The Farm Foodcraft, Bangsar South

July 7, 2019

The Farm Foodcraft is as much as an Eden as an eatery, flourishing with its own fruit plants, vegetables and herbs throughout a beautifully breathtaking space, striving to take KL's farm-to-table philosophies to further heights.

Visiting this restaurant promises an exuberantly immersive experience even before its entrance, with a pathway nicknamed The Grove lined partly with okra and passion fruit vines, with more to come. All around, the flora is thriving, from kaffir lime to starfruit and calamansi trees, sugarcane and parsley to basil and butterfly pea flowers, with scores of plants still in their early stages of life, meticulously cultivated by the crew here.

The main hall is called the Farmhouse, a glasshouse filled with rattan and repurposed furnishing, with the soaring ceiling's centrepiece of a 'chandelier' layered with seven plants, including bird's-nest ferns, kangaroo pocket leaves and monkey cup pitchers.

The Farm Foodcraft - in short, The Farm - is currently in its soft launch, but in time, the restaurant expects to nurture nearly all its plant-based produce, both here in The Sphere and at its founders' farm on the outskirts of Selangor. Beyond that, their support for local farmers and food-makers is already evident now - belacan and gula Melaka are sourced from Malacca, ginger from Bentong, and mangoes from Perlis (more on those mangoes in a bit!), with meat and seafood also determinedly from local suppliers.

The menu is expected to be seasonal, evolving at least every three months. Recipes showcase a sense of vibrant playfulness, completely pork-free, with plenty of vegetarian possibilities - Time for Tea is a bumper crop of wholesome nourishment inspired by Hakka lei cha, centred on rice surrounded by vegetables, including tempura-battered kale, and cashews with an oolong tea-based soup (RM22), while Mash Up is a medley of potatoes prepared in three ways - mashed, roasted and sauteed, creamy comfort with cheese and leeks (RM15). If you're seeking a meat-free meal, start with these two.

Portions prove princely - 'Lala' Land is brimming with clams splashed across a seductive platter of spaghetti, brightened with basil and ginger, blending Italian and Malaysian Chinese nuances in a subtly spicy, souped-up serving that should please many fans of pasta (RM28). And while The Farm's food is fresh and nutrition-fuelled, you'll still find a few guilty indulgences like Curry Beef Lasagna, rich and robust with minced beef, potatoes and onions, with crisp wantan skin contrasting against the lasagna's tender, house-made pasta sheets - our most satisfying lasagna in a long time, balanced with a zesty garden salad (RM25).

There's more to try, of course - everything from a poached pear salad to herb-infused oxtail soup, mushroom pan mee to nasi kerabu with ayam percik and kerabu salad.

Desserts work plenty of gastronomic magic too - Kuih Gulung is a fun modernist take on the classic kuih ketayap, featuring gula Melaka-laced cake that bursts forth with pandan kaya lava, crowned with coconut ice cream and spun caramel (RM22).

Since we were here before the end of June, we managed to sample the Harum Manis Mango Panna Cotta, which relies on the prized Perlis-grown mango, boasting a lusciously ripened sweetness with an aromatic allure. The mango is only available in a limited yield for a few months each year.

Even the beverages are extra-invigorating - the Love Potion casts a mellow, nectarous spell with Betagen, strawberries, blueberries and honey (RM15), while Sucker Punch is a perky smoothie to beat the heat, tangy and uplifting with young mango, asam boi, pickled papaya and mango (RM18)

There's more to come: Behind the curtain, a Secret Garden looms, a cocktail lounge that's likely to launch soon, offering evening escapades to revive the spirit. Even the alcoholic drinks will depend heavily on the fruits and herbs here too, naturally.

Upstairs, a private dining area called The Greenhouse is being completed. And beside it is the hydroponic urban farming lab, where everything from lettuce to tomatoes and cucumbers will sprout.

All in all, The Farm Foodcraft has the potential to become one of 2019's most interesting new restaurants. Many thanks to the team here for having us.

The Farm Foodcraft

The Sphere, Bangsar South City, 59200 Kuala Lumpur. Daily, 1030am-10pm. Tel: 03-2242-0964

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