Hellenika is a glamorous Greek taverna sitting poolside on the first level of James St's boutique hotel The Calile in Fortitude Valley.
From the same folk behind the award-winning Gold Coast Greek restaurant and bar of the same name, Hellenika takes traditional Greek dishes and raises them up a notch.
Diners at Hellenika can sit on the poolside terrace amongst the olive trees or inside the Mediterranean chic dining room with its marble pillars topped by golden bowls of fresh herbs, sheer gold curtains, grand arched windows and pale timber tables adorned with heavy gold pepper grinders.
The menu consists of starters including dips, Mezedes (small plates) and Large Plates, along with a curated 450+ bottle wine list featuring an impressive selection of Greek wines as well as from leading wine regions in countries such as Spain, Hungary, Italy, France, Argentina, Cyprus, Austria, New Zealand and Australia.
Recommended starters include the taramasalata dip (the best in Brisbane) accompanied by house-baked bread, the house signature Hellenika zucchini chips and the Avgolemeno (chicken stock, rice, egg and lemon) which is served warm in a drinking glass.
Fresh seafood – Mooloolaba prawns, clearwater prawns and lobster - is showcased in the raw starters, which include Athenion Makaronda (whole lobster spaghetti in tomato and white wine).
Mezedes include Kalamari (grilled or flash-fried SA calamari), Saganaki (grilled Kefalograviera cheese and lemon), Arni Sti Sahara (grilled lamb ribs), veal dolmades and Hirino (salty pork belly with florina braised leeks).
Meanwhile large plates, which are perfect to share, include spanakopita (cheese, spinach and filo), chicken souvlakia (off the stick) eggplant moussaka (eggplant ragu with bechamel), Kritharaki (orzo pasta with Fraser coast spanner crab) and wagyu pastitsio (wagyu beef, tubular pasta and bechamel sauce), with hard-to-beat accompaniments such as Greek salad.
Save room for dessert with temptations including baklava, olive oil chocolate tart and bougatsa (crispy filo custard with warm lemon syrup), best served with artisan halva ice-cream.
Nice to know - Hellenika is open for breakfast, with a mix of contemporary Oz and Greek-flavoured dishes on offer.
Need to know - Bookings are advised.
The menu may have changed since our visit.
1/48 James St