FOR the past two years, my elder son and I have enjoyed a weekly Friday night curry hunt.
We started on Wearside, then worked our way along every curry house on Ocean Road in South Shields and have now turned our sights further afield.
We try to find a new Indian restaurant every week and just when I think we’re running out of options, friends come up with new suggestions.
So it was that we found ourselves in Swalwell, not a place I know well, but basically you head for the MetroCentre then turn left.
I have to say, it was well worth the trip.
Jashn is a very classy restaurant, housed in a former pub at the bottom of Whickham bank.
The decor and atmosphere hit the spot, but what about the food? One word – superb.
The menu is wide and varied, with a good selection of unusual dishes mixed in with the more traditional curries.
As soon as we sat down, we were presented with a free glass of mango lassi, sweet, smooth and very refreshing.
My 16-year-old son chose the Rawlpindi curry puff starter (£5.95), a spiced lamb dish of dried chillies simmered in sweet vinegar and served with puffed bread, that looked more like an Indian pancake.
The dish was extremely well presented and my lad said it was full of flavour, not too spicy, and that the bread contrasted well with the lamb.
I chose the panir til tila (£4.25), a new dish for me. This was deep fried cheese, mixed with potato for consistency, coated with sesame seeds and served with a crispy salad. This was a surprisingly light and delicate dish and one that I would certainly look for again.
My son normally goes for a hot and spicy main course, but was swayed by a mild chicken dish of pureed mango stewed with mint and yoghurt.
The dish was called amchi (£8.95) and he absolutely loved it. I too was in the mood for a change, and opted for a Dhakeshwari chicken main course (£8.95).
This was large pieces of chicken tikka cooked in a thick, creamy sauce with fenugreek leaves. My lad had the pilao rice (£2.95) and I had the mushroom rice (£3.55) which was wonderfully different – packed with large pieces of mushrooms and vegetables.
The portions were large and the balance between chicken and sauce was in favour of the meat in both of our dishes.
l Disabled access to the main eating area is good, but could cause problems for some of the other rooms.