x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 September 2017

Galito’s brings flavourful flame grilled chicken to Abu Dhabi

Chefs make the marinade from scratch, rub it on the chicken and let it marinate for at least 24 hours. It then gets thrown on an open flame grill. The fat from the skin melts away, which keeps the chicken low in fat and full of flavour.

Brought to the UAE by Tablez Food Company, Galito’s has outlets in Al Wahda Mall and Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi. Courtesy Galito’s
Brought to the UAE by Tablez Food Company, Galito’s has outlets in Al Wahda Mall and Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi. Courtesy Galito’s

Galito’s, a new casual dining restaurant, has come to Al Wahda Mall. It’s the second UAE location for the South African franchise, which opened its first store in Yas Mall in ­December.

Galito’s was founded in 1996 in a small South African town by Louis Germishuys, who was “just a guy who loved food”, ­specifically flame-grilled peri peri chicken.

“I used to go to my mates’ houses on the weekends,” says Germishuys. “They would make this amazing peri peri chicken. So I got a taste for it.” He thought his little restaurant would only ever have two or three locations, but it’s now known around the world for its famous flame-grilled chicken – the taste that ­Germishuys grew up on.

Galito’s was discovered and brought to the UAE by Tablez Food Company, the food and beverage division of Lulu International Group. It will open two more locations in Abu Dhabi – at Marina Mall and Dalma Mall – and one in Ras Al Khaimah’s Naeem Mall by the end of the month.

The restaurant uses fresh chicken, not frozen, and high quality produce shipped in daily, which Germishuys says is important. “It’s healthy food,” he says. “There are no additives or preservatives. It’s all freshly done. We make our own marinades. The spices come from South Africa and our garlic comes from India because it’s the most pungent garlic. No essence or extracts. It’s hard work.”

Chefs make the marinade from scratch, rub it on the chicken and let it marinate for at least 24 hours. It then gets thrown on an open flame grill. The fat from the skin melts away, which keeps the chicken low in fat and full of flavour.

The menu includes Galito’s famous peri peri chicken, of course, as well as platters, chicken burgers and signature specials that include ­espetada, a Portuguese speciality of shrimp/chicken skewers, chicken livers and chicken satay with peri nut dip. There’s also a range of soups, salads and ­notable sides such as the sweet potato fries and the moreish chilli beans. The kids’ menu is a refreshing alternative to typical restaurants. Try the burger-izza – a pizza-style open burger with chunks of chicken covered in melted cheese – or the chicken and cheese pockets.

Galito’s also boasts an open kitchen, allowing the opportunity to watch the chefs as they work, and is easy on the wallet – two people can easily eat here for Dh100.

• Galito’s is on level two of the Al Wahda Mall extension, 02 643 8221. At Yas Mall, Galito’s is on the ground floor at cascade dining, 02 565 1849

sjohnson@thenational.ae