Zeera Indian Cuisine Review South Shields
Fresh from winning north east restaurant of the year at the national curry awards, I was excited to be invited down to see just why it gained this award and to try out Zeera Indian Cuisine on Ocean Road.
As I live in pretty much the centre of Newcastle I don’t get out to South Shields often, if at all, however Indian cuisine is one of my favourites so will travel for the right one. Walking down Ocean Road I saw restaurant after restaurant, with no less than seven other Indian restaurants to choose from as I walked down from the station, so choice isn’t an issue, but what makes this the go to destination for many?
We attended on a Friday evening and picked a 5.30pm reservation, this being the opening time of the restaurant and while I had been the first in wasn’t alone for long as other diners started to come in even at this earlier time. Upon walking in I liked the decor of the restaurant. Classic and contemporary in one.
Based on my visit, I can see it is all about the quality of service. Albeit early staff were on hand for anything I needed. If you had read my afternoon tea article at Jesmond Dene house you will know I like to be left to my meal to enjoy and not feel rushed, and rather given space to enjoy the meal and experience and here I was given just that. From the start, we were provided a warm welcome, attentive service throughout, checked on to ensure there were no issues and after a little chat at the end a warm goodbye. Prior to leaving I saw interactions with returning customers and how friendly and personal they were.
Of course, you don’t win awards if you don’t have good food, and Zeera has it to a tee.
We started with poppadoms, because who wouldn’t! Served with a pickle and sauce tray with seven different options. I love poppadoms and these had a lovely taste to them. Hard enough to crack but had a mildly soft texture as you bite into them.
After perusing the A La Carte Menu, where you can choose from a selection of small plates or go for some of the ‘classics’ that you may be more familiar with, and it was the latter we went with. Choosing the classic onion bhaji and chicken tikka, both served with a little side salad. Both served up beautifully and equal in taste, a tasty way to start. An evening set menu is also available for the price of £13.95 Sun-Thurs, and £15.95 Fri-Sat. View the menu here.
Mains followed and we had a choice of sizzlers, chef’s signature dishes, zeera kitchen specials and timeless curries. Based on our likes for the classics, we went for the timeless Chicken Madras (with a bigger proportion of hot spices leading to a fiery taste and spiciness, making it a hot option) and the Chicken Jalfrezi (cooked in a special sauce, with sliced onion, green pepper and fresh green chillies, giving it a fairly hot flavour but keeping it within the bounds of ‘medium’). What was nice was that each curry was categorised into mild, medium and hot, making it very easy to see where you stand in types of curry that you may like or be able to handle. Accompanied with pilau rice and Naan bread. The chicken well cooked, sauces fresh and soaked up by the chicken, this made for a generous portion.
The food was quality, fresh and tasty. No plates were left empty, and after finishing, i felt like i had enjoyed a good hearty meal. Portion size was definitely enough to leave you feeling like you’ve eaten, and even if you don’t have the space to finish it all there and then, they do offer the opportunity to take what’s left with you home.
I tend to be a starter and main only person, and by the end of this I just didn’t have enough room for a dessert however much i was tempted, but can only imagine they would of been as good as the first two courses we experienced.
In order to cater to the needs of its clientele, Zeera Indian Cuisine also recently launched its new heat-and-eat menu called Zeera Home Kitchen. This new menu allows customers to order their favourite dishes and keep them in the fridge, to enjoy later when the timing is more convenient.
A sign of a good restaurant is one with regulars. In our short time there we saw multiple conversations with diners that were obviously not coming for the first time and were welcomed personally like friends happy to see each other. After being established in 2007, with great service, food and pricing it continues to deliver for all its patrons.
I’d definitely take the time to travel back via the metro to South Shields to experience Zeera Indian Cuisine again. Best restaurant is a well deserved award!
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