We’ve been taught to look for perfection on a plate, but at Kausmo, imperfect ingredients are not only welcome — they’re celebrated. With a name originating from the word “cosmos,” the new dining concept was founded by chef Lisa Tang, 24, and restaurant manager Kuah Chew Shian, 26, done up in partnership with the Les Amis Group.
In its 16-seater fine dining restaurant at Shaw Centre, the space works around the concept of a blank canvas, featuring a center counter and kitchen in an open layout, where guests at the communal table can watch the stove action. It’s also an avid supporter of local goods, with a retail corner for homegrown businesses, artists, and craftsmen to display their wares. The small details are what make Kausmo stand out, such as upcycled wood cutlery stands handmade by the team and upcycled coasters fashioned in collaboration with local tailoring brand 3eighth.
Since sustainability is key, the dishes beautify “ugly produce”, meaning they take fruits and vegetables that are overstocked, over-ripened, and oddly-shaped or sized, and design intricately-plated creations around them. Ingredients are also “thoughtfully sourced,” as they experiment with seafood from small regional farms, overlooked cuts of meat, and uncommonly used leafy greens or florals native to the country.
Tang, who’s done stints at Pollen, Jaan, and Les Amis, combines European techniques and Asian influences, particularly her Teochew heritage, to come up with a $75 six-course carte blanche menu (you can add $20 to pair with a kombucha tasting.) A sample dinner session — it only opens in the evening — journeys from mushroom paté with almond crisp and kampong chicken confit with miso mustard sauce to beef fat persimmon and wild fish congee with preserved plum.
In an effort to spread the word about a sustainable lifestyle, Kausmo will host events like cooking demonstrations, “knowledge-sharing sessions,” and hands-on workshops. It’s not stingy about its recipes either, sharing them on its social media channels so the public can try them out at home on their own. If you’re feeling inspired to fiddle around in your own kitchen, the restaurant’s gourmet retail arm also puts out seasonal products like hot sauce, apple butter sauce, and mushroom paté every so often.
Kausmo is at #03-07 Shaw Centre, 1 Scotts Rd.
8126-8538. First seating 6:30pm, second seating 8:30pm; closed on Mondays and alternate Sundays.
This article, Kausmo: Sustainable, local, and imperfect ingredients are the focus of this new dining concept, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!