I seem to be on a bit of a Lebanese bender lately. From virtually being a cuisine that I never considered to one that I actually ache for! Naturally, I have my blogger friends to thank for the good influence. The love affair started with Rowda Ya Habibi and was fueled by Frank’s (oh Frank *fans herself*) and now I’ve sought my own gratification in The Captain’s old hood of Granville. I definitely earned my frequent flyer miles trekking back and forth between his suburb and mine during the first 6 months of our relationship! So I ask myself… how in the blazes did I not know about El Jannah? An unforgiveable oversight!
Anyway, forget the nostalgia. Today it’s all about the garlic sauce! And the chicken! And oh, the baba gannouj! Situated down the end of South Street alongside the train station, El Jannah is a local favourite and hugely popular. I was lucky to escape the dinner rush by getting there early but after we left, the lines started to queue. The restaurant itself is light, modern and clean but I highly recommend takeaway rather than eat in simply because the prices are nearly 50 to 60% cheaper.
If you only imagine the smell of their charcoal chicken and how crazy it drove us in the car. Someone should seriously make a car freshener of charcoal poultry. We had one and a half charcoal chickens to feed four people but it’s definitely enough to feed six (it’s just that I’m ultra greedy and can hoove down whole roast chickens without pausing for breath). But the meal is never complete without the usual tasty accompaniments.
The falafels are only 50c each for takeaway and they were jaw-droppingly good. Not as crunchy as Frank’s but the flavour was heavenly. Fresh tabouli is also a wondrous thing indeed, especially for somebody who doesn’t do salads. El Jannah’s was a little more generous with the lemon than most places, but its tangy kick did a good job in cutting through the richness of the rest of the meal.
But let’s talk about the aforementioned seductive poultry. OH MA GAWD! Give me smoky, give me charcoal, give me a flavour and I’m all yours. Give me juicy, give me tender and I’ll soon be emitting the most animalistic groans. In Granville, you can literally smell the charcoal in the air, so much so, that on warm nights, I can just close my eyes and imagine I’m back on the hot streets of KL. There may be no satay men here but damn the Lebanese chicken is a fine alternative.
You simply cannot have chicken without the garlic sauce. Period. And I’ve never tasted one as good as El Jannah’s. It’s incredibly garlicky but without the raw spiciness that most others have. Not that I mind the spicy kick but this was something else. I’m a firm believer that garlic is an underrated aphrodisiac. Or is that just me? And if you add the luscious smoky baba gannouj to the mix… well, how many times can a girl close her eyes and moan in one meal?
I can’t imagine how I did without El Jannah after all these years. So many pleasurable nights missed. But I guess the most important thing is I have seen the light; and that comes charcoaled with lashings of garlic.
4-6 South Street
Granville, NSW 2142
(02) 9635 0977
Open Monday to Saturday 10am – 12am and Sundays 10am – 11pm
You can now order online!
701 Punchbowl Road
Punchbowl, NSW 2196