Just a couple of months ago I was writing that there aren’t enough Korean restaurants in Adelaide, so I was delighted to be invited to Adelaide’s newest restaurant BA:M and sample their delightful Korean menu. Stepping inside from bustling Currie Street BA:M transports you to a serene eatery that is suitable for either a date for two or a large group. The Korean theme is reinforced with unmistakable K-Pop tunes playing on the sound system and staff that look like they have come straight from a music video. The menu plays with fusion and modernised Korean classics and the chef’s flair for harmony and balance is evident.
Pursuing the fusion approach we start the night off with some Arancini with Fried Kimchi. A surprising stater that has been well executed. Possessing a crispy crumbed outer layer and soft rice that is mildly infused with the familiar Kimchi flavour. The rest is quintessential Italian, a bocconcini core, shavings of Reggiano on top, rich tomato sauce and garnish of a deep fried basil leaf.
We then moved on to the ever trendy King Fish Sashimi. Here we have bite sized portions of fish, arranged around thin slices of bitter melon. A zingy yuzu dressing is bright and refreshing and plays well with the delicate fish. A light but exciting dish that is a perfect example of culinary balance and harmony.
On first look at the menu the dish I simply had to have was the Pork Rib in Cheese Blanket and it delivered just what I had hoped. Think of those Facebook videos where oozing, melted cheese is seductively poured and stretched over a myriad of foods. In this case we are presented with luscious twice cooked pork ribs in a delicious, rich chilli spiked broth. The meat slid gently from the bone but the highlight was the blanket of bubbling, stretchy cheese adorning the top. An unusual combination but I highly recommend it.
Next we are enticed by a plate piled high with fried chicken, whimsically named Coq Au BA:M. Various pieces of chicken including drum, wing and boneless breast pieces are coated in a sweet potato starch batter that creates a light and crispy texture. There are a range of toppings, we enjoyed the Spring Onion Salad which provided a fresh element in its nest of green ribbons and the Sweet & Spicy sauce that was reminiscent of a tangy sweet chilli.
I find it hard to go past a plate of noodles and BA:M serve up a delicious plate of stir-fried Udon Noodles with prawns, squid and mussels in a ginger soya sauce. The seafood gives a strong fishy smell but this doesn’t translate as dominant on the palate. The noodles retain bite and a variety of vegetables add depth and interest, not to mention a healthy element.
Another favourite of the night was the Mille-Feuille Nabe. We are familiar with the Mille Feuille dessert, layers of puff pastry and cream in this case the thousand layers refers to the rose-like shape of layered cabbage and thinly sliced beef. This masterful creation is then doused in a hot mushroom broth and simmered at the table. The result is a comforting, homestyle stew of tender beef and al dente cabbage.
To wash it down we are presented with a couple of Soju cocktails. Super chilled soju (a neutral-tasting, colourless alcoholic beverage) is presented in a glass with a flavoured popsicle. We tried the Kiss Me Darling, a sweet strawberry and apple flavour and the refreshing Melon Heaven, its honeydew flavours crisp and summery.
Having only opened its doors this week BA:M is already confident in its service and offerings. The menu will surprise and tantalise with BA:M’s unique take on authentic Korean fare. Adelaide Food Central would like to thank Rose and her team for a fabulous meal and we look forward to returning soon.
Words by Kate Wilkinson
WHERE: 20 Currie St, Adelaide