Sydney’s infamous chicken war started when El Jannah moved in on Portuguese chicken giant Frango’s turf. Frangos was founded 25 years ago by Luis Fernandes in Petersham, while El Jannah has only been around for 16 years, founded by Andre and Carole Estephan. The major difference between the two? El Jannah serves Lebanese-style chicken rather than Portuguese-style.
Still, Sydneysiders wage war on which is the best poultry purveyor. Regardless, El Jannah fans froth over the chicken, and it’s not hard to see why.
El Jannah translates to ‘Paradise’ in Arabic, which, if you were to ask its customers, is the perfect way to describe the El Jannah experience.
They hold their marinade recipe very close to the vest, but an educated guess tells us it contains lemon, salt, oil, and vinegar. The chicken is moist and intact, so every weekend, El Jannah stores across Sydney are packed with families, teens, and adults tucking into a roast chook, salad, and a side of chips. During the week, busy parents pick up a quick and easy dinner for the family or school students gather in colonies to catch up over a burger.
The sides are always a hit from the garlic toum, which its customers love to lather over the blistered chicken and tabouli. Which goes great wrapped in Lebanese bread with a piece of chicken. Regardless of how you wrap or eat your El Jannah, there’s no doubt about it; people can’t get enough. El Jannah fans will fight you on all things Lebanese charcoal chicken and might have every right to.
Where Can I Find El Jannah?
El Jannah has nine stores across Sydney today, including a very popular drive-thru eatery, which opened two years ago. Following its quick success, El Jannah has introduced its cult chicken to Melbourne for the first time. That’s not all; they have big plans for Melbourne, with at least four more stores across Victoria to be added over time. Sydney will also be getting a few more stores over the coming years.
If you thought El Jannah, was just a Sydney empire, think again, they’re moving in on new territory, and its fan base is crossing borders.