I got a sneak peek at a soft launch and was very impressed with our dinner. Anticipation is high and I’m sure it’ll be a hit as soon as the doors open.
The former Hobsons Bay Hotel has been transformed by March Studios into a light and airy restaurant befitting a metropolitan beachside suburb while retaining a typically Greek colour palette of blues and whites. The effect is bold and beautiful.
Even the kitchen’s heat lamps are works of art.
Hellenic Hotel is split into two areas. The ground floor dining room offers modern Greek dining with Hellenic wines.
The second level is the Public Bar with a bar menu, $15 daily pub specials, Greek and Australian beers on tap, cocktails and a balcony with sea breezes and city views.
The modern Greek menu at Hellenic Hotel contains many of the favourites at Hellenic Republic Kew and Brunswick. The kitchen is headed by Josh Pelham, who was Young Chef of the Year 2015 and head chef at London’s acclaimed The Square before returning to Melbourne to work at Estelle.
If you don’t know where to start with the menu then the best way is go say ‘Feed Me’ which contains seven courses of the signature dishes for $49 per head. The dishes are at the whim of the chef and they’re able to cater to dietary requirements.
It starts with olives, pita and their famous white cod roe taramasalata which is creamy and salty at the same time.
Next is an oozy saganaki with apple puree with hints of clove and black sesame and green apple shards.
From the ‘large’ dishes on the menu is a kritharaki (otherwise known as orzo or risoni pasta) tossed with squid ink, tiny mussels and shaved fennel.
For the mains there is unbelievably tender rotisserie chicken, a grain salad with pulses, herbs, pomegranate and smoked yoghurt and heirloom carrots with fenugreek and almonds.
Dessert is two small jars of creamy risogalo (rice pudding) layered with a rhubarb compote and sprinkled with candied pistachios.
If you have room don’t miss the stunning pavlova for two (or really four!). It is presented with a flourish on a white cake platter, dripping with fresh fruit and cream. The fruit changes regularly and in our instance it is sweet quince and freeze dried mandarin which has the tanginess of the fruit without the juicy mouthfeel. The meringue is jaw-droppingly good, with a lightest of crunchy crusts around the edges and a gooey sugary centre at its base.
Hellenic Hotel is a seven-day dining and drinking destination and I imagine they will be very busy, so it’s good to know that they offer a takeaway menu too. It hits the mark with the stylish fit out, the varied menu and waitstaff mostly made up of locals who all seem to be very excited to be there. I reckon it’s just the boost that Williamstown needs!
Hellenic Hotel, 28 Ferguson St, Williamstown (03) 9393 1000
7 days | Mon – Sun
12:00pm until late
BAR (upstairs) 7 days | Mon – Sun
12:00pm until late