Located on a foodie street teeming with quality restaurants, BAM! Restaurant stands out from the rest by offering a culinary experience encompassing “Modern Shudo”. In Japanese, “shu-do” translates to “sake-way”, and at BAM!, chef Pepe Moncayo and his team have created a menu that showcases a contemporary way of sake appreciation, pairing it with Spanish-influenced cuisine. Moncayo explains, “When compared to wine, sake’s acidity is very low so instead of cleansing the palate like wine does, sake is drunk to inhale the flavour of food.” Inside the industrial-chic decorated restaurant, diners can get to sample Katsuyama Brewery sake brought in exclusively for the restaurant and even order up omakase set menus where each course is parked with a different sake.
Chef Pepe Moncayo’s first foray into cooking came out of necessity when at the age of 14, his mother passed away and the responsibility to feed the family fell on his shoulders. He developed a love for food, eventually specialising in culinary studies in school. The Barcelona native spent most of his career in Spain but moved to Singapore seven years ago to open up the late Santi Santamaria’s restaurant in MBS. It was this move that help define his current produce-driven culinary philosophy. “The way I approach creation is getting inspiration from ingredients and then putting them together with my culinary sensibilities,” he shares. While he laments that being in Singapore limits him from developing direct relationships with the producers, he acknowledges that the country’s location allows him access to a broad diversity of ingredients from around the region, which he aims to showcase in his food.
While it might look simple, this dish represents a harmonious marriage of flavors and textures. Delicately smooth monkfish liver tofu is lightly coated with tempura flour before deep friedto give ita thin layer of crunch, then paired with the playful texture of caviar. The brininess of the caviar also accentuates the umami from the animo tofu.
This dish is a showcase of the quality of local produce chef Moncayo is able to obtain. Local baby squid is sourced and prepared daily, battered and deep fried till crispy. Complementing the squid isa small bed of white onion puree and a perfectly poached egg. A drizzle of sake and sherry vinegar as well as dices of spice chorizo brings all the flavors of the dish together.
The most popular item on the menu, this dish sees cooked thin pasta put into a ice bath before being drizzled with hazelnut oil, balsamic vinegar, lime zest, lime juice and small dices ofpreserved lemon. The bed of pastais then topped with seafood from Japan - nori strips, fresh sea urchin, as well as a heaping of fried sakura prawns to give layer flavors of the ocean.