We all have a part to play in this world. Whether it is the Malaysian government’s recent ban on usage of plastic bags (the kiamsiap Malaysian in us refuses to pay that extra RM0.20 per plastic bag, which is a win for Mother Earth!) or the global furor over how climate change is not a Chinese hoax, the message being filtered down is clear. We cannot continue down the path we are on and we are all accountable in the way we live our lives and the things that we support.
Sustainable restaurants are a natural product of this global phenomenon. While the “sustainability” factor has not quite become de rigueur in deciding where the next ‘makan’ (a colloquial Malay reference to an eating out location) ought to be, the popularity of these eco-friendly restaurants are on the rise and hopefully, awareness along with it.
Not convinced why sustainability ought to matter? Consider the following characteristics that tend to feature in sustainable restaurants:
To save you from having to do any research, here is a list of sustainable restaurants that we deem worth checking out.
Located in your friendly Bangsar neighbourhood, Roost has been around for nearly five years and prides itself in serving high quality, Nordic-influenced sustainable meals. Clean lines and soft warm lights coupled with rustic wooden furniture strategically placed to evoke that feeling of stepping into a cozy, family kitchen, this is minimalism at its best. Marie Kondo, anyone? The main feature is the shiny, industrial kitchen located at the epicenter of this second floor restaurant. If you love watching chefs work at their craft, get a seat near that kitchen!
We love Roost because sustainability is very much a part of its DNA. According to Priscilla Lee, manager and one of the founders of Roost KL, “Roost celebrates the ingredients a lot. We want people to feel at home, and we try our best to get whatever we can get locally. We also eat whatever our customers are eating here so everyone can feel safe and enjoy themselves while dining here.”
The menu is compact as Roost only serves dishes they have perfected according to the type of produce that is available at any given period of the year. Both cheese and pates are made in-house, with the latter being a Roost specialty that comes with fresh honey and a sprinkling of salt granules. During Christmas time, a special meatloaf-tasting pate with gravy is served and seats are often sold out fast! The chicken schnitzel is also popular among the children (and adults) and the risotto (normally cooked with their own beef stock) can be served as a vegetarian dish upon request. All dietary requirements will be taken into account when Chef Albert Frantzen and his team prepare your meals, so be sure to let them know. Do note however that while no pork is served in Roost, alcohol is available for interested diners.
If you are looking for a cozy night out with your family and friends while partaking in quality Nordic food, this is the place to go.
No. 69-1, Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, Wilayah Persekutuan, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
For more information, visit https://www.roostkl.com/
Source: A Little Farm on the Hill
A Little Farm on the Hill is a popular farm-to-table establishment that grows over thirty of its own crops organically to serve to their customers. From French beans, pumpkins and avocados to a wide variety of herbs and spices, these ingredients are not only used in their own dishes but also supplied to organic and high end restaurants in Kuala Lumpur. The fact that they are even certified as sustainable and organic by the Malaysian Ministry of Agriculture only cements their reputation as a leading figure in the sustainable restaurant scene.
In the truest sense of the farm-to-table concept, their dishes are both seasonal and freshly harvested from their farm. What we love is their unique bimonthly “Farmer’s Lunch Club”, where guests share tables and have meals in a “family style” down the middle of a long table. Perfect for making new friends in a cozy, rustic farm setting.
Popular dishes include their signature 12-leaf salad, 7-hour oak smoked beef ribs with tomato salsa and moist Tres Leches cake for dessert. What a feast! For our Muslim friends, rest assured that no pork is served and all the meat used are halal, although A Little Farm on the Hill is not halal certified.
Kindly note that A Little Farm on the Hill does not accept walk-ins and reservations must be made at least 1 week prior via email or online booking.
Lot 161 Tanarimba Janda Baik., Persiaran Enderong, 28750 Bentong, Pahang
For more information, visit www.alittlefarmonthehill.com
Planning a fancy date night? Look no further than Dewakan - a name birthed from an ingenious combination of two Malay words: “Dewa” for god and “Makan” for eat.
Based in Shah Alam, this restaurant displays a prodigious knack for spinning local Malaysian produce into fine dining works of art. This restaurant arose as an entrepreneurial effort at KDU University College where Chef Darren Teoh, founder of Dewakan, had taught and many of Dewakan’s current staff count as alumni of this prestigious culinary school. Local ingredients featured in Dewakan’s dishes include the hard-shelled, truffle-smelling kulim (a favourite of Malaysia’s orang asli or indigenous people) and red, pink or white coloured bunga kantan (a torch ginger found in the rainforest that is also a staple of the orang asli).
Dewakan offers two tasting menus: the 16-course Menu Kayangan (banana heart and kerdas, anyone?) and the 9-course Menu Nusantara (which is a shorter version of Menu Kayangan, but still includes unique dishes such as the temuan chocolate with jaggery ice-cream). Every dish is expertly crafted and dining here is more than just a partaking of modern Malaysian cuisine; it is an experience never to be forgotten.
It is no wonder that it was recently named Asia’s Top 50 Best Restaurants 2019!
On a side note, no pork or alcohol is used in the preparation of Dewakan’s dishes, but they are not halal certified.
Lower Ground Floor KDU University College, Utropolis Glenmarie Jalan Kontraktor U1/14, Seksyen U1, 40150 Shah Alam, Selangor
For more information, visit https://www.dewakan.my/
Whether it is a casual post-work dinner or a posh night out, each of the restaurants above have brought their own unique stamp to the philosophy of sustainability. Who says we can’t dine while protecting this earth of ours?
A faith-driven Sarawakian lawyer who believes that it is never too late to start crafting a socially impactful legacy. When not grappling with warranties and liabilities, she loves pursuing adrenaline-fueled adventures, improving her Español and playing the violin. You can find her at @vidadeliya or reach her at vidadeliya at gmail.