You know when you have chips so good that even though everything else on the table is also incredible, you just keep eating the chips? That’s what happened when we went to Oricco Charcoal Chicken. Seriously, these chips are so good it’s worth visiting just for that.
Not just a purveyor of fantastic hot chips, Oricco is actually a casual Lebanese restaurant in Dulwich Hill that’s a bit of a local gem. If you live in the area, chances are you’ve been there before, because the entire time we were there the places was packed with diners, people ordering takeaway and meal delivery drivers picking up. We can see what the fuss is about though, as even though this is an informal joint, the food here is absolutely top-notch.
Let’s start with what everyone wants to know about – the charcoal chicken. Super moist and tender, this is the kind of chicken that has people fighting over the last piece. Definitely a must-order, as well as the chips (obvs). If you’re not in a chicken mood, Oricco also does a range of Lebanese-style meats like kafta, shish tawouk and lamb, and falafels for those who’d prefer to avoid meat altogether.
There’s also plenty of exciting bits and pieces to add on to your order (let’s be real, who doesn’t like ordering a million things between friends so you get a little bit of everything?). Our recommendations would be the sambousik, delicious pastries filled with meat and pine nuts, and kibbeh, little balls filled with ground lamb.
When we arrived the lovely staff informed us that their garlic sauce, or toum as it’s known in Lebanese, is one of their specialties, and after tasting it we could see why. It’s a lot lighter than the Greek tzatziki sauce Kristen ate while growing up, as it’s dairy-free and made instead with plenty of garlic, lemon juice and oil. It’s perfect for pairing with your meat or spreading over the generous amounts of flatbread served with the food.
It would be a crime to leave without sampling the desserts, and here we tried something new. Muhalabieh is a middle eastern milk pudding that’s been infused with rosewater and topped with crushed pistachios, and it was divine. The rose flavour made it extremely light, and the perfect way to cut through such a heavy meal. We also had some baklava (of course), which goes without saying was excellent.