Hellenika at The Calile
Inside The Calile, you can enjoy spanakopita, seafood and Greek wines in smooth surrounds.
When The Calile — arguably the best hotel in Brisbane — opened its doors on James Street in 2018, it didn't just add a rather striking-looking hotel to the busy Fortitude Valley strip. It also became home to the first Brisbane outpost of Gold Coast Greek restaurant Hellenika.
Serving up meals and drinks for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week, Hellenika lets you enjoy its offerings in a pastel and neutral space that befits the complex's cruisey, stylish digs.
A close collaboration between Hellenika owner Simon Gloftis and architects Richards and Spence, the Valley spot capitalises upon as many of The Calile's features as it can — complete with a pool-adjacent terrace, poolside cabana and sun lounge dining for hotel guests (with its own menu), and a casual bar overlooking Ada Lane.
The long breakfast menu is made for anyone – whether you're staying at the hotel or not. Get around the traditional avocado on toast and eggs royal options or try something with a little Greek flair. The Strapatsada baked eggs with feta, olives, peppers and chilli and the Greek French toast made on tsoureki (sweet Greek bread) are stand out dishes.
And, as you might expect in a restaurant that has a body of water in sight — even an artificial one — seafood is a major culinary attraction here. Hellenika's lunch and dinner menu offers up caviar and ceviche, grilled king prawns, flash fried calamari, pan-fried whole snapper — the list goes on. But it's the Greek classics, interpreted with a bright, modern bent, that really have the ability to knock one's socks off.
The saganaki elicits an emotional response. The chargrilled lamb ribs and the hilopites (braised beef shin) are succulent winners for the carnivorously inclined, while the Athenian style spaghetti served with generous chunks of Moreton Bay Bug and tomato, chilli, garlic and white wine is a bonafide banger.
Other dishes include Greek dips, olives, anchovies and salads for those after a small bite alongside some larger veggie options such as the eggplant moussaka and spanakopita.
Pairing your meal with a beverage involves perusing a 500-strong wine list, including several Greek options including a fantastic Assyrtiko by the glass. As for cocktails, the Hellenika G&T comes with a splash of rosemary, while the Ari Onassis combines mastiha, gin, St Germain, lemon and cucumber. Classic cocktails, non-boozy options, beers, ciders and ouzo are also on offer.
This place is so good you won't want to leave. And if you don't want to, there's always the hotel.
Images: Sean Fennessy.
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