Despite the obvious differences in flavour, taste, presentation of dishes and overall ambience, BAM! Tapas and Sake Bar & Senju Omakase and Sake are located under the same roof, but are divided by an ice cooler made of stainless steel and glass.
This huge structure, which delineates which restaurant is which, houses a huge variety of sakes from Japan right in the centre of the restaurant. Both eateries feature an open-kitchen concept displaying the freshest of ingredients for customers to feast their eyes upon, further enhancing the tapas and sake bar concepts.
For the day’s guests, the Japanese journey began with the Grilled Hokkaido Scallop, which was presented in a Martini glass. The juicy scallop was placed on top of an avocado purée, served with bottarga—a unique Mediterranean marine delicacy—and green beans, topped with rocket leaves and spices. The succulent scallop was paired perfectly with the thickness of the avocado.
For the Spanish entrée, the Spanish Prawn “Carabinero” served with rosemary and lime enthralled the guests. Filled with spices and a burst of flavours, the tanginess of the prawn blended well with the aftertaste of the scallop. “We try as much as we can to source only the freshest of ingredients for all our dishes, both Japanese and Spanish,” said Executive Chef Arturo Hernández of BAM!, who works alongside Executive Chef Syarafuddin of Senju. “Even though it’s sometimes a challenge and does require us to outsource from overseas from time to time, as much as we can, we make do with local ingredients.”
Next in line was a traditional Sushi Platter comprising rolled tuna, salmon, eel, scallop and sea bass creatively topped with fish roe and white sesame seeds. The sushi was served on a bright green serving dish garnished with onions and green veg. The multi-coloured presentation of this dish instantly caught the eyes of the afternoon’s diners. “Currently, the seven types of fish we serve are sourced from the waters of Japan, Canada and Australia,” said Chef Syarafuddin. “We have a few dishes in the restaurant that are only served on Tuesdays and Fridays because of the delivery period of a particular type of fish.”
Moving on to main course number two, the Cold Cappelini was presented in a bowl that seemed almost too small to notice. Served with sakura ebi, hazelnut oil and with sea urchin to garnish, the Cappelini tasted as fresh as it looked.
Of course, no Spanish meal is complete without paella. So to finish off the mains with panache, our guests were treated to the Black Paella served with king prawns, cuttle fish and squid ink. Chef Arturo Hernández, who hails from Catalonia, explained that the fusion concept at BAM! & Senju need not deprive customers of such Spanish specialties. Served on a hot plate, the paella is topped off with a generous amount of king prawns, cuttlefish, limes and bird’s-eye chilies, giving it a traditional hue.
The waiter then has the honour of mixing the dish so that customers can witness the dramatic change in colour brought on by the squid ink. Fortunately, that was not the end of the journey. Just recently added to the menu is the Baileys Hazelnut with Crème Catalan Espuma. This sinful dessert is made up of traditional Spanish sponge cake, sliced into upside-down triangles, and served with Baileys chocolate crème and hazelnut chunks. Each bite was a melting moment and it was a fitting end to a wonderful meal.