My recent judging commitment with Weekender's Foodmania Awards 2015 brought me (and the fellow judges) to SAHA, Signature Indian Restaurant & Terrace Bar located at the dining enclave of Duxton Hill.
Indian cuisine is one which I do not usually partake on a regular basis. Not that I don't like it, but the usual richness always reduced me to an aftermath of calories guilt. The dining experience at SAHA was surprising light on the palate and easy on the tummy. I enjoyed it!
Helmed by award-winning chef Abhijit Saha and resident executive chef Preetam Singh Sodi, SAHA marries the best of regional Indian cuisine with European cooking techniques and modern presentation.
Terms like "sous-vide" and "liquid nitrogen" quickly sprung to mind, and our guesses were spot on as evidenced in some of the dishes we tried.
Though their focus is on innovation and creativity, the essence of Indian cuisine is still very much retained with the dominant use of various Indian spices.
The menu also offer the comfort and familiarity of Indian classics served family-style, such as Traditional Curries, Biryanis and Naans.
If you're unsure of what to order, the 6-course Signature Tasting Menu, available in both Vegetarian ($98++) and Non-Vegetarian ($108++) options, would be a hassle-free and well-rounded choice.
The glimpse into Indian progressive dining commenced interestingly with amuse bouche in form of a Popsicle! Meant to be a palate cleanser to start off our meal, the icy treat was quite a surprise with its layers of flavors. There were hints of spices like cumin, teasing bits of saltiness and wonderfully refreshing in most parts.
I wasn't really expecting molecular gastronomy too. Spherification ($12), comprising flavors of mango intertwined with tamarind and ginger bursting forth from the pretty globule. What a mini sensation in the mouth!
The Kerala Vegetable Istew Espuma ($16), served in a martini glass, was the unanimous favorite among us with its delightful combination of citrus pudding, garlic crumbs, black olive powder and curry powder topped with banana chips.
For mushroom lovers (me! me!), do order the Tasting of Mushroom ($18) platter. It was a lovely trio of kick-ass spicy tandoor-grilled shiitake, shimeiji and button mushrooms, piping hot masala cappuccino, and frozen masala mushroom parfait powder, all unified by the intense earthy aroma of mushroom.
Other than the Makhmali Chicken Spaghetti ($16) which was completely lost whether in terms of texture or flavor, the rest of the dishes were all executed to a satisfying degree of palatable quality.
A noteworthy mention is the Interpretation of Meen Moily ($35). The generous slab of grilled turmeric seabass was more tender than it looked, served on a bed of fluffy tamarind rice with dollop of tomato chutney. We gave everything a good mix, including the savory coconut and curry leaf panna cotta which added an interesting chilled element to the subtlety spicy dish. I like!
Desserts were no less intriguing, with the unique Gulab Jamun Cheesecake ($15) topped with saffron poached pears and macaron. The usual sweetness of gulab jamun is generally too cloying for me, but it was very much toned down when incorporated into the cheesecake. I polished off the whole slice effortlessly.
Our meal ended when Petit Fours is served.
SAHA will be moving from their current premises to the Supreme Court Wing of National Gallery Singapore when it opens in November. You can be sure I will be making a visit for more of their contemporary Indian fare.
Lastly, congratulations to SAHA for taking the top spot in the Weekender's Foodmania Awards 2015, Favorite Indian Restaurant category!
SAHA, Signature Indian Restaurant & Terrace Bar
Address: 9A Duxton Hill, Singapore 089593
Contact: +65 6223 7321
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 12pm-3pm & 6pm-11pm / Sat 6pm-11pm / Closed on Sun
Prices stated are subject to 10% service charge and prevailing government taxes.