I’m a sucker for soup in a bread bowl so, when I discovered EspresSoup during my last trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I couldn’t wait to try it. EspresSoup advertises it’s homemade soups, served in square bread bowls and says they’re healthy, full of nutrition and great to eat. While the soup itself was all that was advertised, not much else was. Which is why I doubt I’d eat at EspresSoup again.
Where is EspresSoup in Kuala Lumpur? – EspresSoup now has nine locations in the Klang Valley area of Malaysia, including several in Kuala Lumpur. The EspresSoup location I ate at (twice) was the small restaurant in Berjaya Times Square, close to my hotel. There’s also one at KLCC Convention Center, another at Plaza Low Yat and a third at The Gardens Mall. See the EspresSoup website for all their KL locations.
Food at EspresSoup – The concept of EspresSoup is simple. Basic, healthy food that’s made while you wait and delivered to your table in minutes. True fast food but supposedly a bit tastier. While predominantly known for their soups, they also serve healthy sandwiches and salads, as well as pasta and coffee and fruit juice drinks.
The first time I ate at EspresSoup, I was excited to find them, as soup in a bowl is one of my favorite meals. To add to my delight, EspresSoup also serves clam chowder soup, not readily available all over Asia, so of course I had to try a bowl. A bowl, however, is what I should have tried and avoided the bread bowl completely.
I knew there was something a bit off when my soup arrived at my table and the bread bowl looked gray. Used to eating clam chowder in a bread bowl at Au Bon Pain in Bangkok, I was expecting the usual round, warm brown mini loaf, with the center scooped out and filled with creamy soup. What I got was a square bread loaf with no center, that was a weird color, as dry as bone and hard as a brick. I could probably have broken a store front window in Berjaya Times Square Mall by just throwing that sucker.
But I persevered. The soup itself was quite nice. Just not much of it and a bit too watery. The bread on the other hand wasn’t even worth trying to break to dip into the soup, it tasted just like sawdust (and yes, I’ve eaten sawdust).
On my second trip to EspresSoup (I try to visit at least twice before giving a bad review) I chose to have one of the spaghettis and it was fine. Nothing more than that. I also had a second soup, this time, mushroom but chose to forgo the bread bowl and eat it out of a soup bowl instead. A big improvement from my previous visit although, again, the soup was too watery.
For soups, EspresSoup also serves not only clam chowder, but mushroom, corn, potato, minestrone and others too.
Prices at EspresSoup – Price-wise, it’s an inexpensive cafe but, as it’s fast food, you wouldn’t expect anything else. Their soups are 7.90 ringgit (about $2.40) for bread bowl and soup. For me, as I can get a much tastier version for the same price, in Bangkok, it seemed expensive. Others may disagree.
Salads, sandwiches and pastas run at 8.90 rinngit (almost $3) – again, for fast food, reasonable. But again, average food, average taste – absolutely nothing to write home about.
Overall, I have to say EspresSoup would not be my choice for a return visit and, after perusing comments on Malaysian blogs about it, it sounds like most Malaysians agree with me. The idea of soup in a bread bowl is a good one, but it all boils down to the quality of the soup and, of course, the bread. When the bread is shaped like and as hard as a brick – sorry, but I won’t be back.
EspresSoup, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia