These caring, sustainable restaurants show us what it’s really like to know your food in Singapore.
With ‘local sustainability’ being a common concern, these farm to table restaurants hope to bring about a dining concept that is not only tasty, but also educational, making it a fun experience for all of its diners. Some restaurants source their produce from a 400km radius, while others even bring the edible garden into the restaurant!
Open Door Policy has launched its 100% gluten- and dairy-free dining concept since last year, along with its newest installation of their indoor vertical farm, where they grow their own herbs. Their hearty dishes are made possible by their farming initiative, in collaboration with Edible Garden City. They also offer a 5 course-tasting menu ($68 per pax) as well as a “Feed Us” menu ($51 per pax, $62 with dessert). Dishes include their nutty, tart Fresh Pasta ($28) with artichoke hearts, mountain asparagus and smoked mackerel, as well as warm chorizo and octopus salad ($25) with baby spinach and thinly grilled rosemary bread. Diners can also tuck into their variety of desserts ($16 each) and enjoy a cocktail or two. 19 Yong Siak Street. Tel: 6221 9307
As part of Bollywood Veggies, a local farm located in the greater Kranji countryside, Poison Ivy Bistro opened its doors in 2004, serving up healthy and quality dishes with minimal additives. They advocate supporting local agriculture and a lifestyle of sustainability. Highlights on their menu include the colourful Warrior’s Platter ($20)—a sharing plate comprising chicken, various curries and fresh vegetables. The bistro is also able to cater to vegetarians as well as those with dietary restrictions. Don’t miss out on exploring the farm when you are there too. 100 Neo Tiew Road. Tel: 6898 5001
From the same people who brought you The Summerhouse, Wildseed Café is located at the ground floor of the fine dining colonial establishment. The café is cozy and reminiscent of those hipster cafes that one would see overseas. The space is also shared alongside Poppy, a local floral specialist shop, and the lush greenery gives a refreshing touch to the wooden furnishing and industrial concrete floors. Food-wise, they sure know how to serve up a mean sandwich—choices include pulled pork, braised beef brisket or falafel ($15-18). Coming up on their menu soon, is their Hangover pancakes, a fluffy Dutch pancake drenched in maple syrup and topped with grilled corn niblets and knobs of house-churned butter. Desserts are not to be missed at Wildseed too, such as their honey rosemary lemon tart, ginger flower banana loaf, and the blue-tinted pea flower coconut muffin ($6.50 each). 3 Park Lane, Tel: 8608 3340
Situated amongst the lush greenery of the Singapore Botanic Gardens is The Halia. They’ve been working closely with the Kranji Farm Association to procure the best local ingredients and their seasonal menus are focused on raising consciousness for sustainable farming and eating practices—informing diners of where and how their food was grown, harvested, and brought to their table. Savour dishes like their Heirloom Tomato Salad ($18) featuring spiced capsicum gazpacho, feta cheese and croutons and their aesthetically pleasing Paperbag Oven-baked Halibut Fillet ($40) served with Japanese rice. Ginger Garden, Singapore Botanic Gardens, 1 Cluny Road. (Enter via Tyersall Avenue) Tel: 8444 1148
A dining experience at Open Farm Community will take you on a culinary homage to Singapore’s very own backyard produce, with them marrying local flavours and ingredients into their dishes. Don’t miss out on steak tartare marinated with ginger chili, spring onion & coriander puree, garlic crouton, organic egg yolk ($26) served with a side of toast, a contemporary local twist on the classic. We really loved the succulent roasted pink red snapper ($32) with calamansi & sesame cucumber salad, served on a bed of barley risotto. The meat was juicy and had great bite, and left a clean taste on the palate when eaten with the cucumber salad. Check out their range of house-made cocktails while you’re there too, which are made or garnished with greens from the garden. 103E Minden Road. Tel: 6371 0306
Situated in a quiet and lush courtyard along Singapore’s art district, Artichoke is a great place to come together to have a hearty meal with friends or just a casual weekend brunch since 2010. Owner-chef Bjorn Shen has made it a point to source locally as well as to use herbs and vegetables from the restaurant’s own garden. There’s rooftop basil in the housemade feta ‘burrata’ ($24), served with ‘dirty tomato’ salad, and Kim Yan Farm mushrooms in the Iranian duck noodles ($24). Take a little stroll around the courtyard’s herb garden, it’s also a great place for your #ootd photo ops. 161 Middle Road. Tel: 6336 6949