Monday, April 26, 2010

Lobster Foam is the part of the lobster that is...foamy?

I've known and read about molecular gastronomy and all its weird science creations for a few years now. I've read about savoury cocktails, strange culinary experiments of the marshmallow variety, and oodles of other edible fusions of science and food that would make Einstein go "oooh" and Bill Nye go "aaahhh".

Recently I was looking through the chef picks in The Straight's recent Golden Plates awards and The Pear Tree Restaurant  in Burnaby came up. It sounded intriguing and a faint ping of name recognition went off in the food section of my brain (an entire 50%, I would say), so I investigated. Meaning, I googled it.

After being impressed by the website (I won't book a B&B, hotel, or any other accommodation unless it has a website) and the photographs of the room, I went to the menu and found what you see above: 
"Lobster Cappuccino" Lobster Foam.

Pardon, I ask? Now the fact that the lobster cappuccino is in quotation marks would lead me to guess that it isn't really a cappuccino of the espresso and milk foam variety, which is good and I really hope to be true because the idea of seafood, espresso, and milk intermingled makes me want to projectile vomit all over myself. And my desk. And get the picture with major yuck factor.

I just don't understand this "foam" trend in fine dining. Just like I don't understand the love of cappuccino foam. But, seriously, crustacean foam? Sometimes, okay, often, fine dining restaurants just seem like a collection of big men with small dicks constantly trying to make up for the latter with stupid come-on's like, lobster foam. Here are some other local examples in this particular pissing contest:

Blue Water Cafe: Cannellini Bean Veloute with rosemary croutons, truffle oil, and parmesan foam

Raincity Grill: Seared Baynes Sound Scallop with melted leek risotto, sunchoke, and music garlic foam

db bistro moderne: Pork Cheek Tortellini with celeriac, wild mushrooms, carrots, crisp pork belly, quail eggs, and sage foam

Other recent culprits: C Restaurant's bacon foam and Social Restaurant &  Lounge's...wait for it...clam foam! In unison, ewwwwww!

As you may have noticed, I haven't included any sweet foams because in my mind, that could work. And there are and have been lot of sweet foams in town: Voya's seasonal fruit with coconut foam and pistachio powder and Bridges Restaurant's Chocolate and Licorice Mousse with vanilla bean foam are examples.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for culinary innovation and I'm open to trying new things, but sometimes if it ain't broke, don't try to freakin' fix it, okay. Clam foam is as disgusting and unnecessary as the pollution foam we see floating on our precious oceans and waterways every day. There are actually many dangerous and damaging chemicals and the like used in molecular gastronomy.

So, let's leave foam to the foam parties, mattresses, and cappuccinos where they belong.

And by the way, Urbanspoon rocks!

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