Revisit revamped FOC Pim Pam for memorable Spanish menu

FOC Pig Tripe Stew
FOC Pig Tripe StewTNP PHOTO: YEOH WEE TECK

Tapas restaurant FOC Pim Pam just refreshed its menu and decor, which means it is a good time for a revisit

(THE NEW PAPER) - It is now divided into the tapas bar, main dining room, private dining room and bar and terrace, and each has a version of the full menu.

Plenty of the classic dishes work: You will want to order the Prawns Al Ajillo (from $13), the Suckling Pig (from $130 for half), the paella (I had the Iberico Secreto Pork & Mushroom Paella at $33) and the Patatas Bravas ($6).

Even the range of canned food here, which you can order and eat on the spot, is good.

I need to buy a few tins of the Espinaler Premium Cockles ($28) for my next party.

There is little chance you will still be hungry after a night here. Nor will you remain sober.

Pim Pam has the biggest range of sherry in South-east Asia, with nearly 100 labels available.


Bread With Tomatoes TNP PHOTO: YEOH WEE TECK

While there are many memorable dishes, my mind is still on the FOC Pig Tripe Stew ($12).

This is a typical dish for Spanish farmers - they must eat so well - made out of pig's head, ears, trotters, cheeks, tripe and belly, then cooked with tomato sauce and chickpeas and served with housemade sun-dried tomatoes and sweet paprika focaccia.

Soulful is the best way to describe this because after taking a spoonful of it, I had to take a deep breath.


Cherry Gazpacho TNP PHOTO: YEOH WEE TECK

Yes, I am a drama queen, but the dish did give me pause.

Even something as simple as Bread With Tomatoes (from $6) was enchanting.

The cristal bread is delicate, but it is the chopped tomatoes (roma or pear tomatoes are used) that work - especially when you get a hit of salt between bites.


White Chocolate-Coated Churros TNP PHOTO: YEOH WEE TECK

COLD SOUP

As someone who grew up with hot soup , it took me a while to appreciate gazpacho, typically a cold soup made of raw blended vegetables.

If you feel the way I do, the Cherry Gazpacho (from $8) is a good start. It is sweet and refreshing, with a hint of smokiness from the smoked olive oil ice cream. The layers of flavours make it compelling.

The FOC Tomato Tartare ($19) is one of the prettiest dishes I have ever seen.


FOC Tomato Tartare from FOC Pim Pam TNP PHOTO: YEOH WEE TECK

Roma tomatoes are prepared via the confit method in the oven in its own juices, then mixed with chopped Moroccan caperberries, mustard mayonnaise, pickles and shallots.

The result is a bright dish that feels light and healthy.

I thought the White Chocolate-Coated Churros ($8) appeared anaemic when it was first presented, but this dessert - sweet, rich and crispy in equal parts - is a robust winner.

FOC Pim Pam

442 Orchard Road, 01-29

Open:  noon to 3pm daily for lunch; 5 to 11pm for dinner (Sundays to Thursdays), 5pm to 1am (Fridays and Saturdays)

Tel: 6100-4242