Review: Aneesa’s, New George Street, Laygate, South Shields

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I’M a Shields girl.

If you’re from that neck of the woods you’ll know that curry is a staple part of the diet!

The town has an array of Indian restaurants, but one that stands out from the crowd is Aneesa’s.

Found in New George Street, Laygate, Aneesa’s offers its customers a buffet menu of traditional Indian and Punjabi cuisine.

The restaurant – which was once a notorious rave club – was opened by Vaseem Mukhtar back in 2009, shortly after the businessman established the adjoining Ahmed’s International food store.

In the past three years it has become a well-know name in the area, as well as further afield.

In fact, just the other day I was stopped by a group of people who had got off the Metro and asked me for directions to the restaurant – and it was this that prompted me to go.

The restaurant has a contemporary feel to it with purple hues, wood flooring and large plant pots scattered throughout.

It’s very spacious too and sits up to 300 people, but even though my partner, Fin, and I went on a Tuesday night at 6pm, it was still bustling.

The menu is simple: eat as much as you like for £11.95; £6.95 for kids under 13 and under fives eat free.

It’s a bargain price for what’s available as there’s everything from hot starters such as tandoori chicken wings, lamb sheekh kebab and salads and sauces.

Traditional curry dishes such as madras and rogan josh cover the mains, there’s a variety of different flavour rice dishes and a full range of sides including pakoras and Bombay potatoes.

While Fin went straight in for the chicken tikka and pakoras, I started off with the summer salad, poppadoms and the coriander chutney.

For the main course, I opted for the madras, chilli garlic chicken and chicken tikka massala – well it would have been rude not to!

Fin, who likes his spicy food and would usually choose a vindaloo, settled with the madras and said it was tasty with a good kick to it.

We also got a side portion of chips, shared a bowl of vegetable pilau, and had just enough room left to tuck into a dessert each. Fin had the chocolate gateau with ice cream and I had strawberry gateau.

Although Aneesa’s has an all-you-can-eat menu, staff encourage people not to waste food and a charge is applied if they do.

It doesn’t have a license to sell alcohol, but you can take your own and a 10 per cent corkage fee will be charged.