Championing local in one of the world’s smallest countries

Championing local in one of the world’s smallest countries

We’ve become very used to restaurant’s talking about their local sourcing, and the concept of ‘farm to table’. In fact depending on where you are in the world you might take this for granted. But sourcing locally isn’t always easy, especially when your restaurant is in Singapore. 

So it was this emphasis on local sourcing that helped Labyrinth in Singapore to take home the Sustainable Restaurant Award at this year’s Asia 50 Best Restaurants

Locality is at the heart of every single dish. Chef LG Han and his team celebrate not only Singaporean heritage but the impressive work of producers in the region who are often growing produce in extremely limited spaces. 

Wanting to share their efforts to source locally also plays a huge part in the restaurant’s ethos. The whole team at Labyrinth understand the uniqueness of local ingredients and feel a level of responsibility towards the produce that they work with. 

Dishes are developed to showcase local fishermen and farmers, like the wonderful Catch from Ah Hua Kelong dish featuring Local Green Lip Mussels stuffed with Prawn Paste, Local Lala Clams, Local Flower Crab Foam andthe Singapore Style “Yu Sheng”, celebrating Singapore heritage whilst using only hyper local ingredients. 

How the local produce is grown is also key. All of the vegetables and herbs come from farms using natural fertilisers made from waste compost. The strong relationships with suppliers also means they work together to learn more about sustainable farming methods and to remove single-use plastic from their deliveries. 

The team at Labyrinth has also shown great leadership in the community during the pandemic. When Covid was starting to spread through the region in March 2020, Labyrinth spearheaded an initiative to provide free meals to front line workers at the local hospital, enlisting a further six restaurants to support the initiative. 

The team at Labyrinth personally hand delivered food to local hospitals whilst also raising a total of SGD$11,400 for frontline medical workers.

Wanting to share their efforts even further, Labyrinth has also been working with the Singapore Government to promote the importance of local produce from both a food security and health perspective. Using their influence in this way will no doubt have a huge impact on knowledge and understanding of local food sourcing in Singapore.  

So congratulations Labyrinth on taking home this year’s Sustainable Restaurant Award and thanks to all those who took part in the award. 

Across Asia some amazing practices are underway, from Sorn’s focus on supporting their local suppliers and highlighting dishes from Southern Thailand, to Masque in India who focus on zero-waste cooking and donate compost generated on-site to their local community. 

Here’s to a prosperous year for all restaurants in Asia in 2021. 

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