Tucked away behind an unassuming storefront near Downtown Crossing lies Spyce, a robot-centric cookery. We recently ventured to this eccentric eatery as part of a team bonding and research experience. Upon entering the building, we were struck by the novelty of automated food preparation. We were forced into a flutter of futuristic food fascination as we approached the self-order kiosk. Our experience quickly took a left turn.
While ordering via touch screen was convenient, it also limited customization of our lunches. We appreciated the ability to both add as well as substitute ingredients yet the lack of human involvement throughout the meal preparation process made it difficult to gauge how our final dishes would result.
These doubts were forgotten as we stood enraptured by the whirling of robotic pots and pans. Small containers of ingredients whizzed along a track, depositing evenly chopped cubes of protein, vegetables and various assorted flavors. Once cooking was complete, our meals were deposited ceremoniously by a robot arm into brown, compostable bowls. At this point in the process, human labor was required to add finishing garnishes like dollops of guacamole or strands of kimchi.
With the robot choreography complete, it was finally time to taste our lunch. While the results were flavorful, it was difficult to discern how the involvement of machines had improved their overall quality. While there was consistency to the dicing of ingredients, they were spun together so thoroughly that there was a singular texture to the dish.
Ultimately, while having much revealed about the potentials of machine lunching, we were left with questions. What did this method afford that human chefs could not? In the future will all of our foods be finely cubed and cooked in spinning pans? Perhaps we have more time before this way of dining becomes our reality. We still recommend you check out Spyce to experience the robotic process.
Things finely chopped
Lower operating cost = lower meal cost
Less potential for human error
Some ingredients seemed undercooked
Only serve “bowls”
Human “attendants” still required
$7.50 and up
241 Washington St. Boston, MA 02201