South Asian Heritage Month: 60 years of curry and culture on Ocean Road in South Shields

Curry lovers across the North East have had a long affinity to Ocean Road in South Shields.

The first Indian restaurant in the region is thought to have opened there in 1958, and today there are more than a dozen to choose from.

Shah Lalon Amin's father owned the restaurant that is now called Delhi 6 in the 1970s. But after his mother fell ill back home in Bangladesh, he was forced to sell the place.

Decades later, Shah fulfilled his dream of buying the restaurant back.

The restauranteur is following in his father's footsteps, with his daughter now helping out too. He said:  "That's just three generations of my family coming to work here. It means a lot to me.

"Our father's generation came with £5 in their pocket, not knowing the language, they sacrificed and they worked so hard and they've left that foundation for us."

Three generations of Shah Lalon Amin's family have worked at Delhi 6.

From three generations to three brothers

Shahanoor Choudhury opened Zeera in 2007 with his two brothers, who are both chefs in the kitchen.

Shahanoor Choudhury's brothers are also both chefs in the kitchen.

Some of Shahanoor's customers followed him to the restaurant after he worked as a waiter in another curry house nearby.

A customer, Tom Legender said:  "We come here once a week, we met him at a restaurant along the road and we've been with him ever since."

South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck says the influence of Ocean Road stretches nationwide: "I go all over the country because of my job and often people will say to us 'ah South Shields, had a lush curry there once.'

"We've got our own challenges here but Ocean Road seems to have been the most resilient of places. It has thrived and survived despite all the challenges that come our way."

Read more: