Dining with Little Miss Ling: Sauma, Perth, Australia

I discovered Sauma through a Qantas newsletter. There was an article about 18 of the best new restaurants to try in Australia. I scrolled down to Western Australia, and to my delight, there were only two restaurants listed. I get overwhelmed easily, so if it had been more than three, I don’t know if I could’ve coped. Anyway, I looked them both up, and Sauma caught my attention. I knew my mother-in-law’s birthday was coming up, and since she loves Indian food, hubby and I decided to take her out to dinner at Sauma and try out this new restaurant.

I love a good curry, but it’s not often that Indian food excites me enough to want to tell everyone about it. Sauma is the exception.

You know you’re in for a treat when your shortlist of things to order is greater than three. I am not normally interested in anything other than curry when I go to an Indian restaurant, but Sauma’s menu was so interesting that I wanted to try all the street food and smaller items as well.

We settled for one of the street foods, two smaller dishes, and two curries.

The first dish that arrived was the twice cooked lamb ribs with sweet tamarind, chilli, radish and coriander.

Twice cooked lamb ribs with sweet tamarind, chilli, mint and coriander

Oh. My. Goodness. This was the item on the menu that everyone was excited about trying, and it did not disappoint. The meat was falling off the bone, the sauce was sticky, sweet, tart, everything you want it to be, and the freshness of the coriander really lifted the entire dish.

I was excited.

The second dish that arrived was the bang bang chicken with gun powder masala, which was a barbecue chicken thigh with pawpaw and green apple salad.

Bang bang chicken

The presentation was a bit lacklustre compared to the ribs, but the taste was impeccable. I was a bit worried that the chicken would be dry, but it could not have been more perfectly cooked. It was so moist and so full of flavour. My only complaint is that I wanted more!

The last dish to arrive before the curries was the chargrilled goan sausage with sautéed red capsicum, toddy vinegar, ginger and mini naan bread went down a treat. Again, the flavours really packed a punch.

Sauma

The curries had a hard act to follow. The winter vegetable curry with eggplant, cauliflower, potatoes, lotus stem, and crisp okra in a spicy sesame and cashew sauce was hearty and delicious, but it just didn’t quite stack up to the amazing street food and smaller dishes that we started the meal with. I could’ve done without the duck curry with coriander seeds, dry chilli and fennel tempring, spicy rajisthani sauce and kipfler potatoes. There wasn’t anything wrong with it. It just didn’t do anything for me.

Sauma had a great atmosphere and friendly, attentive service, and would be great for intimate or large gatherings. I am keen to go back and try more dishes, though I don’t know if I can resist ordering the same street food and smaller items again! I guess I’ll just have to eat more? The dessert menu also piqued my interest, so another visit is definitely in order!

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