venue without an espresso machine. I thought he was joking. Then I suggested Urban
Hellenic Republic in Melbourne, I have pigeon-holed Greek cuisine as meat, chips,
cheese and dips.
The former premises of Garagistes have been remodeled. It’s a hybrid
refurb, modern copper finishes and black upholstery with walls adorned with
Grecian murals and Hellenic blue stained ceramics.
weren’t usually necessary but they happily took my details anyway. I heaved
open the door to find a comfortably occupied restaurant with a 70-80 people
capacity, plenty of full tables and space for more.
steer clear of the really big plates and ordered a little of everything else.
- Melitzanosalata, $8.50, an aubergine dip with spices
- Saganaki cheese with fig sauce and rakamoto, $13
- Lamb skewers, chips and a side of Greek salad, $28.50
- Urban Salad, $15.50, leaves, carrots, diced orange, capsicum, sundried
tomatoes, seeds and parmesan.
- Galaktoboureko, $10, a classic Greek dessert of custard, filo pastry and
raw sugar syrup and
- Metaxa brownie, $13, a warm chocolate brownie, with a Greek liqueur
syrup and candied Cretan cherries.
Urban Greek is good value – we paid $70 each, including a bottle of
Milton Laura sparking rose – and despite our best attempts, we had to leave most of the
There were a few things I particularly enjoyed. The first was the
quality pita bread. I’m serious. I love a house made pita with substance to accompany a dip
and Urban Greek aced it. The second was the fig sauce that went with the
saganaki. We were also served the more traditional lemon with the fried cheese and tried
both, but the fig flavour was thoroughly enjoyable and invoked the cuisine.
lovely. It’s the sort of dessert that you’d find Nigella Lawson eating in the
middle of the night if it was left in the fridge. She’d actually come to your house to eat it. The brownie was a super-dark
chocolate cake which also introduced us the new flavours of Metaxa and candied cherries.
a feature, and you’ll be treated well while you also enjoy plates with new
the opposite side of the road.