Sah is a place I've heard mixed reviews about, as well as walked and driven past many times but have never actually eaten in. The perfect opportunity came up last week while I was out catching up with some of my good friends from high school.
On this particular occasion, we had put our name down at Ruby Red Flamingo for a table and told to expect a 45 minute to 1 hour wait. We'd originally gone upstairs to the bar but decided to go for a walk instead. We walked all the way down O'Connell Street past Sah to find it only about three quarters full, and the tapas and paella menus at the front caught our eye. It was then we decided to abandon RRF and take a seat in Sah!
View from the front corner. Nice and cosy with around 3 or 4 more tables outside.
The Hills Pear Cider $6.50
Montevecchio Moscato $9
We wanted to share some paella and tapas, so opted for a paella for 2 and 4 tapas dishes between the 3 of us.
Pan seared haloumi with a lemon, basil & mint salsa verde $13
You can never go wrong with haloumi! Of the 4 tapas dishes that came out, this one was a little cold, making the haloumi a little tougher and spongier in texture. That aside, I really enjoyed the salsa verde that went with it.
Mixed mushroom arancini with spiced tomato and shaved manchego $13
We weren't too sure what manchego was when we saw it on the menu but a quick google search told us that it was a type of cheese made in the La Mancha region of Spain from sheep's milk (thanks Wikipedia!) It was a slightly harder cheese with a very subtle flavour, from what I could tell. I could be completely wrong though, because I forgot to try some on its own (oops).
The arancini were crunchy on the outside and piping hot on the inside - SO good! My favourite element was definitely the spiced tomato sauce, and my only criticism would be that there didn't seem to be any trace of mushrooms in the arancini themselves. I think a few bits of mushroom would have improved it.
Crispy pork belly, scallops & potatoes tossed with a lemon & saffron salt $15
It's such a shame the scallops were soggy because the pork and potatoes were delicious and crispy! I found it very bland and couldn't taste the lemon and saffron salt, so a squeeze of lemon was definitely needed to give it some flavour and freshness.
Crab & chive croquettes with lime $13
We'd actually ordered chorizo croquettes but instead, crab croquettes came out! It was fine though because they were super tasty. The insides were very soft and creamy without a strong crab flavour which we all really enjoyed.
Paella Vegetariano for 2 $49
I was very excited to try this because it would be my first time trying paella after seeing it on TV with lots of delicious seafood and that signature crust on the bottom of the pan! We actually chose a vegetarian paella because we weren't feeling anything too meaty. The first thing we did was search for the crust on the bottom, only to be disappointed. For a place to claim to have Adelaide's best paella and serve a paella without it's crust.... I prepared myself for disappointment in the taste of the paella itself. Fortunately, it was very flavoursome and there were lots of great textures in the dish to save it from becoming a complete disappointment. There were buttery lima beans, a slight crunch from some green beans and some vibrant green leafy vegetables. It had a rich flavour without being too heavy and we all liked a squeeze of lemon to add some freshness.
Overall I'd say Sah gave a decent first impression. The staff were all very friendly and although the food didn't really amaze me, I'd stay it was still pretty good. The food did take quite while to come out for a restaurant that was only about three quarters full, but luckily we were deep in conversation so we didn't really realise how much time had passed. The tapas are a little on the pricey side for what was served, but I've found that it is probably the standard price for tapas at other establishments. It's not a place I will be rushing back to, but I may be back to try out more of the tapas menu and a meat or seafood paella!