F&B ventures will always have a bigger carbon footprint, but these chefs are taking care of the planet by serving up delectable eco-conscious dishes on the menu

This story was originally published on July 7, 2022 and updated on September 13, 2022.

Global climate change is real, and recently, we have been experiencing its drastic effects as evidenced by increasing temperatures, flash floods and rising sea levels. If we don’t do something about it now, there will come a time when the repercussions will be irreversible.

In taking care of Mother Earth, Mallow chef-owner Christina Rasmussen believes in “strength in numbers”. She explains: “I am just one person, as are you and everyone else, and we can do a lot individually. But I think what’s even better is being able to have a platform that reaches more.”

It is for this reason that financial institutions like HSBC are moving the sustainability conversation forward by partnering with Hong Kong-based sustainability consultancy group, Food Made Good, to bring the One Planet Plate campaign to the island. The international campaign promotes a greener lifestyle through our food choices. Since it was launched in Singapore and the UK this year (with Hong Kong due to launch soon), 8,798 restaurants from 37 countries have shown their support with sustainable menus and recipe contributions to One Planet Plate.

In Singapore, HSBC aims to connect diners with delicious and sustainable food choices by partnering with chefs who offer eco-friendly dishes made with locally sourced ingredients (for less carbon footprint), responsibly sourced produce and sustainably farmed seafood. Bonus: HSBC card members who dine at their restaurants from July 1 to September 30 will receive exclusive offers.

In case you missed it: Singapore's Top Chefs Tell Us Why Sustainability Matters in the F&B Scene

1. The Elephant Room

Sustainability is more than knowing where your food comes from. Head chef Niyati Rao shares that it’s also about knowing where your food comes from and reducing food wastage in the kitchen.

At The Elephant Room, Rao and his team source their vegetables and seafood from the Tekka Market and aim to use every part of the ingredient. With their new recycling project, whatever isn’t used is made into compost.

One of their signature dishes is the chickpea chaat salad, crafted with ingredients like cumin crisp, fresh coriander, red onion and pomegranate from Tekka Market. The dry chickpeas are cooked in a pressure cooker to get that desired texture before they are flavoured with a house-made spice mix.

Tatler Offer: HSBC card members who dine at The Elephant Room from September 1 to 31 will enjoy a discount for its signature dish, mussels and crab sothi*.

The Elephant Room, 20A Teck Lim Road, S(088391), 9111 5131

2. Poisson

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This French-inspired seafood restaurant prides itself in using seafood sourced from sustainably sourced fish farms and international suppliers, and seasonal ingredients sourced locally. Executive chef Ma Yee Khang transforms them into delectable dishes, split into two sections—Cold Stream (comprising cold dishes) and Hot Stream (which are cooked dishes).

From the first section, you have Hamachi served raw, its oceanic freshness accented by the citrus vinaigrette and pomegranate sacs. As for the hot dishes, you have the crab cakes doused in a sweet-spicy Thai sauce, and crab pasta finished with bottarga shavings.

Tatler Tip: HSBC card members who dine at Poisson from September 1 to 30 will receive a complimentary salmon rillette served with a mixed bread basket.

Tatler Tip: HSBC card members who dine at Poisson from September 1 to 30 will receive a complimentary salmon rillette served with a mixed bread basket*.

Poisson, 48 Bukit Pasoh Road, S(089859), +65 6223 2131

Read more: Poisson Serves Up Sustainable, French-Inspired Dishes

3. Kaarla and Oumi

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Above Kaarla’s Murray cod, fermented fennel juice

Sharing a gorgeous space on the 51st floor of CapitaSpring are modern Australian restaurant Kaarla and contemporary Japanese restaurant Oumi. Guided by the sustainability principles of Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the culinary teams maximise ingredients with a nose-to-tail cooking mindset and use responsibly sourced and ethically raised produce. In fact, some of these ingredients are harvested from the 10,000 sq ft Food Forest, an urban garden at CapitaSpring.

At Kaarla, executive chef John-Paul Fiechtner’s larder is well-stocked with ethically caught seafood, sustainably farmed livestock and produce, which he transforms into delightful ‘Coastal Australian’ dishes. Highlights include the Murray cod that is first steamed and given a smoky finish in the custom-made oven (built with sustainable materials, of course); and the salt-cured kangaroo topped with nutty black barley ancient grain from Western Australia and enriched with a bonito-based dressing.

At sister restaurant Oumi, head of Japanese Culinary Development and chef Lamley Chua’s Australian-inspired Japanese cooking showcases every part of the season’s best produce. Take, for example, the seasonal sayori or Japanese halfbeak presented as sashimi and placed atop steamed rice perfumed with mizuna. The fish bone is used two ways—deep-fried and crumbled atop the rice as garnish, and deep-fried and served whole alongside the sushi bowl.

Tatler Offer: HSBC card members who opt for the Kaarla Market Menu and Oumi Omakase Menu from July 1 to August 31 will enjoy a 10 per cent discount*.

Kaarla and Oumi, 88 Market Street, 51-01, CapitaSpring, S(048948), +65 8518 3763

4. Labyrinth

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Above Labyrinth's Mod-Singaporean cuisine

“Sustainability is a big word in the F&B scene,” shares chef-owner Han Liguang, who has been dishing out his “New Singaporean” cuisine at Labyrinth since 2014. At the restaurant, they practice sustainability in two ways. First, they use quality ingredients that are sourced locally (to ensure that they have less carbon footprint) and grown responsibly. The second part is “cultural sustainability”, which is about preserving Singaporean flavours for the present and future generations.

Han’s menu presents hawker fare tweaked for the 21st century—‘Ang Moh’ chicken rice served which chilli and ginger sauce; and Rojak, a rendition of the local salad which he makes with 12 different herbs and spices, and local fermented honey to sweeten up the dish.

Tatler Offer: HSBC Visa Infinite card members who dine at Labyrinth from July 1 to August 31 will receive a complimentary welcome drink*. 

$ $ $   |  

8 Raffles Avenue, #02-23 Esplanade Mall, S(039802)

5. Kausmo

Chef-founders Lisa Tang and Kuah Chew Shian established Kausmo with the aim of promoting thoughtful living and challenging food norms that result in unnecessary food wastage. “At Kausmo, we celebrate imperfections,” affirms restaurant manager Chew Shian, so they use premium ingredients from small farming communities, forgotten native ingredients and florals, and secondary meat cuts which are often overlooked.

These lesser-loved ingredients are put to good use in the six-course carte blanche menu, which draws cues from the team’s cultural roots. Look forward to sumptuous creations like the wild fish congee studded with java ginseng, coriander, and showered with preserved plum dressing; and banana cake served with a dollop of homemade crème fraiche and garnished with marigold and Mexican tarragon.

Since launching the restaurant in 2019, Tang has “learned the volatility of our ingredients, because Mother Nature is just as beautifully unpredictable”. It’s a challenge that the whole team welcomes because, as Tang puts it: “we better understand and appreciate our food sources and produce.”

Kausmo, 1 Scotts Road, 03-07, S(228208),+65 8126 8538

Tatler Offer: HSBC card members who dine at Kausmo from July 1 to August 31 will enjoy a complimentary glass of kombucha*.

6. Mallow

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Plant-forward small plates
Above Plant-forward small plates

The pocket bar concept by chef-owner Christina Rasmussen and bartender-owner Sasha Wijidessa encourages us to live a little more consciously by offering a plant-forward menu of tasty bites and cocktails. Tapping into her previous experience as a head forager for some of the world’s finest culinary institutions, Rasmussen has crafted a 100 per cent vegan and hyper-conscious menu using responsibly sourced local ingredients.

These are showcased in the latest tasting menu with the highlight being the ceviche made with tropical fruits, red onions and heart of palm, and tossed in a smoky dressing of calamansi, raw sugar and olive oil. “Usually, hearts of palm can be a bit controversial as it contributes to deforestation,” shares Rasmussen. But she notes that they have found a supplier that highlights their sustainable approach to growing palm trees, ensuring the trees aren’t injured when the leaves are harvested.

The delicious creations are matched by Wijidessa’s equally impressive cocktail programme. Off To The Races comprises a base of charred feta rum and green grapes, while Plum And Amakaze is a palatable concoction of plum kernel spirit and marigold kombucha.

Mallow, 1 Nanson Road, 02-07B, InterContinental Singapore, Robertson Quay, S(238909), +65 8399 0679

Tatler Offer: HSBC card members who dine at Mallow from July 1 to August 31 will enjoy an exclusive drink, on the house*.

7. Origin Grill

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Origin octopus
Above Origin octopus

Understanding the provenance of your food matters, that’s why Origin Grill traces its ‘origins’ by working with environmentally responsible artisan farmers in Singapore and beyond. Think free-range chickens raised without antibiotics; line-caught cod from the Canadian waters; and a variety of beef from Australia, Japan and Ireland which were raised in a healthy diet comprising grass, grains and corn.

Chef de cuisine Nathan Griffin helms the kitchen and dishes out an inspired menu, with highlights such as the delicately charred Albrolhos octopus with sweet tomato jam and textural eggplant caviar; and ‘sustainable catch of the day’ served with organic vegetables, ice plant and citrus chimichurri.

Tatler Offer: HSBC card members who dine at Origin Grill from July 1 to August 31 will receive a complimentary dish*.

Origin Grill
$ $   |  

22 Orange Grove Road, Tower Wing, Lobby Level, Shangri-La Singapore, S(258350)

8. Brewerkz

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Three cheese foccacina
Above Three cheese foccacina

Since Seow Tzi Qin became the group executive chef of homegrown brewery and restaurant Brewerkz in 2019, he has made it his life’s mission to offer a menu that is better for the planet. He does this by sourcing ingredients locally, where possible; utilising every part of the ingredient; and expanding the selection of plant-based and vegetarian dishes to reduce carbon footprint. 

Even discarded items used in beer-making are utilised in the preparation of his signature dishes, such as the 3 Cheese Truffle Foccacina. The foccacina—a hybrid of focaccia and