When I was growing up, we used to regularly visit our local chicken shop and pick up a freshly cooked chook with a bag of chips smothered in chicken salt. While chicken shops are nothing new, the newly opened Charcoal Pit Findon brings a traditional twist to it. The charcoal chicken, as well as the chicken, lamb and pork yiros meat are all cooked over the coals. There is also the calamari and Greek hot dog yiros varieties, with the option of adding chips to any of the above to make it a truly Greek experience. If that doesn’t take your fancy, they have a good selection of seafood packs as well as a handful of burgers to choose from.
Charcoal Pit Findon is family run, with the husband and wife team, Peter and Tamara, at the helm. The whole family is passionate about food and there is nothing served at the shop that they wouldn’t eat themselves. All the ingredients used are locally sourced, and everything is cooked or made fresh daily.
At any one time, there are 7 freshly made salads to choose from. We start off with the classic Greek Salad which was bright and colourful. The vegetables were fresh and crisp, and I don’t remember when I last had such a crunchy salad. The natural sweetness of the capsicum and red onion were balanced by the saltiness of the olives and smooth, creamy feta. The amount of olive oil and vinegar dressing applied was just right.
Tamara loves her super healthy salads and it was no surprise to find this Kale, Almond, Apple and Pomegranate salad in the mix. The kale was leafy and crisp, and was a contrast to the other elements in the salad. The crunchiness of the almonds was complemented by the apple slices, and the subtle sweetness of the vinaigrette dressing combined all the elements well.
Charcoal Chicken is part of what they do and it was good to get a taste of one of their signature items. The chicken skin was crispy and not too salty. The meat was juicy and succulent, and their chicken stuffing was moist and well seasoned.
The Charcoal Pit Special Burger is their signature burger with double cheese, bacon, onion rings and barbecue sauce. The beef patty had good thickness and its diameter was the same as the bun. The meat was well seasoned and juicy, and the cheese was nicely melted over the patty. The bacon and onion rings were crisp, and the subtly sweet barbecue sauce made the burger well balanced.
The Combination Yiros Plate show cases some of the best they have to offer. The chicken, lamb and pork were all amazing! The meat was well seasoned with lovely smokey flavours. When combined with the thick, housemade garlic sauce, the whole experience was even better. The Greek Salad was exceptional as were the crunchy chips.
Just about every chicken/yiros place offers the AB these days so I couldn’t resist trying their Atomic Bomb. Unlike other stores, the meat is freshly carved off the rotisserie, and like I said previously, the charcoal yiros meat here is amazing! Combined with caramelised onion and your favourite sauces, and you have a perfect hangover meal!
Like I always say, no meal is complete without dessert. Peter’s Mum is the queen of Greek desserts and makes all the sweets that are sold in store. The Baklava that we had was delicious. The layers of filo pastry were soaked in sugar and honey, and the presence of nuts added a lovely crunchy texture.
Charcoal Pit Findon is deceptively large and has a capacity of 75 people. When it comes to chicken/yiros stores, this place definitely ticks all the boxes. There’s a focus on the use of quality ingredients and execution which was experienced in their dishes. Customer service is also a focal point, and the owners listen to customer feedback and are continually trying to improve. Charcoal Pit Findon has a lot of repeat customers and there’s a reason why.
Charcoal Pit Findon is open everyday from 10:30am to 8:30pm.
WHERE: Shop 14, 303 Grange Rd, Findon