SWITZERLAND was on at the State Theatre, but my friend and I were in “India”, or as close as you get while still making the first curtain call.
Northbridge restaurant Sauma puts a modern twist on traditional Indian cuisine, serving up dishes like wagyu beef samosa with roast cumin and beetroot ketchup ($6) and Fremantle octopus salad with puffed rice, chilli, mung sprouts and coriander ($14).
The decor is shabby chic/semi-industrial, with long wooden benches, huge timber-framed windows, and funky blue and white light fittings, interspersed with wooden screens overhead.
My companion and I decided to order a variety of smaller dishes from the menu, instead of curries, to widen the dining experience.
Onion bhaji ($13) can vary widely at Indian restaurants, which is hardly surprising given they are found across India, Pakistan and Nepal.
Sauma’s deep-fried onion and chickpea morsels were crisp and moreish, enhanced by the addition of finely-sliced, preserved lemon.
The Bombay bonda ($9)—a delicious blend of potato, chana dal, curry leaves and mustard seeds—were lovely and crisp on the outside and soft and spicy inside.
You won’t find a recipe for tandoori tomato ($7) online, which is a shame as Sauma’s was a delicious mix of sharp, tangy and sweet flavours, with a surprising chewiness to the outer-casing.
But there was nothing chewy about the fish tikka ($17): the chunky serves of fish were firm but tender with a robust chilli kick.
The lamb ribs ($16) won over my friend.
“They’re crunchy on the outside and fall apart on the inside, with a lovely blend of spice,” she opined.
“This is the ideal place for people who think Indian is just curries.”
Sauma’s wine list is limited, with very few choices for those who want just a glass of vino, but the service was spot on, friendly and efficient, and our food arrived promptly after telling the waiter we were going to the theatre.
by JENNY D’ANGER
Cnr William and James Streets,
open Tues-Wed 5–10,30pm,