Chit ‘N’ Chaat


Old Rectory Gardens, Cheadle

I am in Cheadle, visiting my daughter and her husband. For some time now they have been extolling the virtues of Chit ‘N’ Chaat, which specialises in Indian street food and, it being a rainy evening in need of a little brightness, there’s never been a better time to put their claims to the test. When we arrive, the place has a friendly and relaxed vibe. The staff are charming and very helpful when I ask about some of the items on the menu.

Put aside all notions of familiar curry house dishes – this is not the place for a chicken tikka masala or pilau rice. Here, the dining experience is more akin to tapas, where the general idea is to select two or three small plates apiece and share whatever arrives. Things don’t really break down into starters and mains per se, but arrive as they become ready. It’s clear from a perusal of the menu that there’s an eclectic mix of dishes, ranging from South Indian recipes to Indo-Chinese fusion – and half of the fun here is sampling dishes I’ve never experienced before.

First to arrive is a plate of Dahi Puri – crispy spheres of savoury bread filled with a zesty mixture of potato, onions, tomato, green chutney and yoghurt. The idea is to put one whole sphere into your mouth and allow the delicious citrusy concoction to melt on your tongue. It’s zesty, exhilarating and a great way to begin.

Soon the dishes are arriving thick and fast. There’s a tava sea bass fillet, sensitively spiced and perfectly cooked, the flesh yielding easily to the knife. There’s a bowl of chilli garlic chicken, featuring succulent chunks of boneless flesh mixed with onions, bell peppers and coriander. There’s a chilli paneer, a gentle contrast to the spicier offerings, and a Kothu roti chicken, shredded meat in a moist vegetable mixture. 

And then there’s the undoubted stars of the show: two magnificent Dosas, pancakes made from rice and lentil batter, paper thin and enticingly crispy around the edges, one dosa filled with a spiced potato mixture, the other stuffed with that exquisite paneer. These are accompanied by five different sauces, into which a handful of dosa can be dipped and sampled. Half of the experience is not being quite sure what the flavour is until it’s in our mouths. We also share a bowl of chilli chips because… well, because we can’t quite resist having them there and they are rather good.

The selection offers both the delicately spiced and the challengingly fiery and, to accompany the food, we’ve all opted for a mango lassi (a beverage fondly remembered from my nights in Rusholme on Manchester’s infamous curry mile) – thick, sweet and indulgent, the perfect contrast to a mouthful of hot chilli. My only criticism is that I’d prefer the lassi served in a glass rather than a non recyclable plastic beaker, but of the food and drink itself, I have nothing but high praise. 

This is exciting fare that’s also modestly priced – a rare occurrence in these troubled times.

My daughter was right (she often is) and I leave feeling pleasantly full rather than uncomfortably bloated. Anybody in the vicinity of Cheadle who hasn’t yet experienced the wonders of Chit ‘N’ Chaat should pay it a visit at the earliest opportunity. It’s all there waiting to be experienced.

5 stars

Philip Caveney


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