Restaurant owner and chef Gurps Bagga has always been a culinary iconoclast, a rarity in the Indian restaurant caper where tradition and conservatism means just about every Indian restaurant in town cooks exactly the same food. Not so at Gurps’ Sauma restaurant in Northbridge – a curry joint that is so much more, and cool and hip to boot.

Yes, the spirit of innovation is alive at this casual Indian “street” restaurant from its chic, contemporary décor to its distinctive dishes. Even the familiar staple, pani puri, is cheekily revamped into a tangy chilli shooter – with or without tequila.

Want a quick wholesome snack before the theatre opens? Try a freshly-baked naan, stuffed with a blend of fresh local Rose Valley cheeses, chilli and coriander, then delivered to the table warm, doughy and fragrant.

A chargrilled chilli squid dish takes its cues from a traditional Rajasthani salad, but it comes, like all of Bagga’s dishes, with a bold, contemporary and decidedly local twist. Who knew tiny, whole, chargrilled squid, dressed with a herb aioli alongside slices of fennel, Goan chorizo and rockmelon ball, could be so … right?

Sauma’s curry game is next level – a tender, fragrant duck korma surpasses all expectations. Service is knowledgeable yet unobtrusive. There’s no mistaking the culinary sophistication at play here. Sauma is a class act.