If you are looking for a restaurant with a top quality omakase offering without breaking the bank, BAM! is the perfect choice for you. Having emerged as a tapas-sake concept restaurant in 2003, BAM! has since evolved into a full-fledged culinary output from late 2016. Today, BAM! is renowned for its exquisitely crafted cuisine with world-class sakes.
Executive Chef Pepe Moncayo also sought to introduce the “Modern Shudo” concept to our shores, for which “Shu-do” literally means “sake-way”. This revolutionary way of sake appreciation which first originated in the Katsuyama Brewery in 2009 has now found its way into culinary corners around the world.
The interior of BAM! is unlike those of typical Japanese restaurants. An artwork painting of Audrey Hepburn is juxtaposed with a black and white photo of geishas on the walls. A relaxed open kitchen provides guests with a clear view of where the magic happens. The wooden beams, textured cement, nude bulbs and rustic mirrors placed across the restaurant further added to its industrial facade.
What also stood out is the impressive floor-to-ceiling sake cellar and discreet private dining spaces available, making this an ideal place for private events or a quiet night out with family and friends.
At BAM!, menus change fortnightly or possibly daily as Chef Pepe and his team only insist on using the finest and freshest ingredients. However, classic dishes which are a hit with his customers, such as the Shiso Leaf & Tomato Tartar Tempura, have been mainstays on the omakase menu.
We tried the eight-course omakase menu, priced at S$188 with sake pairing at S$98. If you are a huge fan of sake, do opt for a sake pairing with your meal (the price of sake pairing varies with the omakase course selected).
With an impressive selection of 80 outstanding labels from over 15 breweries, which includes small-batch and organic sake brewers worldwide, you will find yourself spoilt for choice. Even if you are not a fan of sake, the experience of trying a range of light tasting and mildly aromatic sake to the most aromatic and slightly dry ones is definitely not one to be missed.
An additional bonus point is that a certified sake sommelier will guide and recommend you different sakes throughout your entire meal. Out of the many I tried, the Ura Gazanryuu Honjozo has to be my favourite. Aromatic with fresh notes of a flower bouquet, I found this sake went perfectly with many of the savoury and flavourful dishes served.
We started with the Pineapple Gazpacho served with compressed watermelon and Junsai. The slightly sour and tangy taste of the pineapple was well balanced with the sweet and juicy watermelon chunks. This, combined with the crunchy and slightly sweet-tasting Junsai, which is a water-shield plant from Japan, hit the right notes and made this the perfect start to the meal.
Another highlight of the meal was the classic Shiso Leaf and Tomato Tartar Tempura. What I liked about this was that the Shiso Leaf was fried well. While it retained its crispy taste, it did not leave an oily taste that I would often face when eating tempura. Overall, this felt like a rather light dish – simple, not overpowering yet tasty.
As we proceeded with the course, the Congee with Espardenya stood out for me. Rest assured that the congee here is not any ordinary congee you would find in any local hawker centre or food court. The Espardenya – which is a highly prized and expensive Spanish sea cucumber – salted egg yolk, egg floss, spring onion and bonito flakes were perfectly incorporated into the soupy congee. The ingredients were so well blended together that each bite packed a punch. Before I knew it, I finished the entire bowl and was left wanting more.
Another dish that left an impression on me was the Pork Jowl served with Onion, Emperor’s Sprout and a drizzle of sesame sauce at the side. The pork was tender and juicy and tasted more flavourful when dipped in the sesame sauce. As the sesame sauce was not overly sweet and hard to resist, I even found myself eating the Emperor’s Sprout with it.
Our omakase meal then came to a close with the Lemon Pie and Petit Fours for dessert. While I was already feeling full and extremely satisfied by then, the desserts at BAM! are hard to resist as well. My favourite had to be the chocolate coated vanilla ice cream on a stick. This is somewhat like a Magnum ice cream, but only a thousand times better.
Overall, I found my meal at BAM! to be extremely satisfying. Personally, I find that omakase courses in Singapore are not entirely affordable or entirely worth the price point. In contrast, a four-course omakase meal here is priced at S$98 and a six-course meal is priced at S$148, with other tapas available a la carte. Each dish is well-crafted, demonstrating the high regard Chef Pepe places in enhancing the flavour and texture of his creations.
With its excellent service, amazing ambience, top quality of food and affordable price point, I cannot wait for my next visit to BAM! again.
38 Tras Street
T: +65 6226 0500
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, closed on Sunday
Lunch: Tuesday – Friday, 12pm – 2pm
Dinner: Monday – Thursday, 6pm – 10.30pm; Friday – Saturday, 6pm – 11.30pm