Review: E’spuma Lab
Molecular gastronomy, food science – these are fancy culinary terms probably not new to the discerning foodie. But what about eating food with foam? Now we have your attention.
It’s not weird science altogether. UrbanWire had the privilege (read: guts) to sample on experimental dishes cooked sous-vide at E’spuma Lab, a café set up by executive chef Teo Yeow Siang and located in the middle of an unassuming mall that doesn’t strike you as a science laboratory in any case.
Espuma is the Spanish word for foam, commonly featured in E’spuma’s unique menu that boasts dishes such as its signature curry chicken with e’spuma potato foam ($6.80) where potatoes are blended and pumped through a siphon over a layer of curried chicken. Despite the strange thought of swallowing foam, the dish manages to convince – the potato foam is light on the tongue with hints of truffle oil, complementing the strong curry.
This particular foam technique is used to create sauces for their pasta as well. We had a taste of the spaghetti with Swedish meat balls and e’spuma caramelized onion sauce ($6.80), which has a generous serving of dense onion foam next to plain spaghetti. This allows diners to control the richness of their pasta, which we gladly toss everything into the mildly sweet sauce.
E’spuma Lab also utilizes sous-vide, a culinary method where food is cooked inside a vacuum at a constant temperature resulting in even cooking throughout a slice of meat. The chicken cooked with this technique tastes extremely juicy and while the outside is pan fried to crisp skin perfection.
The prospect of vacuum cooked eggs is enough to intrigue and indeed the sous-vide eggs with smoked Norwegian salmon ($3.80) does not disappoint with bits of smoked salmon sprinkled over soft egg whites with ginger shoyu. The egg is an actual half boiled wonderland.
The dessert is limited to only e’spuma batter D24 durian fritters that are loaded with chunks of durian flesh. Those who are not fond of the pungent fruit might not appreciate the dish though. Of course, expanding the range of desserts to a possibility of chocolate foam mousse or cake might draw in more customers.
At first impression, it might appear gimmicky or daunting for the average eater but the very affordable prices at less than $10 for a slice of molecular gastronomy experience is simply irresistible.
Price: $ (Less than $10)
Address: Pomo Mall, #01-20/21, 1 Selegie Road, Singapore 188306
Opening Hours: 11:00 – 21:00, Closed on Sundays