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Hellenic Hotel launches in Williamstown

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The World Loves Melbourne attended the much anticipated Hellenic Hotel launch party in Williamstown. This is the third Hellenic restaurant for George Calombaris and co-owner Travis McAuley who already have Hellenic Republics in East Brunwick and Kew.

Hellenic Hotel is an extensive refurbishment of the iconic old Hobsons Bay Hotel on Ferguson Street. It is split over two levels with March Studio behind the nautical blue and white fit out, which incorporates lots of whitewashed brick and mesh-like fittings. Downstairs is a 120-seat restaurant and upstairs is the public bar, complete with a large heated terrace with gorgeous city views.

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Josh Pelham, former head chef at Northcote’s Estelle Bistro and ESP heads up the kitchen. Having worked with Calombaris at Fenix and The Press Club they already have a winning formula. There are plenty of Hellenic staples on the menu; the soft-shell crab souva, killer rotisserie chicken, slow-roasted lamb shoulder and of course, the iconic grain salad.

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Their "feed me" option which we opted for at $49 is unheard of these days, so that was also a pleasant surprise. Our stand out was the grilled saganaki with apple, clove and black sesame - which I am still dreaming about.

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As a nod to the old pub there are twists on classics such as a fisherman’s basket, a de-kitsched prawn cocktail and Aussie favourite, the Pavlova.

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To wet your whistle there are a range of Greek wines, beers on tap and by the bottle, and pre-batched divinely bottled cocktails such as the Kosmo – Hellenic Hotel’s take on a Cosmopolitan.

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This exciting addition to the west side will be open seven days from noon until late.