Kausmo is a new dining experience that sparks conversations around thoughtful ways of living

Kausmo is a new dining experience that sparks conversations around thoughtful ways of living

Celebrating imperfections

Text: Amelia Chia

Fine dining is an experience to be savoured, and often this is about presenting the cream of the crop — from impressive choice-cut meats to the freshest micro herbs. Restaurants around the world dictate these accolades in writing, and diners are sold by its prestige and exclusivity.

But the latest baby in the Les Amis Group is shaking things up on the scene. Kausmo, a culinary concept combining European techniques with Asian influences, is about a holistic dining experience that aims to encourage conversation about conscientious ways of living. Defying food norms that lead to a shocking amount of food wastage, co-founders Lisa Tang and Kuah Chew Shian hope to creatively repurpose aesthetically filtered fruits and vegetables that are overstocked, over-ripened and oddly-shaped.

This means that every dish at Kausmo employs considerably-sourced ingredients, such as seafood from small farming communities in the region, secondary cuts of meat often overlooked, and forgotten native greens and florals. Kuah believes in celebrating imperfections and showing that "ingredients not ideal for retail can be perfect on our plates".

Smoked tomato chutney on a thyme-manchego tuile

Kausmo is derived from the word "cosmos", which represents a system of thought. These lesser-loved ingredients don't mean a compromise in quality; in fact, the textures and flavours might just surprise you.

"We've learnt to embrace the volatility of our ingredients, because Mother Nature is just as beautifully unpredictable," Tang, who used to work at Pollen, Jaan and Les Amis, explains. "Much more operational planning and preservation of produce has to be in place to better utilise our ingredients — a challenge we willingly welcome. In a city known to be able to source almost anything at any time, perhaps it's time to slow down; better appreciate and understand our food sources and produce."

Expect to be blown away — the delightfully fusion menu also draws inspiration from the team's cultural roots, such as Tang's Teochew heritage. Expect dishes like their riff of a kampong confit chicken, dressed in miso mustard sauce and native flora, and a moreish wild fish congee with preserved plum.

Wild fish congee with preserved plum

Kausmo's décor rounds up the experience and makes it one that will be hard to forget. The 16-seater restaurant revolves around the idea of a blank canvas, where a centre counter and kitchen anchor the open layout, in full view of the communal table, which is designed to encourage meaningful chats. Their upcycled wood cutlery stands are handmade by the team, and coasters crafted from upcycling fabric, so as to tie in beautifully with the ethos of the restaurant.

Herein lies a tale so meaningful in today's fast-paced, quick-fix, one-size-fits-all dining world. Kausmo is in the midst of a breakthrough, or at least holds a place gourmands will be speaking about for a long time to come.

Make a reservation at Kausmo here.