el jannah counter

El Jannah, Granville, Lebanese

El Jannah, best bbq chicken in Sydney?

Noodlies, Sydney food blog revisits a favourite Sydney eatery

Food bloggers, tweeters, instagrammers – search El Jannah and you’ll find digital foodies raving about this Granville fast food outlet with many proclaiming it the best bbq chicken in town. Step out of Granville station, turn left and it’s like ascending to heaven, clouds of smoke envelope you, these ones aren’t exactly snowy clouds of the pearly gates, rather the grey, hearty puffs of Lebanese charcoal chicken.

It’s hard to miss El Jannah, the double-fronted shop is lit up with bright red signage and a steady stream of eat in and takeaway customers.  It’s around 7pm on a weekday and the place pumps with locals coming home from work and tourists like us, making our pilgrimage.

el jannah shawarma

The frantic pace of El Jannah can be a little disconcerting, the place is neon-bright, noisy where the loyal customers know the drill off by heart.  Head inside, order and pay to the left of the counter at the register, there’s several staff working the one register but they’re pretty friendly and efficient. If you’re eating there you’ll be given a number to put on your table, if it’s takeaway move to the right and wait.  The menu is above the counter – standard Lebanese fast food: falafel, tabouli, hummus, plus burgers, chicken rolls/wraps and chips – oh, and then there’s the famous El Jannah chicken.  Two flat breads come standard with most orders, plates and cutlery wrapped in green napkins will be brought to your table.

el jannah shawarma

BBQ chicken is usually oily, the skin shiny and slippery, an El Jannah chook is dry, partially from the high heat which burns the skin giving a bitter smoky taste, but also spices rubbed over the chicken giving the skin a grainy texture and light middle eastern spice aroma.  There’s a fair whack of salt which is needed to balance with the tender white flesh.  The chicken is lean, the breast pieces for example aren’t overly fleshy so the relatively plain meat doesn’t overwhelm the lovely, bouncy flavour of the skin.  And of course there’s the famous garlic sauce, pristine white, it’s spread generously over a small plate.  Garlic sauce can be concentrated and thick like at Frank’s, here it’s closer to mayo consistency, while still potent, the use of garlic is more restrained – and so we spread it like a good mayo over our chook.

Make sure you order a bowl of El Jannah’s lightly fried chips. They’re not too crispy but devilishly moreish, covered with a judicious amount of chicken salt to inject a heady,salty rush but not too much to leave you with a dry, desperate thirst.

ej jannah falafel

Falafels at El Jannah comes with generous sides of pickles, tomato and spiced, sliced onion and tahini sauce.  Try to start with these as they could be a little plain after chicken and garlic sauce goodness.  Alternatively wrap them with onions and lots of pickles to dial up the flavour.  The outer, while crispy, is too even for me, I like irregular, crunchy surprises.

The best chicken in Sydney?

That would be a big call but noodlies can say, I’ve eaten lots of bbq chook in town and haven’t found better, yet.

Let your voice be heard

Have you been to El Jannah? Do you agree it’s the tastiest chicken in Sydney?

Do you have another suggestion?

Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

El Jannah
6 South St, Granville
Ph: 9637 0977

El Jannah on Urbanspoon




There are 8 comments

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  1. Miss_5ft0

    I love El Jannah myself! Though I also love Al Aseel and Frank’s Lebanese chicken too! Tough call, comes down to personal taste.

  2. Priscilla @ foodpornnation.com

    I’ve never been to El Jannah but need to make my way there, so I couldn’t say.

    But I do love my local Charlie’s Chargrill at Neutral Bay. It’s your normal roast chook but by golly is it juicy, moist and then crispy on the outside. The skin sounds like crackling! Almost impossible not to eat it.

  3. John Alchin

    I enjoyed reading your review Thang. I was getting hungry as you created a wonderful word picture of their BBQ Chicken and to die for houm (garlic sauce). I definitely think El Jannah is the best in Sydney. I’ve been visiting since the early 2000s and wrote a post about it in mid-2011 (see website link) which I’ve just updated to include a link to this post.

  4. The Blonde Tourist

    EJ’s is on my to-eat list, despite living out west I STILL haven’t managed to get to El Jannah’s yet (crazy I know!) but I’ve had Al Aseel (Greenacre) and Madeena’s Charcoal Chicken (Smithfield) which are both yum.

    Madeena’s garlic sauce is epic. That stuff is amazing and smashes Al Aseel’s. You will be oozing garlic from your pores for days!!


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