Tapas on Orchard Road

Tapas is one of my favourite ways to eat. Sharing different dishes so you get a taste of everything gives the best of both worlds. Now I wouldn’t normally be gagging to try tapas on Orchard Road, but I made an exception on this occasion. Pim Pam by FOC recently opened at the very top of Orchard Road. Given my liking for FOC in Hong Kong Street I decided it would be worth a try. Interestingly the FOC group also opened a new restaurant on Sentosa recently, I haven’t made it to that one yet but I’ve heard good things.

The Restaurant

The Orchard restaurant sits right at the top of Orchard Road. The name, Pim Pam by FOC, is a little odd but I was willing to overlook this. I met M and her sister one day recently for a little catch up over some lovely Catalan style tapas plates. It should be mentioned that the room here is a little odd. It’s gigantic for a start. And whilst they’ve done a good job to make it not seem cavernous, on a weekday at lunch it still feels like you’re in an aircraft hangar. I’m intrigued as to why a restaurant takes on this pressure of filling that space day after day, it must be hard work. Anyway, I still liked it but it makes me worry for the longevity of the restaurant.

The Food

Many of the menu items at Pim Pam are similar to the Hong Kong Street branch. You’ll find croquetas, the famous Galician style octopus and prawns al ajillo. You’ll also find a whole lot more.

The first thing that wowed me at Pim Pam was our waiter who reeled off a list of at least six specials. All without referring to notes and all with the confidence of knowledge in what he was talking about. You’ll always get me with good service and this was first rate.

We shared three ham croquetas and three crab meat croquetas ($2.50++ each). These were crispy bundles of goodness. The ham ones tasted the same as Hong Kong Street but I hadn’t had crab before and these were gorgeous. A crispy outer yielded to a creamy and crabby inside that was fresh and fishy and tasty.

Prawns ($14++) were fresh and cooked perfectly, they also arrived in a bath of butter that was perfect for mopping up with our bread.

The Stars

Next up was the Trinxat with eggs ($12++). A delicious portion of mashed and fried potato, mixed with cabbage, topped with pork belly, kale AND a fried egg. Kind of like a decadent version of bubble and squeak*. This was divine. Each element was a taste knock out, including the kale which I can never get so crispy. The pork fell apart easily but had crispy edges, the egg ran away over the dish and the potato was chunky and tasty.

The next wow was the braised beef cheek ($28++) that was mentioned as a special and we couldn’t resist. This must have been slow cooked for hours to produce a luscious texture that only needed a spoon to yield a mouthful. The gravy wasn’t too overpowering, letting the meat take centre stage.

And I must also mention the stunning octopus ($22++). FOC have a knack of cooking it to be so tender but still full of flavour. This one really reminded me how good octopus can be when it’s done well.

Summary

Aside from the excellent food we were further wowed with the service when we handed over our credit cards and then had the waiter return to apologise profusely about us being over charged. We hadn’t even noticed they’d doubled up on one item but he removed it and corrected the problem without fuss.

Overall Pim Pam by FOC is a great option if you’re in the Orchard area. The location at Hong Kong Street is definitely better, and cooler, but at least you can get good tapas on Orchard Road now 😉
Pim Pam by FOC
422 Orchard Road, Singapore
phone +65 6100 4242

* Bubble and squeak is an Australianism for leftover mashed potatoes mixed with whatever else is leftover and fried up to make it crispy.

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Penilaianmu: MagBe