Tatler Homes Malaysia
Green and Bare It
Garden to Plate restaurant, The Farm Foodcraft in Bangsar South takes urban farming to a whole new level
Farm to Table is not a new concept in F&B although there aren’t many such restaurants to be found in a mall, especially with their farm on site. The clients, who are farmers and horticulturists, already owned a few smaller cafes and eateries but thought this project would be a unique opportunity to marry both ‘worlds’. To bring this to life, they approached Seshan Design who are behind many of the Klang Valley’s most charming F&B outlets like Skulduggery, Chinoz and Huckleberry.
Clocking in at a sprawling 2000sqft with a soaring double volume height of 5.2m, the client was also allowed to lease the front of the site for alfresco dining and use the existing planters adjacent
the site. A mezzanine was built to take advantage of the high ceilings which houses a hydroponic farm and private dining area named the Curious Gardener. The plants are undeniably the “star” of the show as reflected by the centrepiece in the double volume dining area - a custom chandelier featuring 3 steel rings with plants growing out of them. The second smaller space in the annexe features a suspended large driftwood log festooned with ferns.
Beyond this, the designers also had to create a suitable internal environment that would be comfortable for diners while ensuring the welfare of the plants.
Thankfully there was sufficient natural light in the site and watering and fertilisers could be managed mechanically, the major challenge was for ventilation and cooling.
Part of this solution was installing huge semi-transparent roller blinds to trap the cool air from within the restaurant and industrial fans to provide sufficient air movement and circulation. Sensors were also placed around the restaurant to monitor the environment. This was linked to a mobile app to collect data so that tweaks could be made if plants in certain areas were not doing so well. Overall, the fit out was done in mild steel for light, flexible and easy installation. An earthy colour palette complements the plants comprising of green tinted inlay in the coffee coloured concrete floor. and rattan weave cladding for the carpentry. Wicker furniture and light fittings complete the look.
The clients had plans to sell the surplus produce - vegetables, fruits and herbs- grown on-site but since they’ve opened, demand has been so good that all the produce has been used up for the food served. Another interesting thing to note is that during Malaysia’s first lockdown in in 2019 and supply from produce wholesalers was drastically affected, other F&B outlets in the immediate area came to The Farm Foodcraft to purchase the fresh vegetables harvested on site. A compelling argument to justify and promote decentralised urban farms - and a testament of how Seshan Design and the client have created a working productive farm.