SAUMA is a hip Indian eatery that mixes old and new in an exciting seasonal menu.
The chef uses ingredients from around the world to create new tastes and interesting combinations.
It’s the sort of Indian nosh enjoyed by the sub-continent’s growing middle class, rather than their parents.
On the street food menu, there’s a nod to Aussie culture with the beer battered onion bhaji ($13.50).
While the oysters with smoked goan chorizo and shallot vinaigrette ($4 each) are a cross-cultural delight.
Pani puri shots ($3 each) are a newish addition.
We watched with amusement as some diners poured a shot-glass of coriander, mint, tamarind, cumin and chilli into crispy puffed balls; then tried to pop them into their mouths without spilling anything.
My dinner companion and I were in a bit of a rush to get the theatre, but we made time to share the bindas bonda ($10 entree).
The potato and chickpea patty was crisp on the outside and soft and moist on the inside, while the coconut and peanut chutney added a spicy punch.
The last morsel had barely disappeared when a pumpkin curry and an eggplant bharta arrived ($19 each).
Sweet and sour blended perfectly in the rich curry, which was delicious and had a pleasant sharp edge.
The eggplant was more complex, with layers of flavour and a great chilli zing.
At a nearby table, two women were tucking into the banana leaf fish ($29) and as much as I enjoyed our meal, I was envious.
Fresh banana leaves allow the fish to bake not steam, and the result was firm, tender fillets with a nice crunch.
“It’s amazing–so fresh and tasty,” the ladies at the table exclaimed.
Sauma’s decor is funky and semi-industrial, with shabby chic timber screens, long benches and huge timber-framed windows.
The Northbridge curry house has a good range of wines and desserts, and is a great place to linger.
200 William Street, Northbridge