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A love for food and video games, combined with a lack of motivation to exercise, is probably the reason I'm slowly gaining weight.
Sustainability has been a big talking point lately, with attention being drawn to how food is sourced and how restaurants are taking measures to minimise environmental impact.
But, many restaurants and cafes are also doing their best for different social causes, one that impact more than just the environment. Here’s a list of 10 places where you can enjoy good food and support a good cause while you’re at it.
Dignity Kitchen was started in October 2010 as a hawker training school for the disabled and disadvantaged, and now has three operational food courts. They train visually challenged and hearing impaired people to be cashiers and to take on other service roles.
They have since branched out to start more social outreach programs, including one where parents can run a retail stall with their disabled children, selling second hand books.
Delivery for the food and baked goods is available, so if your office feels like supporting the cause, you can order meals for everyone on the website!
Established to provide a working environment for students interested in hospitality services, the Assumption Pathway School takes in students who failed their PSLE or are secondary school leavers. Here, they choose the course that is most suited to their skills and practice at the Assumption Restaurant for Training, which is open to the public.
Set lunches go for $13.50, and there are the occasional promotions like festive set menus. For that price, you get to eat a nice meal in a restaurant setting – that’s certainly a good deal!
Started by Pathlight, this art cafe gives back to the special needs community by training people with autism to become baristas, as well as ensuring that they will have a career with their knowledge in coffee.
A collaboration between the Autism Resource Centre and Starbucks Singapore, this is the second outlet, with the first being situated in Pathlight School at Ang Mo Kio.
The outlet in Enabling Village (lengkok bahru) is specially designed for disabled persons to be able to move around with convenience. It also houses a retail art gallery that has merchandise and artworks created by artists with special needs.
Here’s a place where you won’t be able to show off your food on Instagram. Nox – Dine in The Dark is a restaurant with a unique dining concept; you’ll be eating in the total darkness, heightening your other senses for a gourmet experience like no other.
If you’re worried about how the $88++ 12 course dinner is going to be served, don’t. The food is served by blind or visually impaired individuals who have been trained to know exactly where everything is. You’re the one who’s more likely to drop a fork!
Eighteen Chefs is one of the more well-known restaurants on this list. Founded by Benny Se Teo in 2007, there are now 12 outlets all around Singapore. The founder’s story is a special one: an ex-convict and drug addict, he broke free of that life by training under Jamie Oliver before starting his own restaurant.
He hires troubled youth and ex-convicts and trains them on how to use the machines that help to create items that are usually seen in more expensive restaurants, like a 64 degree sous vide egg.
If you’re in the mood for spicy and rich laksa but still want to feel good eating it, you’re in luck. With the outlet located at JEM, West-siders now have a new dinner option.
Laksania hires people with mental and physical disabilities, as well as people who are marginalised in society. Aside from various types of laksa, you can also order pastas, burgers and even hotpots!
In addition to providing employment opportunities to all without discrimination, BLISS Restaurant also recycles oil to biodiesel and donates groceries to low income residents.
The food is reasonably priced, with a ribeye steak and prawns going for $22 and breaded fish and chicken cutlet with salad and chips for $16. Located at Cheng San Community Club, this is one place the residents of Ang Mo Kio should definitely check out.
Bizlink Cafe is a collaboration between Bizlink Centre and the Institute of Mental Health, providing training and employment opportunities to the disabled and those suffering from mental ailments.
The cafe is located within the IMH compound, but it offers delivery and takeaways if Buangkok Green Medical Park is too out of the way. Buffet catering is also offered, starting from $7.50 per pax, which is an extremely affordable option for events!
Currently boasting five outlets, this bak kut teh place has come a long way from a single stall at Jalan Kayu. Founded by Jabez Tan, Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh provides opportunities for ex-offenders and others who want to start afresh.
The bak kut teh is a fusion of Malaysian and Singaporean styles, with the soup being less herbal to cater to the Singaporean palate. This results in a unique iteration of bak kut teh, alongside the Dry Bak Kut Teh with a dark thick sauce.
Soul Food is a social enterprise that trains people with special needs and provides them with the knowledge to create high quality soups, sauces and desserts. These items are then used in dishes sold at Soul Food’s restaurant.
The dining space only caters to 16 people though, with a minimum booking of eight. As Soul Food doesn’t accept walk-ins, make sure you make a reservation before heading down!
This ensures that your group will have privacy and a specially designed menu. There is also an additional outlet at Enabling Village, so if you’re in the area, why not try both Soul Food and The Art Faculty?
Soul Food Enterprise: #01-575 Blk 78 Commonwealth Drive, Singapore 140078 | Tel: +65 9823 4455 | Facebook
With this list you can now dine while doing a good cause.