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At Grand Hyatt, a Restaurant’s Case for Conscious Eating

By T: The New York Times Style Magazine Singapore

This chain of events may sound all-too-familiar: we plop ourselves down on a restaurant’s chair, scan the menu, order our picks, dawdle in light conversations before a waiter carefully places the awaited plates of dishes. And then reflexively, we plough through our meal. We down them without second thoughts given to their own chain of events that led to the gathering of ingredients before us.

Food sourcing, in general, is monoculture. It’s a staunch disciple to the traditional ways of agriculture and distribution that work as if nature doesn’t matter. But as research and statistics have validated, the global food production system isn’t sustainable. In Singapore, where a majority of the nation’s food primarily relies on imported produce, this dawning realisation has, albeit slowly, sparked a shift towards responsible sourcing.

At the forefront of Singapore’s sustainability movement is a new crop of progressive food savants. And Grand Hyatt’s Mezza9 is among them. Introducing a revamped menu last year, the restaurant commits to sustainable sourcing, where organic herbs are cultivated and picked from the hotel’s own urban rooftop gardens, and organic greens from selected farms in Singapore and Cameron Highlands. This change led Grand Hyatt to reduce its carbon footprint by approximately 130 times in food shipment as compared if it had continued its reliance on air-flown vegetables from Australia and Europe.

Mezza9’s latest set lunch menu proposes a Southern Thai delicacy, Luk Chin Yang grilled Thai fish balls; and Maine Lobster Hot Pot, of which is prepared with ASC-certified Maine lobsters, guaranteeing their sustainable procurement, as well as herbs from the hotel’s garden. For dinner, Mezza9’s a la carte menu includes starters the likes of MSC-certified Spencer Gulf Wild King Prawn Cocktail with spicy tomato and horseradish. Its main meal’s oceanic delicacy, Clam and Lobster Bake, is made from a cohort of ASC- and MSC-certified ingredients, from Aceh tiger prawns to Manila clams.

Plant-based patties, too, are part of Mezza9’s revamped menu. Debuted last year, the joint became the first to serve Beyond Burger’s gluten-free and soy-free patties in Southeast Asia. These non-meat patties look, cook and supposedly taste like the conventional beef patty, except they incur much less carbon footprint.

With a philosophy for sustainability that bleeds into the smallest of ingredients, Mezza9 is the place to be for conscious eating that’s second nature. No second thoughts necessary here.

Visit Mezza9 at the Grand Hyatt Singapore, 10 Scotts Road.