Brisbane, but the modern-Greek eatery has been a familiar feasting locale on the Gold Coast since March 2010. When owner Simon Gloftis originally opened the venue, Gold Coast locals weren’t particularly au fait with the concept of shared and late-night dining. Simon was determined to – and successfully did – change that. Roughly four years ago, Simon began searching for an ideal space for a Brisbane iteration of Hellenika, but nothing felt quite right – until he saw the plans for The Calile Hotel.
Much like the rest of the Richards and Spence-designed hotel, Hellenika truly embraces Brisbane’s enviable subtropical climate and exudes urban-resort vibes. Diners make their way up to the pool deck and are greeted in Hellenika’s breezy olive tree-lined alfresco terrace. Those waiting for a table can take a seat at the bar or recline poolside in a cabana – you can even stay there to enjoy your meal if you so desire. Inside, Hellenika’s marble surfaces and brass finishes reflect the natural light spilling in through wide windows, framed by The Calile’s striking arched brickwork. Wiry rosemary bushes, timber furniture and natural textures offset the restaurant’s sleeker details, not to mention the blush-pink ceramics presenting your food. Want to see more? Head to The Street Photographer for a closer look.
Let’s get one thing straight – while the fare at Hellenika is served in a modern way, the dishes presented before you are authentically Greek, many based on traditional family recipes. To head Brisbane’s impressive open kitchen, following a stint in London, Simon coerced Hellenika’s original chef Bryan Kelly, who worked in the Gold Coast restaurant for six years. Joining Bryan is his wife Tessa Kelly (also ex-Hellenika Gold Coast), who has come on board as restaurant manager. Lovers of the original Hellenika in Nobby Beach will be pleased to hear the same menu will be served at The Calile restaurant. Small plates of kalamata olive-topped taramasalata, grilled saganaki, veal dolmades wrapped in silverbeet and Hellenika’s famous kolokithia zucchini chips will get you started, and certainly have you feeling like you’re grazing in the Greek Islands. To continue the feasting look to the larger share options, including whole market fish, flaky spanakopita, eggplant moussaka, chicken souvlakia and 1.2-kg classic baked lamb shoulder. The 450-plus bottle wine list, with an impressive selection of Greek drops, will offer something new to try with each visit, but if you’ve opted to eat in poolside, we highly suggest you do so with a cocktail in hand.
As of Tuesday October 23, Hellenika will begin breakfast service from 6:30–10:30 am seven days. You’ll find your classic bacon and eggs alongside Greek-inspired alternatives – think bougatsa instead of pancakes, rizogalo (rice pudding) instead of porridge, bruleed half grapefruit with Greek yoghurt and manuka honey, and the Ari Onassis big breakfast, complete with a lamb cutlet.
Hellenika is open now at The Calile Hotel. Reservations are available in the restaurant or by the pool – head to our Stumble Guide for details.