An attempt to visit every suburb in Sydney.

Is there a more iconic  Western Sydney  combination than charcoal chicken with garlic sauce, baklava and shops selling foreign DVDs under qu...

Any Excuse: Granville

Is there a more iconic Western Sydney combination than charcoal chicken with garlic sauce, baklava and shops selling foreign DVDs under questionable copyright license? 

Granville

Occasionally, people ask if I plan to go back to previous suburbs to see if they've changed. Usually, I say no.


That being said, I couldn't help but come back to Clyde, the suburb so crappy that I gave it my worst suburb of 2019 award. Now that the Carlingford line has finally closed, the only reason you may want to come here has disappeared. 


So why am I here if this post is supposedly covering Granville? Well it turns out that Clyde is so useless that even Clyde station is in Granville.

Exiting this deserted station to the left, 

I found myself on the mean streets of industrial Granville. 

Industrial Granville actually turned out to be a pretty small place, and in just a few steps, 

the street turned residential,

albeit still not in the best nick. 

Continuing west, 

leads to Granville Diggers, which I assume is the same as an RSL club. 

Not here for a $4 schooner and a roll at the pokies, I continued along the road, 

and The Diggers Club's unusually residential looking back fence. 

I also passed this canal,

where these three pigeons were recording the music video for their debut single. 

Continuing up the road, I stumbled upon the Granville Centre, a library and community centre, 

with bonus memorial park as its front yard. 

This spot actually sits right by the proper Granville station. In pure Sydney fashion, there are a number of huge and new apartment blocks visible from here. The autumn-coloured trees with the apartment background actually made for a decent aesthetic, but it's a shame that this city's track record with development means that there's a fairly reasonable chance these are going to fall over at any moment, so enjoy the picture while you can. 

The station is a stone's throw from the main reason a casual visitor may come to Granville, 

and it's not this out of place mural of Thor by the station.

No, the main reason you come to Granville is to experience the sights and smells of the local cuisine, 

namely, Middle Eastern charcoal chicken. El Jannah (named after the Arabic word for "heaven") is the most famous, and has now expanded all over Sydney. To my knowledge, the Granville store is the original. 

I was planning on having lunch in Granville today, but before I settled down for some garlic, I figured a stroll through town would be appropriate. 

It's also important to acknowledge too that charcoal chicken isn't the only thing cooking in Granville. You can stop at this Vietnamese bakery, 

a Lebanese restaurant (for more Middle Eastern options than just chicken and garlic), 

or, if you're on a diet, shisha. 

Middle Eastern dessert places are an option too, if you want to skip both the lunch and the smokes. 

It was still Ramadan during this visit, which meant some pretty swell artwork too.  

Other points of interest in Granville city? An Islander grocery store, 

the bluest shopfronts you'll ever see,

one store with the saddest "closed down" sign ever,

a very Lebanese bakery, 

and a shop selling foreign films, but not the kind they have festivals for. 

At this point, I was ready for my chicken. Rather than El Jannah however, I thought I'd try Hawa, another charcoal chickenerry shop up the road. 

I went for a chicken wrap with the obligatory garlic sauce (I like to add chili too). Verdict? Super tasty and flavourful but I felt that this place was a bit stingy with the fillings in comparison to their more mainstream neighbour. The hot and crispy toasted bread was good though.  

Interstingly, it seems that in the same shop as Hawa, other restaurants are in the process of opening up and forming a quasi food court. Could this be Western Sydney's answer to Spice Alley? Probably not, but I wish them all the best. 

After lunch, I left Granville CBD's main road and took a side street. 

This took me past a highly suspicious looking spiritual healer, 

a closed African Mart (and interet cafe (and travel agent)),

and this very fine Bert and Ernie affair. 

There's also a pretty swell point of interest at the end of the street. 

Granville Town Hall. Apparently someone from the local council has been watching The Block and has decided to repaint the thing. It looks like they're still deciding what colour. 

In contrast to the heritage Town Hall, Granville Police Station's unusual building is just two doors down. 

My visit to Granville today was not just for lunch, leisure and suburbsing. 

I was actually invited to a dinner that evening, so I figured I'd grab some baklava to take with me. A lot of Sydney baklava is, frankly, shit. Abla's in Granville does far better than average. 

This happened to be both the weekend of Orthodox Easter and during Ramadan. As a result, the good people of Granville were out in droves for their Middle Eastern sweets. 

This place is legit, with huge trays of baklava, biscuits, knafeh, cake and chocolates, just to name a few. 

After picking up what I needed - a plate of baklava for the dinner, 

and some flower-petalled nougat for the trip home,

I was ready to make my way to the station,

and call it a day. 

Granville: Come for the garlic, stay for the sweets.


1 comment:

  1. Every time I read or hear the name Granville my mind recalls that horrific train crash in 1977.

    ReplyDelete