I recently reviewed Benares, a Michelin-starred Indian restaurant. However, keen to write about eating out for all budgets, I thought I’d review an eatery on the other end of the spectrum, which serves good food at a fraction of the price. So brace yourself for my Zeera restaurant review.
Zeera Indian and Thai restaurant is situated in East London. Next to the delectably overexposed Nandos, I expected Zeera to be virtually empty.
Ok so it wasn’t bustling like Nandos, but it had enough diners who wanted a break from chicken and chips.
Despite its fusion offering, Zeera is very much a Bengali establishment. So naturally, they do curry well, but for great Thai, you might want to go somewhere more authentic.
As well as a sit-down menu, Zeera offers a buffet, which I naturally gravitate towards on visits. The buffet offers an extensive array of food from spring rolls, prawn toast and pakoras, to chicken curry and stir fry. They do evolve their dishes slightly, but there are some staples which remain the same.
As I mentioned, being a Bengali buffet, some dishes are great, others not so much. The aubergine pakora is authentic and delicious, but the prawn toast is a little over-fried.
Credit to Zeera though, their dishes do have distinct flavours. I’ve been to some Indian buffets where many of the curries taste like they were made from the same base of flavours, just with a different meat or fish.
However, whether it is spinach paneer, lamb curry or chicken korma, each dish stands on its own merit at Zeera.
However truth be told, after overloading on the starters (a typical buffet fail), I’m usually too stuffed to fully appreciate the mains.
One thing I would say Zeera is lacking is a good desert and salad selection. There’s a mixed garden salad, and a fruit bowl containing pineapple and melon cubes. That’s about the extent of their offering. However, the positive is you don’t gorge on cake and ice cream after your big meal, so it’s a forced positive.
Another point to mention is that Zeera has a bit of a fussy policy in that they want you to use the same plate for each course. Now as a self-confessed messy eater, it did teach me to finish my food, but I also found it slightly inconvenient having to resue the same plate with remnants of the last dish I tried.
Over-indulgence, an expected hazard of buffets
So overall, with Zeera you get what you paid for. With the buffet, you get the variety, but of course you can’t expect fine dining. But it works as a good weeknight meal that doesn’t involved peri-peri chicken.
Zeera restaurant review in a nutshell
Cost- Approx. £11 per head. Drinks extra.
Halal – Yes. Also a reasonable amount of vegetarianoptions available. Does great paneer (cheese) and veg starters, and the jungle vegetable curry is worth a try.
Great if… you want fuss-free all you can eat. A weeknight treat.
Not so great if… you want an extensive dessert selection or salad bar. Or you’re a messy and wasteful eater and you require a fresh plate each time.
I’m a British-Bengali Muslim mum-of-two. My pictures aren’t filtered and neither are my words. I’m not a makeup artist, chef or lifestyle guru. I’m just me, sharing honest beauty reviews for brown skin, halal restaurant finds, travel inspo, mum life hacks, easy Bengali recipes and more. If that’s your bag, keep reading!