Matthew moved into a new home in Manchester today. I’m helping him bring his vinyl over tomorrow, and will no doubt get some visits to a new place in, possibly Wigan.

He’s just sent me this pic of his lunchtime curry, which could be a bit too smart for This & That, Dave will know.

Sheffield has a lot of backstreet Asian gems, but with the odd exception they seem to be predominantly aimed at the Chinese student population that dominates the Western centre of the city.

On my latest random aimless walk round studentville I stumbled across this place.

I thought it was a storehouse, or garage, or Bass mirror factory, but a little research revealed it to be Chilli Aroma, a Chinese restaurant with no internet presence. Despite living mere yards away in Scotland Street in his third year at Uni, James had never heard of Garden St., let alone the restaurant.

That’s what I wanted to hear, and I dragged him there last week, lest he starve on his own cooking. James still wasn’t convinced as we entered the hallway, half expecting some dubious activity to be taking place under cover of a legitimate Hot Pot business, like you get in Mansfield.

We entered to a living room (top) full of Chinese families watching Chinese athletes in the Olympics. Bar the five minutes of the Redemption of Simon Biles, that was the only Olympics I actually saw.

The English speaker was brought out to bring us menus with pictures and prices (they were all a quid out of date but I’ll let that pass),

To our delight she recommended two dishes, both of which we’d have chosen anyway, including the inevitable spicy squid.

No, I skipped on the beer, my day off, and we stuck with the Green Tea.

Blimey, it was great.

I’m still firmly of the belief that you must eat curry in a restaurant, chips and curry sauce on the march on the way to football, and Chinese on your lap watching telly. But this needed an authentic setting.

Spicy, but not ridiculously, and a bucketful of squid with clingy sauce.

If I’m going to do ALL the Chinese takeaways and cafes in Sheffield as well as ALL the pubs I may need to limit return visits, but Life’s Too Short for those sort of rules.

3 thoughts on “HIDDEN SHEFFIELD

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