This week I was kindly invited for a complimentary meal at Delhi 6 in South Shields. It’s the latest restaurant to enter the arena of the curry mile on Ocean Road. Their mantra is:
“We believe that diners are wanting true Indian food, not the adapted style of curries that has become the norm. We want every diner to taste a little bit of Indian life, all the spices and flavours that blow you away. “
With so many well established Indian restaurants in the area, I was interested to learn more about how they planned to set themselves apart.
I headed to Ocean Road on Sunday to check out their lunch menu. It’s instantly recognisable by its dark wooden exterior and bright orange sign.
The venue is quite different from the usual Indian restaurants on the stretch, offering a far more casual dining experience. The warmly lit interior is full of interesting decorations, from movie posters to the front of a rickshaw!
It certainly makes for an interesting place to dine and the casual atmosphere perfectly matches their street food vibe. So did the food live up to everything I’d been hearing?
Upon arriving I was given the Delhi 6 Sunday lunch menu. I was told it incorporates some of the best, traditional dishes the restaurant has on offer and the chef’s personal favourites. The menu tries to reflect how lunch is experienced in India, from the starting time to the genuine flavours you’ll find on the streets of Delhi.
Now I can say that I’ve never been to Delhi, but I have spoken to enough chefs to know what true passion and inspiration looks like. It was clear that the restaurants head chef, Gaurav Dayal (Who was previously head chef at Dabawal in Newcastle) was super passionate about the menu.
He told us how he was from India and wanted to include dishes that people actually enjoyed there, following authentic recipes.
Their drinks menu offers up a pretty good selection too. With a fully stocked bar, they offer up some local spirits, draft beers and a range of wines.
I decided to opt for the Chicken Lollipop starter which was packed full of flavour. They are cooked in a Tandoor oven and done so to perfection. Served with coriander sauce, the chicken had crispy, charred skin, soaked in all the fantastic tandoori masala seasoning, packing a bit of a kick.
I also tried the Paneer Tikka Salad. The dish packed a fair bit of heat and a fantastic texture. For £3.90 it’s a reasonably priced option for vegetarians, or cheese addicts like me.
For main I opted for the Lamb Nihari, which came highly recommended and was the first thing that caught my eye regardless. The chef comes in and makes this amazing dish every morning, adding the lamb, bones, and ingredients to slowly cook ready for lunch.
This means it is a much a broth as it is a curry and is unbelievably tasty. The lamb is incredibly succulent and still has that fantastic taste that isn’t lost to too many overpowering ingredients.
The light, crispy bread perfect. I can’t stress how nice it was and it’s something I’ll be trying to perfect myself at home. Not to mention it was ideal for cleaning the plate, which I certainly did.
I was also treated to a side of chicken Byriani, which went great with the curry. It was cooked it batch which was the traditional way and slow cooked through the day. It was quite hot and extremely well-seasoned. The blend of herbs produced an aromatic dish that made a great accompaniment to the meal.
Last up was the Chicken Tikka tak-a-tak wrap (Masala chips substituted for the Byriana for the review). This wasn’t quite as good as the other dishes but still a reasonable lunchtime option. It was a strange mix between Mexican and Indian, with most ingredients of a burrito, with Chicken Tikka mixed in.
Delhi 6 brings a different eating experience and authentic tastes of Delhi to South Shields. To see something new and different in my home town is nothing short of refreshing. People can finally talk about something other than Colmans Seafood Temple ? and enjoy a new and unique dining experience.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the visit to Delhi 6 and already have plans with my family to visit on an evening to try the wider selection on their A la Carte menu. If you’re a member of the local Foodie Facebook groups, you’ll no doubt already have read the fantastic reviews about Delhi 6 and I can say they’re well deserved.
It’s extremely pleasing to see a local restaurant trying something new and like all of the best eateries, keeping it simple and authentic. I hope that they keep bringing new ideas to the table, as it’s those authentic dishes that makes this place stand apart.
It would be awesome to see other India dishes like Tikki, kachori sabzi, samosas in a mixed starter with various dips or even tiffin box meals! Hopefully, they’ll open their doors on a Saturday lunchtime too as it would be a great way to spend a lunchtime in the town.