Sauma – the name means ‘Forbidden Drink of the Gods’ and invokes a sense of mystery and oriental delight. Here you will find, Indian fusion food at its very best. The spices of the East are used with subtlety and panache to create dishes that are pleasing to the palate. At Sauma, traditional recipes are used with a fresh, modern take which distinguishes them from other Indian eateries. Eating at this fine restaurant will leave you satiated but not bloated. The owner of Sauma, Gurps Bagga also owns Auntie G’s, a much loved and renowned establishment in Fremantle. The menu now includes Indian street food, that is a novel experience for those who have not tried it. Those with special dietary requirements are well catered for with gluten free (all dishes except breads, samosas and onion bhaji), vegan, dairy and nut free dishes on the menu.
We thoroughly enjoyed the pani puri shots and suggest you try them, as they are such fun to eat. 'Pani' means water and 'puri' is a light, golden, wheaten sphere. The puri sits prettily on top of a shot glass of pani, which is delicious, spicy, tamarind/coriander water. You simply empty the pani (water) in the puri and then pop it into your mouth with one fell swoop. For a naughty but nice touch, they can add a dash of tequila that will certainly have your tastebuds tingling. The pani puris are just $3 shot and $5 with tequila. The mélange of flavours are incredible and you will be sorely tempted to indulge in shot after shot. You don’t even have to go to the bar to get them as they will bring them to your table. On Sundays, the pani puri cart is open for business from 11am -3pm. There is a special price of 5 pani puris for $10. Also available are Goan chorizo sausages which are fried up on the spot, so check it out! We shared the Bindas Bonda which is a great entrée with curry leaf potato, chickpea shell, roast garlic, coconut, chilli and peanut ghati chutney ($9). Bindas means carefree and you will indeed eat this with abandon and let yourself go as you enjoy the taste. The spicy wagyu beef samosas served on a magenta coloured, beetroot swirl, were aesthetically pleasing to all the senses.
We were delighted by the express tiffin lunches and were extremely happy with both the Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian options. You can avail of the express tiffin lunches from Thursday to Sunday from 11am-1pm. Priced at $14 for Vegetarian and $16 Non-Vegetarian, it is a deliciously and reasonably priced lunch. Tiffin is a word that was used by the British in India, in the late 18th century to describe the light midday meal. It was taken from the slang words ‘tiff’, a measure of diluted liquor and ‘tiffing’, to take a sip of this liquor, a veiled insuination that the sahib’s lunch might be of the liquid variety! Today, the tiffins (dhabbas) are lunch boxes that consist of a tower of three to four stackable stainless steel containers that clip together, to avoid spills. In Mumbai, there is a wonderful tradition whereby housewives cook and pack lunches in the tiffins, which are then collected by the tiffin wallahs, who deliver them to the office workers. The efficiency with which the lunches are delivered ensures they are received piping hot. It is an amazing system, which is admired worldwide. The tiffins are colour coded for identification purposes and although they travel large distances the lunch orders are never mixed up. Today the Non-Vegetarian Tiffin, included a delicious Aunty G’s chicken curry, fragrant basmati rice, eggplant pakoras and a tasty naan. The Vegetarian Tiffin, consisted of a black dal curry, eggplant pakoras, basmati rice and a lovely naan.
The stand out item for us, for dinner was the Lamb Rib dish. The ribs were twice cooked and the succulent lamb was enhanced by the addition of sweet tamarind, chilli, mint and coriander ($16). We found the Green Chicken Tikka to be moist and succulent. The chicken was slow tandoor roasted, dressed with yoghurt, mint, coriander and green chilli ($15).
For dessert, we chose the Mango Kulfi that had us in raptures. It was beautifully plated with two mango kulfi pops on a bed of pistachio crumb, rose jelly, livened up by falooda and rose jelly, strawberries, watermelon and vermicelli. Kulfi is a traditional Indian icecream, which is light and lovely. The fresh mango used in this kulfi made it sublime.
For your drinking pleasure, there is a well stocked bar which includes an extensive wine list, beers on tap and some very interesting cocktails. We found the Tamarind Margarita to be most refreshing. It certainly was a margarita with a difference, as it included lime juice, ginger syrup, tequila, tamarind and chilli salt ($16). The chilli salt on the rim of the glass added a kick to every sip. Sweet Rooh Afza was the prettiest cocktail we’ve ever seen! It was concocted with rose infused gin, cloudy apple and fresh watermelon juice.
Service was prompt, efficient and friendly. The restaurant is suitable for small or large groups and can cater for up to 180 customers. It is a lovely open space where one is always comfortable even at busy times. The large windows let in the light and air which lend an inviting air to the venue. Large wooden timber doors are suspended from the ceiling along with beautiful, vintage lamps. Distressed timber tables which can be height adjusted and amazing chalk artwork bring Sauma to life!
Address: 200 William St, Northbridge WA 6003
Phone: (08) 9227 8682
Opening hours: Tuesday and Wednesday 5pm - late
Thursday - Sunday 11.30am - late