Sometimes the best ‘Good Food’ is the food you don’t have to cook yourself!
Every school holidays, we love to take our children to the restaurant of their choice for lunch. It’s a great way to get them to try new foods and immerse themselves in the buzz of Melbourne’s eclectic foodie scene. George Calombaris’ Hellenic Republic in Lygon Street, East Brunswick is a firm family favourite. The combination of delicious food, a bustling and energetic atmosphere and wonderful, kid-friendly wait staff always adds up to a fantastic family experience…well it did until Leonardo came along…
We had a great time, we really did, but I won’t lie to you…eating out with our toddler son is touch and go at the best of times. I mean, he loves his food and will eat anything but being restrained in a high chair is not his idea of fun and so the inevitable game of amuse the toddler takes place between my husband and I between mouthfuls of moussaka and honey drenched loukoumades.
Still, it was worth the trip and so rewarding to see Lucia and Francesca sitting up to the table beautifully, tucking in to fresh pitas, calamari and delicious hand cut potatoes cooked in olive oil and oregano.
Every time we visit George (we are on a first name basis after developing a family addiction to Masterchef) we order the tzatziki. It’s creamy, it’s garlicky and herby…so delicious. And pretty easy to make at home too….
My take on Hellenic Republic’s Tzatziki
1 cucumber peeled, deseeded and grated and left to drain in a colander, sprinkled with salt for an hour (or even overnight)
2 cups of good quality Greek yoghurt
2 cloves of garlic, roasted and squeezed out of it’s skin
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1-2 Tbsp good olive oil
1 Tbsp shredded dill, or you can use mint
Salt to season to your taste
What to do
Put your yoghurt, garlic, lemon juice and herbs in a bowl and mix gently. Squeeze any extra liquid out of your cucumber and add it to the bowl. Add a little sea salt, mix and taste to see if you need a little more salt. That’s it!
Tzatziki pairs beautifully with so many things…on warm pita, with roasted lamb or chicken or even roasted potatoes. Have it on a wrap with salad and falafels or why not try it with last weeks Good Food Friday recipe…Zucchini Fritters.
Do you have a favourite family restaurant? What kinds of restaurant foods do you like to recreate at home?