There’s a trend of Malaysian restaurants making the effort to grow their own produce in their gardens, or sourcing locally-made produce to minimise their costs and carbon footprint. Here are four restaurants leading that charge.
This fine-dining eatery by Jeff Ramsey has its own rooftop garden, where he grows edible flowers and local herbs like daun selom, daun kaduk, lavender sorrel, kailan and ketumpang air. The idea behind the garden was to utilise the unused space, to grow fresh and pesticide-free produce. Ramsey and his chefs tend to the herbs in their garden themselves.
This Kuala Lumpur restaurant boasts nearly 90% locally-sourced produce, including tomatoes, cucumbers and tamarillos specially grown for the eatery on an organic farm in Cameron Highlands.
It gets coriander leaves, chillies and curry leaves from another local farm, and sources wild-caught fish like kurau, snapper, mullet and coral trout. Head chef Johnson Ebenezer is also making headway in trying to utilise all parts of every vegetable and animal.
The Andaman Langkawi
After the 2004 tsunami, 80% of the coral reef in front of The Andaman Langkawi was destroyed, affecting local fishermen who saw the natural supply depleted. So, , the hotel lowered 52 artificial reef modules to shelter the fish, to help them recover and reproduce. Jala restaurant now gets its fish directly from the fishermen. But each fish must weigh more than 500g to ensure it’s had a chance to reproduce. Jala has its own herb garden too.
The Datai Langkawi
After its renovation, The Datai Langkawi reemerged with a new permaculture garden, in a bid to start a menu derived from purely organic produce. The project is still in its infancy, but it has started growing pumpkin, sweet corn and cherry tomatoes, on top of herbs like ulam raja and daun pegaga.