The revamped restaurant will get you shimmying and shaking to the beat of Barcelona
The sound of a broken plate rang through the room, jolting diners at Spanish restaurant FOC Pim Pam with a start.
It was neither the doing of a heavy-handed server, nor was it a boisterous patron, intoxicated by the restaurant’s collection of potent sherries ($30 for a flight of four) – a range possibly the widest in all of Southeast Asia. Tip-toeing away from the jagged ceramics pieces that are now strewed all over the tiled floors, we couldn’t help but ask: “So, how did we do?”
Minutes before the plate slipped through our fingers, we wielded the ceramic to hack away at poor little Wilbur, also a delicious half Suckling Pig ($130) that is sous vide for 10 hours, and then oven-roasted for a wonderfully crisp exterior. As a boast of butter-like fats and tender meat, the three to six weeks old piglet is presented as a whole, before swiftly chopped up in front of you with a single rounded-edge plate. It is then later smashed to the ground for good luck.
Half Suckling Pig ($130)
With luck now on our side, paired with the melt-in-the-mouth meat as promised by the roasted pig, we had a good feeling about the rest of our night at FOC Pim Pam.
Doing away with the previous brightly coloured scheme, the Spanish restaurant has headed for a more masculine direction with massive columns, display shelves and industrial countertops in hues of black and grey. But darker doesn’t mean duller. Still fizzling like a gin and tonic, the Spanish spunk is clearly indicated by the restaurant’s different functional zones, all adopting an open layout for a rambunctious time of feasting and carousing, like what you’d expect from a tapas bar.
FOC Pim Pam’s plethora of terrific tapas sees many firsts for us. Some variants even play with our minds with the Cherry Gazpacho ($8), a seeming berry dessert featuring a savoury blend of seasonal cherries and pear tomatoes doused over olive oil ice cream, and the Tomato Tartare ($19) that is surprisingly as good as its meat counterparts. Topped with a tomato sorbet, the latter is best smeared on the toasted housemade cristal bread to cut the tangy, rich flavours of the confit tomatoes, deliberately cooked three times in its own essence to deepen the flavours.
Patatas Bravas ($6)
While the meaty offerings of the elaborate Iberico Cold Cuts Platter ($13/$24) and FOC Pig Tripe Stew ($12), featuring every pig part you can think left in a pressure cooker, are enough to quell one’s bloodlust, the vegetarian tapas still triumphant over the rest. We’re talking about the Patatas Bravas ($6), where potatoes and thinly sliced and stacked like a French mille-feuille, before deep-fried and served, dotted with aioli and salsa brava; followed by the orgasmic mushroom Pim Pam Croquetas (from $5 for 2 pieces) that coats an amalgamation of diverse mushrooms luxuriating in velvet béchamel sauce.
Ibérico Secreto Pork & Mushroom Paella ($33)
If you still can find space in your stomach for more Spanish fare, the mains of Ibérico Secreto Pork & Mushroom Paella ($33) and Barramundi ($24) will have you bursting at the seams. Topped with sliced cuts from the pig’s back shoulder, the former has bomba rice cooked in chicken and pig trotters broth, before amplified by the addition of Marca – the essence of mushrooms, pork belly and sofrito. The oceanic item also easily delighted us with its perfectly-seared barramundi, swimming in a parmesan and Idiazabel cheese sauce. However, it is the accompanying pumpkin gnocchi that stole the show with its sweet, velvet pumpkin cream that explodes in the mouth, once punctured by a pointy veneer.
White Chocolate Coated Churros ($8)
FOC Pim Pam also makes a sweet spot for just desserts.
Aside from the Chocolate Forest ($16) of decadent chocolate textures and traditional Spanish french toast aka Spanish Torrija $10), the restaurant sends forth seriously good churros either dusted with cinnamon sugar with a side of chocolate sauce ($6) or glazed with white chocolate and adorned with dehydrated raspberries ($8). The Lemon Lemoncello ($12), a limoncello sorbet soaked in a lemon and lemon-shaped gelatin mold, is worth trying, especially to tease the taste buds awake when things get a bit jerlak.
Address: 442 Orchard Road, Claymore Connect #01-29, Singapore 238879
Tel: 6100 4242
Operating Hours: 12pm-11pm (Monday to Thursday), 12pm to 1am (Friday and Saturdays); 11:30am to 11pm (Sundays)