The Place Opened by the same team behind FOC Restaurant at Hong Kong Street, FOC Pim Pam at Orchard Road is a more fun and casual dining concept in comparison. In fact, FOC means ‘fire’ in Catalan while PIM Pam means ‘quick and easy’ in Spanish, so you get the drift here.
The space at FOC Pim Pam is huge for a typical restaurant in Singapore. It went through a revamp of its space and concept recently, with more distinct zones like the Tapas Bar, Main Dining Room, Private Dining Room, Bar and outdoor Terrace. Casual tapas menu is available at the Tapas Bar and Terrace, while the full menu at the Main Dining Room.
The Food We started with some tapas bites from the Tapas Bar, such as the Pim Pam Croquetas (S$5 – 6 for 2 pieces on Tapas Menu; S$10 – 12 for 4 pieces on Main Menu), Patatas Bravas (S$6 Tapas Menu; S$10 on Main Menu) and Ibérico Cold Cuts Platter (S$13 (half) / S$24 (full) on Tapas Menu; S$24 on Main Menu).
The Patatas Bravas is seriously addictive. You get deep-fried potato millefeuille (brava) along with aioli, salsa brava and chopped chives.
The cold cuts are amazing too. Sourced from Julián Martín that owns their own breeding farms both in the Guijuelo area and in the southwest of the Iberian peninsula, their 100% Iberian pigs are fed with acorn, hence you get the marbled fat in the meats.
Another interesting tapas I tried is the FOC Pig Tripe Stew (S$12 Tapas Menu), which is essentially many types of pig innards such as pig ears, trotters, cheek, head skin, braised pork along with chickpeas, chorizo, housemade sun-dried tomato and sweet paprika foccacia. It sounds like a heavy dish, but it is not as scary as it sounds because the broth is quite flavourful and goes well with the focaccia.
For a good palate cleanser, the Cherry Gazpacho (S$8 Tapas Menu; S$14 on Main Menu) draws mixed reactions from the table. I find the flavours interesting due to the housemade olive oil ice cream which makes it a cross between a dessert and starter.
For drinks, the options are extensive with a noteworthy mention that FOC Pim Pam has the widest collection of Sherries in Southeast Asia, sourced from sherry bodegas including Gonzalez Byass and Lustau, as well as boutique Spanish sherry producers. These are divided by different regions in Spain and available by bottle from S$60 and glass from S$12 for a 12.5cl pour. Sherry flights of 4 or 8 Spanish sherries (S$30 & S$50 respectively) are also available, poured in tasting portions of 3.85cl per glass.
On to the main dining room, we ordered some starters to share like the Leek Salad & White Asparagus Salad (S$16 main menu), FOC Tomato Tartare (S$19 Main Menu), Fresh Burrata (S$22 Main Menu) and Prawns ‘Al Ajillo’ (S$13 Tapas Menu; S$22 Main Menu).
My favourite of the lot is the Prawns ‘Al Ajillo’, a delicious rendition of pan fried Argentinean prawns. The prawns are pan fried with sliced garlic, chilli, olive oil, salt and sweet paprika, and topped on a ratte potato espuma.
For main dishes, the Ibérico Secreto Pork & Mushroom Paella (S$33 Main Menu) is one of my favourite dishes here at FOC Pim Pam. The paella has the right moist texture mixed with seasonal mushrooms (ceps, oyster & button mushrooms), and I have to profess I’m a huge mushroom lover. The best part of the dish? The impossibly succulent Ibérico Secreto Pork (a lean cut from the back shoulder) which for a few moments, I thought I was having wagyu beef.
The other mist order dish is the Suckling Pig (Half, 2.5kg, S$130 Main Menu) which is good for sharing for up to 4 pax. The 3 to 6 weeks old suckling pig is from Segovia, first sous vide then roasted. The skin is crispy and crackling as it looks, while the meat retains a juicy and tender flavour.
Desserts wise, my top pick is the White Chocolate Coated Churros (S$8 for 2 pieces, on the Tapas & Main Menu), an interesting deviation from the usual Classic Churros (S$6 for 2 pieces, on the Tapas & Main Menus). It is sweet, but I have a soft spot for good white chocolate.
Other beautifully plated options are the Lemon Lemoncello (S$12 Main Menu) and Chocolate Forest (S$16 Main Menu). The former is a zesty and somewhat refreshing dessert due to its limoncello sorbet, fresh mint and lime zest. The Chocolate Forest has chocolate elements from the cream to the soil and leaf, where the intensity is well-balanced by yoghurt custard, white chocolate passionfruit jelly, pistachio sponge, fresh raspberries and candied hazelnuts. It is also served with a pipette of Arbequina extra virgin olive oil which you can squeeze before having it.
For a simpler dessert option, go for the Spanish ‘Torrija’ (S$10 Main Menu) though I find it quite heavy after a series of savoury dishes. This is a traditional Spanish french toast with housemade vanilla ice cream.
There is also a retail section of the restaurant where you can get your hands on Spanish canned products such as Espinaler Premium White Tuna Belly (S$22.50/112g) and Espinaler Premium Cockles (S$28/115g).
Rants It is an interesting experience walking through many local Spanish products including Sherries and the premium canned products. As we are not the most familiar, we will most often choose to skip these and miss the opportunity to give them a try. Though, you do have to be willing to spend to afford getting a go at these premium products.
Will I Return Again? In most aspects, the food at FOC Pim Pam hit the right notes. The dishes are hearty and to much extent communal, which means it is a good idea to pop by with a bigger group. The slightly offbeat location at a quieter part of Orchard Road helps too, if you are not into crowds like me.
Make your reservation instantly at FOC Pim Pam here.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
Monday to Thursday: 12pm to 3pm; 5pm to 11pm
Friday & Saturday: 12pm to 3pm; 5pm to 1am
Sunday: 12pm to 3pm; 5pm to 11pm
*La Boqueria Market Brunch on selected Sundays: 11.30am to 3pm
Ranted by The Ranter