Following its expansion in November 2016 (P/S: the restaurant has been operating for a good four and a half years now and is known for its high-quality culinary creations) from an intimate sake-tapas bar to a fully fitted sit-down restaurant that spans three shophouse units on our city’s hipster enclave Tras Street, Bam! will now excite patrons with its array of omakase options to fit different diners’ budget. We speak to the man behind it all, chef Pepe, and he shares his inspirations, favourite places to head to for a darn good omakase experience and more.
On why he decided on a full-fledged omakase-only concept restaurant
Chef Pepe (CP): “Quality is crucial to us. We used to have 25 items on our a la carte menu (including special and lunch sets) but now, we only focus on our omakase offering, allowing us to put our best efforts behind a single free-form menu that showcases the season’s peak ingredients at their freshest. To me, it’s all about quality and with an omakase concept, we can channel all our energy into the specific dish or menu we are creating.”
The use of sake in his dishes
CP: “Sake is a very present and prominent ingredient I use in my cooking and although it is very common (in my cooking), I wouldn’t consider it as a main ingredient. But I love incorporating it into my dishes as it is very tasteful and really gives each dish personality.”
His inspiration for each dish
CP: “My inspiration comes from the ingredients I find here in Singapore as I rely a lot on them to create my food. So if this restaurant wasn’t in Singapore but say, Canada, the types of dishes I make will definitely be different because I would find new, interesting ingredients, allowing me to create something that is very different from what I am doing here.”
On why he decided to include a dessert omakase menu
CP: “I have been here (in Singapore) for eight years and one of the first chefs I met here was Janice Wong, who has a restaurant doing only omakase desserts. She inspires me a lot, which is why I decided to incorporate a dessert omakase menu into our lineup. I also feel that we have a very strong selection of desserts and I think that we should showcase it.”
The best omakase places in the world
CP: “Oh wow, there’s just too many! But if I had to choose, I would base it on my best experience at a restaurant and the best experiences I had was in Switzerland and Spain. It was an eye-opener and a very life-changing one.”
Oh why he enjoys omakase culture
CP: “The omakase culture is very personal, it’s between you and your diner. When you cook something for one person, you can put your whole heart and energy into it and you’re allowed to do what you feel. I thoroughly enjoy it and it shows in my cooking.”
The omakase menus are priced at $98++ for four courses (additional $58++ for sake pairing), $148++ for six courses (additional $78++ for sake pairing) and $188++ for eight courses (additional $98++ for sake pairing). Vegetarian omakase menus are priced at $78++ and $98++ for four and six courses respectively. Dessert omakase is priced at $48 for three courses.
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