Welcome to Hellenika
Having not been to Nobbys beach iconic Greek restaurant Hellenika for a while, I was interested to see how things had changed after being open nearly six years. I’m happy to report nothing has slipped it that time.
From the moment you walk in, you know you know you’re in for a great dining experience. The restaurant has that warm relaxed feel that makes you feel at home.
We opted for a menu recommended by owner and patron Simon Gloftis who, through his heritage and travels, brings the authenticity of Greece to the menu and wine list. His head chef, Bryan Kelly, translates it perfectly to the plate.
A young Frenchman called David was our waiter for the evening. His excellent knowledge of the menu and accompanying wine parings helped navigate us throughout the night.
We started with traditional Taramosalata, a smooth dip made from mullet roe, served with fresh bread. It was delicate and not fishy as you would expect. This was accompanied by the 2013 Semeli Agiorgitiko blend from Peloponnese, Greece.
Next we tasted the grilled kefalograviera cheese from Greece. Known as Saganaki, this was such a unique dish that we had it twice! Next was wood fired southern ocean calamari (spelt with a K in Greek), served with a refreshing salad of radish, red onion and mint, a great combination that really opens up the palate.
An interlude between courses was a Gloftis family recipe of chargrilled spicy beef sausages. I don’t think it will be a secret that Simon will be sharing anytime soon; it was delicious.
The stand out was slow oven baked Junee lamb shoulder, ‘Arni sto fourno’ which was so ‘melt in your mouth’ you could eat it with a spoon. This came with Tzatziki, eggplant relish and a fresh Greek village salad.
To finish the evening we had Bougatsa; a crispy filo parcel filled with warm custard. Traditionally a breakfast item it translates perfectly into an evening dessert and accompanied by a glass of 2010 Monbazillac ‘Cuvee des Anges’ from France, rounded the night of perfectly.
Summary: Another great night at a Gold Coast restaurant that keeps on giving night after night.
Food: Wonderful to see old favourites were still there but new additions had come along too.
Service: Welcoming and intuitive.
Highlight: You feel as if you’re in Greece.