On Sunday, my sister and I went for lunch at El Jannah which began in 1998 as a small take-away shop in Granville.
Much has changed since my first visit in the early 2000s and the next 5-or-so years where I regularly visited for lunch with colleagues and clients while working as a caseworker in the nearby suburb of Chester Hill.
El Jannah was in a small shop (that was later guttered by fire) situated on the corner of Railway Parade & South Street. It was much cheaper and easier to eat-in too. While it was popular at lunch time, there was no line nor crowd like there is now. Then, as now, you could smell the aroma of charcoal chicken in the air from much further down the street.
Our visit on Sunday was my sister’s first. Immediately scanning the menu board rendered her some shock as she duly noted to me the wide difference in the price to eat-in versus take-away. Yes, it’s quite a notable difference!
I have always enjoyed eating-in at El Jannah. I ordered us each a half-chicken plate with pickles, garlic sauce & Lebanese bread and with order number in hand pounced on a just-emptied table.
A waiter brought two small baskets of pita bread to our table, and only minutes later, two plates with the chicken, pickles & a healthy serving of toum arrived.
I quickly set about separating bits of chicken from the bone to eat with the pickles and garlic sauce wrapped in the pita. That’s how I like to have it, but there are many ways to eat the meal.
As there was so much to eat there was very little conversation over the next twenty minutes, except towards the end of the meal where we both bemoaned being so full and struggling to finish off our plate.
True to El Jannah form, the chicken was well cooked on the outside and succulent inside; the salty pickled radish (not favoured by some, including my sister) and the gherkin cucumbers remain tasty adjuncts; and devouring the copious serving of garlic sauce remains my favourite part of the meal.
So while El Jannah is bigger, busier, noisier and it takes longer than ever to get service, it’s still a great feed when you finally do get to tuck in.
Links to more blog posts and reviews of El Jannah:
El Jannah, best bbq chicken in Sydney? at Noodlies
El Jannah, Granville at Grab Your Fork
El Jannah – Granville, Sydney at A Table for Two
El Jannah, Granville at Eat, Show & Tell
El Jannah Charcoal Chicken ~ Lebanese – Granville at Street Food
Restaurant Review: El Jannah, Granville at Richard Elliot’s blog
El Jannah Lebanese Charcoal Chicken Restaurant, Granville at Jasmyne Tea