You know a barbecue is getting serious when the hairdryers come out. Not one, but two. Racks of chicken rotating slowly over glowing coal, chicken skin spitting fat as it caramelises, and the drone of a hairdryer sending embers flying. Is it getting hot in here or what?
So everyone knows about El Jannah in Granville, but did you know there's one in Punchbowl too? Even better, the queues aren't half as long either.
El Jannah dining room
The Punchbowl outlet is just down the road from the train station, straddling the width of one block. You can enter from either Punchbowl Road or Highclere Avenue - all the roasting action takes place at the Highclere end where you'll also have to pay and order.
Raking the coals on the barbecue grill
It's mesmerising just taking a minute or two to admire the chickens getting cooked over the barbecue. There's always several cages on the go at once, with each contraption holding ten chickens prisoner.
Even with all driers blazing, you might have to wait while supply catches up with demand.
Baba ganouj eggplant dip and salads
It's cheaper to takeaway - a whole chicken with accompanying garlic sauce, pickles and bread will set you back $19.90 but get the chook to go on its own and you'll only pay $10.90. A whole chicken meal takeaway (with large chips, medium garlic sauce and either pickles or tabouli) costs $19.90.
You can hoe into a chicken or beef burger ($5.50 - $5.90) but didn't you really come here for the barbecue chicken?
Quarter chicken with garlic, pickles and bread $6.90
The quarter chicken meal (specify if you prefer the wing or leg) will be delivered to your table on the finest melamine you can imagine. It's a segmented plate, so the chicken is here, tomato slices and parsley salad are there, and pickled radish and cucumbers are segregated in their own quadrant. Paprika-specked tahini sauce is quarantined in its own dipping bowl.
The chicken is succulent and juicy, but the best part is the skin - smoky and tasting almost like a bitter toffee in places, with that glorious residue of powdery charcoal staining your fingers. Oh baby.
Shawarma plate $12
If you're particularly ravenous, the shawarma plate will reward you with a huge pile of beef, thinly shaved and fragrant with cloves and cumin. Eat the beef quickly though, as it tends to get chewier as it cools.
Falafel plate $4.50
The falafel are also impressive, golf-ball sized patties of chickpeas and fava beans that contrast a crunchy shell with a springy core, flecked with parsley.
Dinner for two $26.40
Dip, scoop and tear your way through everything, using soft rounds of fresh Lebanese bread as both a spoon and edible plate.
Toum garlic sauce $3
And make sure you order extra garlic sauce. Fluffy clouds of garlicky goodness are the perfect match with everything - from Lebanese bread to the chicken to the falafel to the shawarma. We skipped the hot chips this time but potato and garlic are actually soul mates. I think garlic sauce is my soul mate too.
Podcasts of Grab Your Fork on 2SER radio
If you dread Monday mornings like I do, then you might have missed my recent slots on 2SER radio with Breakfast host, Tim Higgins. The Weekly Feed is a regular segment so expect to hear me on FM107.3 on Mondays at about 8.30am every couple of weeks or so. I'll tweet in the morning if I'll be on.
You can catch up by listening to the podcasts below.
- The Weekly Feed Monday July 29, 2013: Banh Mi - Vietnamese pork rolls
- The Weekly Feed Monday July 1, 2013: Fried chicken
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El Jannah Restaurant
701 Punchbowl Road, Punchbowl, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9759 2999
Monday to Saturday 10am - 12 midnight
Sunday 10am - 11pm
Related Grab Your Fork posts:
El Jannah, Granville
Lebanese - El Manara, Lakemba
Lebanese - Jasmin, Lakemba
Lebanese - Jasmin 1, Punchbowl
Lebanese - Rowda Ya Habibi, Newtown
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7/31/2013 11:26:00 pm