Restaurants all over the world are fast-adopting eco-friendly practices, from fast food chains ceasing single-use plastic straws to sustainable food packaging substitutes for takeouts. Here in Singapore, restaurants are leading the charge in Asia with more and more eateries making sustainability part of their brand DNA and not just as a unique-selling point. Here, we’ve listed our favorite eco-friendly restaurants that are as good for bellies as they are for the planet.
Tucked away on the seventh floor of Funan Mall, past a verdant garden bursting with produce, lies Noka, Singapore’s first-ever farm-to-table Japanese restaurant. The garden sends the bulk of its fruits, flowers, herbs and vegetables to Noka, which find their way to the menu as part of an omakase that includes a revolving lineup of sushi, sashimi and charcoal-grilled meats. There’s also a three-course lunch set with options like organic mushroom salad and sashimi over a bed of premium Koshihikari rice; as well as a range of a la carte dishes. Signature mains include the Black Cod Saikyo-Yaki, where the perfectly seared fish is coated with sweet miso and garnished with sweet potato crisps, sea grapes, salmon roe and tarragon. Another standout is the Snow-aged Niigata Wagyu—densely-marbled A4 sirloin served with farm-fresh greens and yuzu ponzo. The interior also deserves a special mention—a serene, sunbathed space filled with blonde wood furniture and charming touches like a ceiling covered with white paper umbrellas.
Noka is located at #07-38 Funan 109 North Bridge Road, Singapore 179097, tel: 6877 4878. Opens daily from 11:30am to 2:30pm for lunch and 6pm to 10pm for dinner.
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Kausmo is a fine dining restaurant at Shaw Centre that champions unloved ingredients—from less popular cuts of meat to perfectly edible vegetables that are too misshapen to be sold in supermarkets. The dinner-only establishment offers a six-course menu of Asian-inflected Modern European dishes for $75++. Highlights include the zesty Wild Fish Congee, Java Ginseng & Coriander tossed with Preserved Plum Dressing; and the Chipotle-Berry Glazed Wagyu Chuck Tender, where a D-rump (the tough part of beef ) is marinated for two days till it’s impossibly tender and packed with flavour. As diners tuck into their meals, co-founder Kuah Chew Shian regales them with the thought process behind each dish while Kausmo’s chef, Lisa Tang, works the open kitchen in full view. That the entire operation is run by just the two of them (no servers, no kitchen staff) makes it all the more impressive.
Kausmo is located at 1 Scotts Rd, #03 – 07, Singapore 228208, tel: 8126 8538. Opens Tuesday to Sunday from 6.30pm to 10.30pm, closed on Monday and alternate Sunday.
The Garden Club
The plant-forward movement isn’t about getting meat off the menu, but putting plants in the spotlight while less sustainable ingredients take on supporting roles. The Garden Club at OUE Downtown is the latest local player in this space, offering an array of tasty plant-centric dishes—like Roasted Cauliflower with garlic miso sauce and Grilled Eggplant Pesto—in a balmy rooftop setting overlooking the CBD. The rattan chairs, pastel tabletops and lush greenery lend a relaxed, breezy vibe to the space, which transforms into a lively bar come nightfall complete with live music and a cocktail menu of classics and signature concoctions. Our pick is The Kensington Cooler, a refreshing blend of Hendrick’s gin, Earl Grey, honey, dry lavender buds and lemon juice served in a teacup.
The Garden Club is located at #05-01, OUE Downtown Gallery, 6A Shenton Way, Singapore 068815, tel: 6971 8265. Opens Monday to Thursday from 12am to 11pm, closed on Saturday and Sunday.
The Summerhouse Dining Room
Quietly tucked away in Seletar Aerospace Park is The Summerhouse—a lush farm-to-table restaurant. The uniquely situated eatery overlooking greenery offers a respite from the urban hustle and bustle with its Instagram-worthy secret garden, and delectable dishes made with fine, fresh ingredients sourced from their very own garden and farms in the region. For a tantalising representation of their farm-to-table cuisine, try their Fresh Mud Crab and Shallot Omelette laced with rich gruyere cheese, aromatic herbs and creamy-briny crab sauce. You may also choose to complement your meal with a bottle (or two) of wine from their cellar, with over 100 varieties to choose from. And if you’re feeling fancy, book their exquisite Garden Dome where you can wine and dine under the stars.
The Summer House is located at Level 2, 3 Park Lane, Seletar Aerospace Park, Singapore 798387, tel: 8809 5840. Opens Saturday, Sunday and public holidays from 12noon to 3pm for brunch, Wednesday to Sunday from 6pm to 10pm for dinner.
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You’d be hard pressed to find a more traditional yet contemporary Chinese restaurant that champions sustainable dining more than Yellow Pot at Six Senses Duxton. The eatery works with local food suppliers to attain a closed-loop and zero waste management system via composting and more. Golden fans and oriental screens fashioned out of black lacquered wood and glass set the scene for two semi-private dining areas. There, you’ll find comforting hot and sour soup and mouth-watering roast duck—prepared with housemade specialty sauces. For something light yet hearty, try their Stir Fried Mee Sua served with seafood. We recommend heading over in the afternoons when you can taste a variety of their food offerings with their set lunch menu (serves 4).
Yellow Pot is located at 83 Duxton Road, Singapore 089540, tel: 6914 1428. Opens Monday to Sunday from 11.30 am to 2.30 for lunch and 5.30 to 10.30pm for dinner.