Angeethi, Gateshead.

Hang out
A family-owned Indian restaurant, tucked away in the popular suburb of Low Fell. It focuses on traditional, fresh-as-can-be cuisine in the most chilled-out and comfortable surroundings a diner could wish for. The place could be packed (and it often is come the weekend), but it never loses its zen-like vibe. A place for cosy date nights, late night suppers and relaxed family gatherings. 

Decked out
Emerald and gold paisley-printed walls, crisp white tablecloths, chic white floor-to-ceiling windows and a mahogany grand piano in the centre for gentle entertaining. Dining at night means low lighting and twinkling candlelight.

We settled on a few G&Ts at the bar (a lovely space, with Moroccan-style lights, plush seating and gorgeous wooden elephant statues) pre-meal and opted for a glass of vino at the table, but go with what you fancy. Try an Indian ‘Lassi’ – a cooling yoghurt drink – if you’re a fan of the spice.

Food matters
Angeethi’s team of highly-skilled and experienced chefs know a thing or two about authentic Indian food – nothing like the kind you find in greasy take-out boxes. They serve up dishes from various regions of India, all prepared with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Colours are vibrant, flavours are rich and portions are pleasing; comforting, fill-you-up food (including plenty of options for veggies) served oh-so elegantly.

We ate
A basket of crunchy, bubbly papad (poppadums to me and you) with an assortment of dips for dunking. The punchy mango chutney stole our hearts for its sticky sweetness, as did the cool and creamy cucumber and mint raita. We toppled over spoonfuls of Chicken Chaat (£4.75) for extra tangy-salty spiciness – a tasty tumble of crisp chickpeas, smoky meat, potato pieces and fresh coriander. Tikka dishes hit the spot for mains – ‘Makhni’ (£9.95) for us and ‘Kalimirch’ (£8.95) for our dining buddy, both served in beautiful clay pots. Our tender meat was smothered in a true Punjabi-style tomato sauce; buttery, rich and on the mild side, finished with a swirl of cream. Truly comforting, a little indulgent, and miles better than the usual ‘Tikka Masala’ from the takeaway. Try the Kalimirch if you like some fire on the tongue; chicken is sautéed and smothered in a golden brown, spicy sauce, loaded with crushed black pepper and herbs. It’ll make your nose run and your eyes roll with delight. A real stand-out chicken dish. We mopped up every last drop of sauce with thick garlic and plain naan breads (from £2.25) baked properly for a real doughy, flavoursome finish. Puds were a few nutty scoops of pistachio Kulfi (Indian-style ice cream) and Gulab Jamun; sweet, milky dumplings soaked in cardamom syrup and rose syrup. Heaven in a bowl and a total must-order.