Al Craigie, co-founder of RoyAl’s Chicken and Burgers, Baby Roys and Al Pastor with brother Ken, is re-launchign the much-loved Lola’s Grilled Chicken as a Filipino Diner. Doors open for lunch on Saturday, June 26 in the spiritual home of RoyAl’s, its first and original East Vic Park location at 885 Albany Highway.
“We’re reopening Lola’s as a diner because we’re serving some classic Filipino comfort food dishes in a casual atmosphere”, says Al. The new concept pays homage to the Filipino heritage and food that Al shared with brother Ken growing up. The brothers started the original Lola’s with their mother Estrella Craigie, now a Lola to Al’s daughter Callia.
Filipino food is the South-East Asian answer to soul food, with Al always adding a contemporary twist. Traditional dishes like Inasal Chicken (Filipino BBQ Chicken) are on the menu, and diners can also experience a “Boodle Fight” where carefully curated dishes are served on a banana leaf and traditionally eaten with your hands (book 24 hours ahead).
“If there’s one crowd favourite it will be the fried chicken and gravy. It’s our nod to Filipino chain Jollibee’s – chicken joy”, says Al, who puts his own spin on this Filipino hit. If you’ve ever tried Lola’s Gravy at the previous restaurant or when RoyAl’s runs it with their Burger of the Week, you know you can drink it by the bucket-full.
Dietary requirements will be catered for. “There will be some gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options including a fried eggplant adobo and braised coconut chilli and ginger greens” says Al, stressing that everyone will be looked after and feel taken care of. Stand out dishes include the house made longanisa sausage and corned beef dishes served with Lola’s garlic rice and fried egg; there’s nothing more morish than the combination of garlic rice with egg. It’s a crowd-pleasing dish that works for brunch, lunch and dinner.
For devoted fans of the first site in Spencer Village, Thornlie, the return of Lola’s is a long-awaited comeback. James Palmera, returns as Kitchen Manager to lead the team and bring his culinary skills to once-again wow the diners.
Lola’s Grand Opening Weekend starts on Saturday, June 26, and doors will be open for lunch service on the Saturday, and lunch and dinner on the Sunday. Expect to feel like you’ve entered your Filipino friend’s family’s party and be encouraged to try it all.
(images : supplied)