New Korean restaurant BA:M Adelaide opened its doors just two weeks ago but have already made themselves known to the residents and workers of popular Currie Street.
The restaurant’s unique name is actually an acronym for ‘bibim and mingle’ – with ‘bibim’ being the Korean word for ‘mix’. Interestingly, the word ‘bam’ is actually also the Korean word for ‘night’, and the restaurant also has signage with the Chinese/Japanese character for night outside their entrance.
Owners, Rose Heo and Sehwan Park, therefore hope the name of their restaurant also conveys the concept they wish to emulate – ‘a place where everyone can mix and mingle over delicious food and a few drinks’.
The couple, who owned Bacchus Karaoke Bar on Grote Street, were inspired to open their own restaurant after the success of their food at the karaoke bar.
“A lot of Chinese customers who visited our karaoke really loved our chicken and we had menus to provide for the karaoke customers but it was actually shifting more restaurant-wise because people started liking our food so much,” says Rose.
The contemporary interior of the restaurant itself, featuring rich, earthy tones and natural wood, is both warm and inviting and the food even more so!
To harness their creative concept, most of the food on BA:M’s menu features traditionally Korean dishes, with an intercultural twist. Dishes include ‘Pizza In Seoul’, ‘Tako Karaage’, and ‘Viking Beef Rib’, with Executive Head Chef Sehwan Park taking cultural inspiration from previous restaurants he has worked.
“Even though both of us are from Korea, we didn’t want to limit ourselves to ‘Korean-Korean’ because Adelaide’s Korean society is very small. The first time trying, for Western people, authentic Korean dishes could be a bit hard for them to try so we just wanted to include different cultures to make it easier for them to approach,” Rose says.
We were invited to try some of the delicious dishes up on offer including the fresh and tangy ‘Oriental Salad’, crunchy on the outside yet fluffy on the inside
‘Savoury Pancake Trio’, generously served ‘Stir-Udon’, and beautifully-presented ‘Arancini with Fried Kimchi’.
The restaurant’s signature dish is ‘BA:M Pork Hock’, featuring slow cooked then flamed crispy pork, served with cos lettuce, fresh veggies, shrimp sauce and Korean paste. The dish, design to feed 2-3 people, is actually a family recipe from Sehwan’s mother, along with the Pork Bone Soup, so it holds a special place in the couple’s hearts.
BA:M is open for dinner and will be open for lunch from Monday 8th January, with the lunch menu featuring a modernised version of bibimbamp – the perfect grab-and-go option!
There is also an emphasis on the late night bar scene, with BA:M stocking an extensive range of Asian liquors and trendy cocktails, as well as fully catered functions available to hire. Additionally, with Sehwan’s wealth of experience in the culinary world, he and Rose are hoping to expand to a dessert menu in the coming weeks.
BA:M Adelaide is located on Currie Street in the heart of the CBD and is open for lunch 11am-4pm weekdays and dinner 5:30pm-11pm every day, with the bar staying open late Friday and Saturday nights.