El Jannah Chicken - Granville
Sunday, 8 April 2012 11:14 AM
Review by Tarik H.
Photos by Erhan B.
A family business success story, opening in 1998 as a small takeaway shop, El Jannah has grown to be known as one of the best sources of charcoal chicken in Sydney. It seems that over the years the owners have expanded into neighbouring premises’ and have dedicated vast amounts of space to seating, making it more like a restaurant than a take away shop.
The shop is clearly doing well and its popularity was made apparent by the continuous stream of patrons we witnessed on the dreary Sunday evening we ate there – perfect weather for charcoal chicken. The crowd seems to be a spill off of what you would expect on Church Street on a Saturday night - i.e. plenty of opportunities to practise the art of lowering your gaze. They are heavily staffed and this is reflected by the lightning fast service.
Orders are taken at the counter and paid pre-meal. You are given a number on a stand, for orders to be delivered to your table, and can choose where to sit. There is ample indoor and outdoor seating. We ordered a regular bowl of chips, a quarter chicken and a dish called “EJ plate” (we had to try the dish that they deemed worthy of carrying the shop’s name), which allowed you to select three shish from a selection of marinated chicken shish, and three differently prepared lamb shish. We opted for all three to be lamb since we were trying their charcoal chicken.
The chips came within minutes and were sizzling hot, crisp, quality (no duds) and perfectly flavoured. They also withstood the test of time and did not deteriorate into cold bars of oil. El Jannah truly offers chips that are worth coming back for. The quarter chicken came on a plate garnished with pickles and the most heavenly garlic sauce that could possibly grace the suburb of Granville. All jokes aside, their garlic sauce lives up to its acclaim and they provide a generous portion of it.
Many have rated their charcoal chicken as the best in Sydney, and as an avid charcoal chicken eater I can confirm that El Jannah is up there. Their crowning feature though, and most likely what has given them their title, is definitely the garlic sauce.
The EJ plate also included “chilli bread”, which was toasted Lebanese bread with your typical kebab shop tomato, onion and parsley salad inside. This went nicely with the garlic sauce (as pretty much anything in existence would), and complimented the lamb shish. Each shish was superb, produced from a high quality cut of lamb and a flawless mixture of seasoning. The plate also had an exceptionally creamy take on an old classic – hummus. At $18.90 however, it is a bit pricey for a take away shop. If you’re looking for something cheaper, the EJ Roll also looks tempting, featuring chicken, garlic sauce and pickles in a sesame bread roll ($6.50).
To me, Jannah conjures an image of peace, tranquillity, harmony and pleasure. Their food, while not being as 'classy' as the name may imply, shouts quality in product and preparation. The setting, also inconsistently with the name, does not give one a feeling of tranquillity in any sense of the word. Nevertheless, disparity between name and experience is not enough to keep me away. If I was passing through Granville I wouldn't hesitate to give El Jannah a second visit. They don't do much, but what they do - they do well.
Summary of Orders:
Regular Chips $4.00
EJ Platter $18.90
- Kafta: minced lamb
- Lahme: lamb pieces
- Soujouk: spicy minced lamb
Quarter Chicken $6.90
El Jannah Chicken Granville
4-6 South Street, Granville
02 9637 0977