Was attracted to try E’spuma Lab cos of espuma: Spanish word which means foam, froth. The usage of foam is quite prevalent in molecular gastronomy, but Espuma Lab is not a fine dining establishment, it’s a casual dining eatery located in PoMo with set meal priced at less than $10.
Most of my colleagues ordered the Fragrant Rice served with Cajun Chicken Leg and Espuma Curry Sauce while I ordered the Garlic Spaghetti with Chicken Cutlet and Espuma Bacon Sauce. The set meal comes with a coffee/tea and a small bowl of soup.
Overwhelming consensus that the mushroom soup was too salty, although the soup was quite thick and had bits of mushroom. My spaghetti was missing the al-dente factor, tasted a bit rubbery. The chicken cutlet looked a bit over-fried or lacking a change of oil judging from its dark colour. At least the interior portion was still moist. The espuma bacon sauce was like a light gravy, still not too bad… Meanwhile, my colleagues were puzzled by the foam curry… it looked nothing close to foam, but more like blob of curry in semi-aqueous state. I’m not sure if its becos curry is a heavier sauce to be aerated? Cos we were all expecting some super airy, feather light texture instead. While the chicken leg was pretty ok, the espuma curry disappointed us.
While I appreciated the attempt to bring concepts of the (perceived-to-be) expensive molecular gastronomy dishes to masses, I feel that they should start with just adding espuma as a topping rather than using it as the main base of the food such as curry. The use of espuma, when used appropriately, can make a huge difference to a dish. An example of an excellent use was Esquina’s Sangria whereby they topped their sangria with sangria foam, adding texture to the otherwise ordinary drink.
I do hope they continue to experiment and introduce more interesting dishes incorporating hints of espuma elements.