It’s a cold and windy Monday morning and the only thing getting me through this blustery day is the thought of tucking into a delicious, heartwarming curry later this evening.
Never having attended the award-winning Zeera Indian Cuisine restaurant before, I peruse the menu in advance, eyeing up the abundance of flavoursome dishes that make up this extensive menu.
6pm finally arrives and myself and my partner hurry in from the downpour of rain that begins to fill Ocean Road.
The cosy, yet vibrant ambience of the restaurant is made up of chatty diners with smiles on faces and oh-so modern interiors.
Greeted with a smile, we’re immediately seated at our table for two – eagerly awaiting to browse through the menu we have already checked out in advance.
Our pre-dinner chat is accompanied by our soft drinks of choice (it is a school night after all), a generous portion of poppadoms paired with a selection of chutneys and a delicious pickle tray – perfect for scooping and dunking.
Without a doubt, the poppadoms are the best I’ve tried. Perfectly crunchy and packed with taste – no cardboard flavour in sight.
Up first for my other half is the Sheek Kebab (£4.10), a generous portion of succulent meat, served with a fresh and citrusy salad and side pot of spicy sauce.
As he begins to tuck in, my Mixed Kebab (£4.65) is served. Presented on my plate is a half portion of sheek kebab meat, a succulent helping of chicken tikka and a crispy onion bhaji served with a brightly coloured salad and side pot of spicy sauce.
As we dive in, pleasantly pleased smiles are exchanged across the table. The sheek kebab is lightly spiced, packed with flavour and melts in the mouth with every bite.
The chicken tikka is a favourite for me, oh-so soft and infused with so much flavour – it’s simple, yet utterly delicious. With the fear of becoming too full before the main event, I share the onion bhaji with my dinner date who confirms it’s as crisp and as tasty as it looks.
The side salad and spicy sauce deserves a special mention. Who knew salad could taste so good? Crisp, fresh and drizzled in a citrusy dressing, the leafy greens, red onion, peppers and cucumber make up these outstanding starters. The side pot of spicy sauce? All I can say is wow. Oh, and it’s perfect for dunking!
Presented beautifully in individual dishes, our main events are served. For me, it’s the Chicken Tikka Makhani (£8.35), Plain Pilau Rice (£3.25) and Garlic Naan (£3.40).
My other half goes for the Beef Pathia (£7.85), Garlic Pilau Rice (£3.95) and a Garlic and Coriander Naan (£3.90).
A spicy curry is usually my go-to but I decide to go with Chicken Tikka Makhani and for a mild curry, wow, the flavour is incredible. This creamy curry scooped up with a helping of pilau rice and tender chicken is the dreamiest combo.
My partner’s eyes light up as he treats his taste buds to the Beef Pathia – perfectly spiced with a handful of chunky tomatoes thrown in for good measure.
For both of us, we agree that the Naan’s steal the show. The perfect balance of fluffiness and crispiness is achieved exceptionally. Both breads are packed so full of flavour, no curry is needed to devour this traditional dunking side order.
With our bellies full, we politely decline dessert on this occasion, but next time we visit we’ve already set our sights on the Chocolate Dome (£4.85) and the Banoffee Torte (£4.85).
We leave with smiles on our faces agreeing we’ll be back soon!