Chargrill Charlie’s has been a part of the Sydney landscape since 1989. We’ve been making mouth-watering chargrill chickens every day to the same outstanding recipe for twenty-five years. Whilst we will always be about our traditional stuffed chickens and our Portuguese style chickens, our menu is far more diverse than just chooks. We love cooking at Charlie’s, our family was brought up being passionate about food, good food and exciting ways of seeing and creating food. We’re always in the Chargrill Charlie’s kitchen experimenting with the latest recipe idea we have. Whilst we keep finding new innovative ways to bring recipes to life, we make sure we still provide our long time, well-loved dishes. Our evolving menu means we are a favourite with our regular customers as well as providing catering for corporate and private functions.
We have always believed that to prepare the best food you must only use the best quality ingredients. So we only ever buy the best and the freshest, seasonal produce available. This means by default our food needs very little added to it to taste amazing! Chargrill Charlie’s clean, cooking techniques have made us the go to dinner place for busy families on the run. Chargrill Charlie’s still makes the same talked about burgers, chicken rolls and our Ozzie take-away dinner packs that have made us famous over the years. Families who want to buy home cooked, healthy and fat free dishes like you’d make at home, come to us. And we want you to come to us too. Whilst our food is important, we like to think the way we treat our customers is the most important job of all. We want your visit to Chargrill Charlie’s make you glad you made the effort to come by.
This is going to sound strange… but we like it when our customers complain to us. Well we did say it was going to sound strange! The way we look at it is this, we know that if you’re complaining about something, then we have the opportunity to fix it. At Chargrill Charlie’s my Dad used to say, “Look after the customer and everything else will take care of itself.” That’s the message we have trained our Chargrill Charlie’s staff to live by - it’s that important to us. Oh don’t get us wrong we love our food.
We put love and passion into all of the recipes we prepare for you. We source only the best seasonal vegetables and we have always, long before it was fashionable, bought only the very best, ethically produced meat and produce. Our intention has always been to produce the most amazing food by the simple act of buying the best and freshest produce available. Our long time customers know that, which is why they keep coming back. Our philosophy has always been about generosity. And we don’t just mean in our serving sizes. Sure we’re generous about our food but our real generosity is closer to the heart, it’s the generosity of spirit we show towards our customers. Everyone at Chargrill Charlie’s is part of our big extended family. Our staff have been with us for years and years and years and our customers have been with us for that long too! And that’s the way we like it. We know that life can be tough some days and at the end of the day the last thing you want to do is go home and cook a meal. That’s why we want you to come to us. We want you to feel like coming to visit us, feels like coming home to an extension of your family. We want our portion sizes to be as generous and abundant as the meals you would serve up on your dining table at home. We want the Chargrill Charlie’s family to greet you like you’d like to be welcomed when you walk in the door of your home. We want the warmness of our staff and the open and generous experience you receive from them make you glad that you made the effort to stop by. That’s our aim. That’s what we work towards every day. Got the wrong order, we’ll fix it. Ordered up a big meal to take home to the family, we’ll throw in an apple crumble for dessert. That’s just how we roll. We don’t run our company the way most foody companies run their companies. We have never worked to the bottom line, we have always worked towards providing love and service from the bottom of our hearts. It’s what makes us want to turn up to work each day. It’s what inspires us to create new great dishes to serve you. We have found that by running our company on our heart strings and not our purse strings, we have an amazing company to work for and to serve our customers with. When you work with passion, you provide great food, great service and you get great feedback.
We think that food is like fashion, it’s seasonal and there’s always some new foody ingredient that’s of the moment. If figs are making a comeback, we’re into our figs, if it’s quinoa or red rice, we’re onto it. We love that food is constantly in motion and that inspires us to keep current with food fashion. We come to work with inspired new ideas that come from a myriad of experiences, dinners we went to, TV shows we watched, far off travels or food prepared by friends who live in other countries. Our generosity is like our inquisitiveness, it’s boundless. We are up for any new food idea that resonates with us. We want each time you come to us, to have that same sense of adventure, to be eager to see what we’ve created in the kitchen today, to be excited about what’s on the menu next. But we also want you to have that same sense of familiarity, we want you to feel comforted that the old dishes you’ve come to love and to know they will still waiting for you too. The best of fashion involves getting the new current trends but also knowing you’ve got that comfy old sweater in the back of your wardrobe, ready to put on when you need that extra comfort. And that’s how we see our menu. It’s full of exciting, new, of the moment ideas, but it’s balanced with old favourites that make you feel happy and cosy and just glad you’ve come somewhere that feels like home.
We grew up with food. It was all around us. It was something we were raised on, two food loving parents who delighted in cooking fantastic meals and sharing the dinner table with family and friends. It’s kind of in our blood I guess. We wake up in the morning thinking about food and we go to bed doing the same! My Dad has always owned restaurants and he had a love of food that he passed onto us. He was an excellent cook and a warm man who loved to talk and enjoyed engaging with the customers. This means we learnt not only a great love of food and exploration of tastes and experiences but we also learnt the importance of taking care of our customers and the value in communication. It’s one of the reason we have so many inspiring dishes at Chargrill Charlie’s, our friends and family have passed onto us the recipes they love because of the warmth and the relationship they had developed with Dad and then later, with us. At Chargrill Charlie’s we’ve always aimed to be the closest we can to providing the sort of meals that you would make at home. It’s that home style cooking, the nurturing food that we want to make for you. We understand that as a mother you don’t add kilos of butter to your home cooked meals, and we’re the same. All of our food uses clean cooking methods, there’s no odours or smoke and we’re very strict with our cooking procedures. We use very little oils or fats and we don’t need to. That’s the advantage of using only the best quality ingredients - you don’t need to do much to them make it taste good. Our Mum produced healthy home cooked meals and she’s been an inspiration to us at Charlie’s. We kind of see Mum like the Nigella Lawson of our kitchen. She has the same love of food, fresh seasonal produce and a love of sharing all the wonderful recipes and dishes with our friends and family and our devoted customers. There’s a reason people eat at Chargrill Charlie’s three times a week and that’s because both Mum and Dad, whilst fantastic cooks, knew that the food is only as good as the level of quality of the produce you buy and the cooking technique you use. Our level of quality is exceptional and that’s what we aim to for every day, every meal, with every recipe.
But let’s start our story with what we’re known for best, Charlie’s Chickens. The very best thing, hands down about our chickens is that they are the very best chooks you can buy. Long before it was fancy to buy free-range chickens, free of chemicals and antibiotics, we were already doing it. We always bought the best produce we could and we know, when you start with a superior product you’re halfway there already! But to be fair, it’s the cooking process, which has revolutionised Chargrill Charlie’s. Our chickens are cooked without fat and without additives and they are truly, delicious. But it was a bit of work getting our chickens to the level they are today… Back when my Dad first ran Chargrill Charlie’s we used to cook all the chickens using charcoal. The soaring heat from the charcoal made the chickens succulent and delicious. But burning charcoal whilst a popular method back in the day was fraught with all sorts of issues that we now take for granted. His doctor told my Dad that he wasn’t allowed to charcoal another chicken, his lungs just weren’t up to the charcoal he was breathing in. Now cooking was my Dad’s life. It was my whole family’s life, my Mum was involved in the shop too, along with my Dad and we’d all help out after school. So my Dad put his mind to sorting out the solution. Originally we all thought that it was the charcoal that gave the flavour and taste to the chicken but it transpires it wasn’t the charcoal, it was the searing heat that the charcoal flame was able to produce. This very, very hot cooking environment meant the chicken cooked much faster without any fat or oils. Therefore the chicken didn’t dry out from overcooking and because of the rotisserie the chicken fat didn’t drip onto the other chickens. So Dad set about a way to recreate the heat from the original charcoal cooking method. In 1994 he made our very own chicken machine. He started out with a cast iron structure with a radius that heats and radiates the same high intensity heat as the charcoal method. He’d solved it! No more smoke, no more cacogenic by-products from the charcoal! Dad’s cast iron chicken machine became the industry standard for chargrilling chickens. We’re proud to say most chicken shops now use our machines to cook the way we do. Now you might think that would make us nervous. If we’d discovered the path to cooking clean, fat-free and oil-free chicken and we were now selling our machine to everyone else then how would we distinguish Chargrill Charlie’s chickens from the guy next door? Well that’s kind of a two-pronged answer. Chargrill Charlie’s chickens aren’t just the way we cook them but the secret stuffed chicken recipe we use in our traditional stuffed chickens and the special marinade we use on our Portuguese chickens. But the second reason we have always been a bit different from anyone else is the reason that has been the backbone of Charlie’s since we started. We only ever buy the best quality of everything! That goes from the free-range chickens to the very best seasonal produce.