Being a conscious consumer is no easy feat — it takes discipline to make ethical and environmental decisions in every aspect. While making lifestyle changes, such as supporting eco-travel and shopping only sustainable fashion and beauty brands may be a tad more doable, eating ethically can be a challenge in a city that counts its (oftentimes overly indulgent) local food as crucial to its identity. But a new breed of restaurants have cropped up to spearhead the sustainable dining movement. These menus don’t just make a positive impact on your body and health, but the environment and local communities.
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1. mezza9 at Grand Hyatt Singapore
With organic and sustainable ingredients quickly becoming the hallmark of quality dining, The Grand Hyatt’s mezza9 has overhauled its menu with a new focus on conscious eating. Much effort is made to procure thoughtfully sourced ingredients — seafood is sourced from sustainable suppliers accredited by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), while its organic produce is derived from cooperative growers in Cameron Highlands, and even the hotel’s rooftop garden. The grilled Thai fish balls is also worth trying, with its familiar yet unique flavours inspired by the town of Songkhla in Southern Thailand.
While the restaurant has been operating for decades, its concept is still fresh, continuing to serve various offerings over nine stations (thus, the name mezza9). There’s Japanese, Thai, Chinese, seafood, grilled meats, the patisserie, its Martini Bar and more. An all-new, must order dish is the Maine lobster hot pot, prepared with ASC-certified Maine lobsters, mushrooms, garlic, spring onions, chilli, and coriander straight from Grand Hyatt’s elevated garden.
Another commendable effort of the establishment is its commitment to best handle food waste management. With food waste becoming a real concern, the hotel has gone to great lengths to reduce its environmental impact. It’s home to an in-house waste management plant that converts all of its food waste into pathogen-free organic fertiliser within 24 hours. By doing so, the hotel eliminates the use of 55,000 trash bags a year, thus also reducing plastic waste.
2. Verde at Hilton Singapore
Verde Kitchen‘s mantra — “real food, full of natural flavour” — says it all. Located at Hilton Singapore, the menu features healthier renditions of local and Southeast Asian favourites made with quality, organic ingredients. Ticking all the boxes when it comes to healthful dining, dishes incorporate free-range and lacto-free chicken and eggs, leafy vegetables grown from its in-house Vertical Gardens, and certified sustainable seafood. The restaurant also adheres by a strict ‘no’ list — you won’t find processed ingredients, additives, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or sweeteners in your food. Gluten-free, raw food and dairy-free options are also available.
The sustainable dining options don’t just stop at the food; the beverage list features coffee beans responsibly sourced from fairtrade farmers as well as organic wines. The restaurant is also ardent on its commitment to reducing waste in terms of food and packaging, and only promotes recycled and recyclable packaging.
3. Yellow Pot at Six Senses Duxton
New to the sustainable dining scene is Yellow Pot, a Six Senses Duxton restaurant which marries time-tested Chinese cuisine with responsibly-sourced ingredients. According to General Manager Murray Aitken, the restaurant’s menu is all about finding the balance between healthy and hearty. While the flavours, textures and colours remain the same, unhealthy additives such as sugar, gluten, lactose and flavour enhancers are largely replaced by fresh, natural ingredients sourced from local farmers and producers with sustainable practices. “We want to help our guests make informed choices that allow them to eat well,”says Aitken.
And eat well you will — the restaurant’s menu presents a combination of wholesome soups, and sharing seafood and meat plates plates such as crispy Sichuan chicken, and the wok-seared organic grass fed beef tenderloin.
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