GupShup; A place for conversations and chit chat? An upmarket Indian restaurant in Hale? Or both? We’ll let you decide…

GupShup translates into ‘conversation’ in English. Owners Raj and Sheetal Somaiya say they aim to bring a slice of Indian culture to the prestigious streets of Cheshire.

Great British Life: GupShup Hale offers a fabulous dining environment. Photo: Lucas SmithGupShup Hale offers a fabulous dining environment. Photo: Lucas Smith

GupShup is perfectly placed on Ashley Road, right in the hub of the Hale action. Regularly hosting visits from Cheshire’s rich and famous, this laid-back luxurious restaurant is a fine example of a space that has managed to capture the glamour of Cheshire, while remaining inclusive, warm and inviting to everyone.

The menu is a mixture of small plates, traditional (and not-so-traditional) grills, along with firm favourites and more contemporary curries.

Upon discovering this was Jamie’s first time to GupShup, general manager (and in our eyes General Goddess), Valeria, tells us he needs a welcome cocktail. She had the bar whip up an Indian Sunset; punchy, bright and unforgettable. Just like an Indian sunset.

Great British Life: The Avocado Chaat was a revelationThe Avocado Chaat was a revelation

To start our banquet we chose Paneer Tikka, Avocado Chaat and of course, Pani Puri. The Paneer had been smoked in the tandoori oven and came served with delicious charred peppers, while the Avocado Chaat is served with crisp wafers, tangy tamarind and sweet yoghurt; a delightfully refreshing dish with pops of pomegranate. No visit to a modern Indian restaurant is quite complete for us without Pani Puri, they’re an absolute MUST. For the unaware, Pani Puri are little poppadum shells filled with different seasonings and fillings. Here we had seasoned chickpeas and potatoes with a fragrant tamarind and spicy water. They’re like little flavour-bombs you pop in your mouth all in one, which explode as you bite down, filling your mouth with fabulous tastes and textures. So good!

Great British Life: Lamb biryani, done to perfectionLamb biryani, done to perfection

As we continued our culinary voyage through India we moved onto mains - Chicken Tikka Sizzler for me, and a Lamb Biryani for Jamie. On the face of it, they sound like unassuming dishes, but they are so much more.

The Sizzlers are served on, you guessed it, sizzling hot iron skillets, on a bed of onion for the extra smoky dramatics. The chicken is thigh meat so is beautifully soft and deliciously flavoursome. The Lamb Biriyani is served in a traditional copper pot, so the lamb and rice can absorb all of the flavours and moisture to ensure a melt-in-the-mouth cook throughout. Lift the lid and tuck in...

Great British Life: Definitely make room for pudding - lusciously luxuriousDefinitely make room for pudding - lusciously luxurious

For dessert, we took the traditional route and opted for Milk Cake, a soft and sweet sponge cake topped with soft cream, mango coulis and saffron milk for extra decadence, and and Gulab Jamun Rabri – these are almost like mini doughnut balls and are a classic Indian sweet treat. Ours were served with vanilla-infused evaporated milk. Both puddings were deeply, lusciously, good.

Now that we’ve walked you through our gorgeous banquet, it’s only right we talk about the service at GupShup. Often overlooked in hospitality, the service teams are the backbone of an experience and the team here is no exception.

Valeria welcomes everyone like a member of her own family or longtime friend. A huge warm hug at the door and a cheerful thank you on your way out. Some people are born to work in hospitality, they just have that innate likeability. Valeria is one of those people. Thank you so much for making our visit so special Valeria, we’ll see you again soon!

I: @gupshup_hale