Anyone who has spent time on the Gold Coast will know Simon Gloftis and his impressive portfolio of restaurants, including the much celebrated The Fish House and flash Nineteen at The Star. But it was Hellenika that first got Gloftis recognised in 2010, a time when the Coast’s dining scene was a rough sketch of what it’s become today.
Hellenika is widely regarded as one of the country’s best Greek restaurants. And with this Fortitude Valley outpost in boutique hotel The Calile, Brisbane locals don’t need to take the M1 to get their spanakopita fix.
There’s lots of white, marble and timber features, and a smattering of soft pastel and greenery. The restaurant overlooks the hotel’s pool and pool deck, with its cabanas, chairs and umbrellas, where guests can order drinks and snacks.
The menu is almost exactly the same as the Gold Coast’s, except Brisbane gets lobster in place of Moreton Bay bugs in its tomato and white wine spaghetti. Smaller plates include dips, grilled cheese, grilled seafood (octopus, calamari, prawns), salty pork belly with braised leeks, and Greek meatballs. Large plates include spanakopita, eggplant moussaka, chicken souvlaki and Hellenika’s signature 1.2-kilogram baked lamb.
The drinks list is also similar to the Coast’s but throws in a few more champagnes. The wine list has around 500 bottles in total, many international, with a bunch imported from Greece.
Hellenika also serves breakfast. There’s risogalo (a Greek rice porridge), bougatsa (custard wrapped in filo) and a big Greek breakfast with a lamb cutlet.