By Ernest Bazanye
DEWINTON Road is strewn with eating options. All along the this strip of tarmac are places to grab a snack, a bit of cake, a sausage, a bar of chocolate if you count the supermarkets and also, now, if you stop a little way up the western end, you can have your choice of southern or northern Indian cuisine at Masala Chaat House.
It is a small-ish room, you notice once you walk in, but they make good use of the space they have by arranging a set of comfy chairs around plenty of tables neatly laid with green tablecloths.
There is a lot of green in the room: The green plants, the green on the walls, it all makes the place look leafy and lush and redolent of deep, fertile jungles.
The menu draws dishes from both ends of the subcontinent. The north Indian food is a bit spicier than the meals from the south, but both sides have sundry meats and vegetarian dishes.
The manager, Yusuf Bakiti, who had invited us to visit Masala Chaat House started us off with an appetizer made of lentils called Popadom.
It is a crunchy flat slab, something like a large round crisp, with a few shards of onion scattered over it. It is served with sauces, but can be munched on dry.
After that we had our main course, which was chicken curry, with butter nan and biryani rice.
The rice was an elaborate dish. It came with a sauce which turned out to be yoghurt with onions and dani leaves sprinkled in it.
There were nuts and other herbs that came with the rice and the pleasant surprise of a piece of chicken right at the heart of the mound.
The nan was puffy and pleasant and the curry was â€” Ooooh! â€” rich and spicy and hot! I think I caught Yusuf suppressing a grin when he saw how it was scorching through my belly.
Masala Chaat house closes late. Around 10:00pm, so you can also drop by for a beer with a late dinner when you are that side of town.