This is the best charcoal chicken, they said.
|El Jannah charcoal chicken|
Is it, though?
Well, after trying, I do think that the chicken lives up to the popularity.
El Jannah is one of many Lebanese charcoal chicken restaurants in Sydney. Many have said that this particular eatery, which can be viewed easily from Granville railway station, is the best among all. The mother has a high fondness of charcoal chicken, although I do not. Before trying El Jannah, every charcoal chicken that I had tried tasted bitter and unpleasant.
|El Jannah, Granville|
The first impression is really assuring, with the never ending queue and packed seating both inside and outside the restaurant. The rule is that we have to order at the counter, and the food will be delivered to our table as soon as possible. I am not sure if we can order extra menu once we've already seated, but it seems to me that everyone is ordering everything at the counter.
|Counter and queue|
The whole chicken meal comes with a complete array of condiments: garlic sauce, pickles, and Lebanese bread. The only thing I regret is that I forgot to order the tabouli (Lebanese parsley salad), which will compliment the chicken perfectly.
The garlic sauce is actually one of the heroes of the meal. Very garlicky and creamy, it does amazing wonders to the chicken and the chips; practically everything that is dipped into it. Divine is the right word.
|Condiments: garlic sauce, pickles, Lebanese bread|
So how the infamous charcoal chicken tasted then?
The chicken is obviously grilled, leaving black grilling marks here and there which can taste a bit bitter. Despite the dry appearance, it is actually very tender and juicy. A bit too salty for the mother, and I can see why. It is saltier than any charcoal chicken I have ever tasted, but it doesn't ruin the overall flavour of the chicken. It also has this beautiful smoky aroma and flavour; very mouthwatering by the time it touches the table.
The best? Very likely.
|Whole chicken - $19.90|
And what''s a charcoal chicken meal without a huge bowl of fries/chips? I was quite surprised that $6 can give us this huge bowl. These crunchy chips are dangerously addictive, with sprinkles of salty chicken salt. I can never get enough chips in my life.
|Large chips/fries - $6|
My advice for you when dining here is to make the most of the free condiments. Take the very chewy Lebanese bread, put a thick slab of garlic sauce, put one (or more) strips of the pickles, put some fresh tabouli (which in this case is absent), and if you are in for the game, include one or two chips too. Bite into it and the flavours will just dance in your mouth.
I found that the pickles is way to salty if consumed excessively, and I am not fond of the radish pickle (the bright pink ones) so I opt for the cucumber pickles only. But again, garlic sauce makes anything better. I just wish they have chilli sauce or anything spicy to bite me.
|Eating it my way|
Amazingly, the aunt decided to try the chicken roll, which means more charcoal chicken for me. Oh thank you Auntie!
The chicken inside is less salty, the bread is crispier, and everything works perfectly in that roll. Fresh and really delicious.
|Chicken roll (with garlic sauce, tomato, onion, lettuce and pickles) - $7.90|
Having tried the highly recommended chicken, will I come again? Very possible, especially for those chips and the garlic sauce.
Another advice is: do not attempt to eat the garlic sauce before an important meeting or an appointment, unless you have a really, really strong minty candy or gum to neutralized it. The smell is, well, intoxicating.
|El Jannah's logo|
Currency: $1 = IDR 9,500
Rating: 4/5 (Recommended)
Lovely charcoal chicken and rolls, price is a bit expensive for dine in, service is quick and efficient, ambiance is nice although can be crowded in peak hours.
6 South St, Granville
Phone: (02) 9637 0977