If the farm gets any closer to the table at Haoma, customers will be sitting in dirt. In the humid buzz of Thailand’s capital, this urban farm and fish pond within a fine-dining restaurant take sustainability to a new level.
Pass through a long driveway framed by edible flowers in a remote corner of Bangkok’s Asoke neighborhood and you’ll arrive at what claims to be the first urban farm and zero-waste restaurant in the country. A server will take you on a tour of both the aquaponic and vertical farms that together supply some of the menu’s produce. A large koi pond stretches the length of the building. The evaporation from the pond keeps the building cool while the waste from the fish (which appear on the menu themselves) is circulated throughout the aquaponic section to deliver nutrients to more delicate produce such as mizuna, mint, borage, and dill.
The chic restaurant was designed with juxtaposition in mind. The serene dining room is nestled within the bustle of Asoke, with warm wooden accents tempering the edge of black metal. Simple produce from the farm is transformed into edible works of art, often using complex molecular techniques.
Neo-Indian tasting menus using hyper-local Thai ingredients highlight head chef Deepanker Khosla’s expertise while also employing the farm’s multitude of fresh fish and greens. A refined galouti kebab dish is enhanced by citrus gel and Thai truffles, while a dish called “Prawns on the Rock” couples tamarind with peanut and lime foam. “Haoma in a Bite” is comprised solely of ingredients harvested from the premises: house carp gets topped with mustard greens and a seven-herbed chlorophyll jelly before kombucha SCOBY crisps are crested atop.
In the name of zero waste, much of the cocktails are made up of scraps from the kitchen. Strawberries (along with their oft-discarded stems) are juiced and hardened into the fruit leather that graces the simply named “Strawberry” cocktail, while the tongue-in-cheek “Kale” slips gin into a blend of up-cycled avocado, kale, apple, and celery.
This secluded, verdant pocket of Bangkok may have just cracked the sustainable restaurant code. With Haoma racking up an impressive list of awards, diners may have to make reservations weeks in advance for a tasting course of the future.