In recent years, vegetarian and vegan restaurants have been cropping up here, but less so a drinking hole with the same green philosophy. Now enter Mallow, which opened on the second floor of the Intercontinental Singapore Robertson Quay in March and brands itself as a “pocket bar”.
The founders of this 35-seater joint boast some serious cred. Singapore mixologist Sasha Wijidessa, who devises the drinks, hails from the now-defunct, multi-award-winning Operation Dagger, while resident chef Christina Rasmussen – a Danish-American forager who’s also Wijidessa’s business and life partner – trained at Noma.
Nearly all their dishes and drinks are all-vegan; made with plants grown or foraged in Singapore; and bursting with as much flavour as Instagrammability, such as the pumpkin seed pesto featured here.
Backed by celebrity chef and restaurateur Janice Wong, the place aims to put a contemporary spin on plant-forward and, in turn, conscious-climate dining (not-so-fun fact: animal-based foods have an enormous environmental impact).
However, the duo is not planning to proselytise veggies in an echo chamber. Instead, the vibe at Mallow is fun and casual, with the food menu boasting sophisticated creations such as kelp tarts made with oyster leaf, bronze fennel, kohlrabi and rose petals (perfunctory bar bites, these are not). Meanwhile – true to Wijidessa’s reputation for wildly original concoctions – the tipple features anything from king oyster mushroom to caramelised leeks.
Expect wild original tipple that features anything from king oyster mushroom to caramelised leeks.
Practically everything is all-vegan and combines plants grown or foraged locally (Rasmussen is from Copenhagen, where children are taught to gather and respect local produce from a young age). And with everything prepared behind the bar in full view of patrons, the hope is that what’s served up will at least spark conversations about eating sustainably and get people started on that journey.
“The reality is that F&B venues will always have a significant carbon footprint as we feed the masses, so what we do to minimise that footprint will always have a bigger impact than any singular advocate,” says Wijidessa. “That’s important to realise.”
Photography Phyllicia Wang Direction Keng Yang Shuen Hair Uzu/Kizuki+Lim Makeup Beno Lim using Makeup Forever
A version of this article first appeared in the May 2022 Taste Edition of FEMALE