THE seafood eatery, Our Land Ecofarm, in Kampung Batangan, which was opened in April, farms its own vegetables such as water spinach, sawi and shallots in its backyard.
They also harvest fruits such as watermelon, honey dew, passion fruit and pumpkin for their juice.
The fruit trees are planted in a greenhouse and fertilised using organic compost such as food waste, instead of harmful pesticide.
Its manager Alex Teoh, 25, said as for seafood, the restaurant gets its supply from Kudat and Semporna, as well as from fishermen in the village.
“We do not have a fixed menu for diners, as the concept is to order what is available on that day.
“This way, the restaurant can ensure only fresh produce is offered to diners,” he said, adding that customers who preferred seafood would choose live fish, crabs or prawns kept in tanks.
The restaurant’s cooks have good culinary skills, having worked in seafood and Japanese restaurants before joining Our Land Ecofarm.
Among the signature dishes recommended by Teoh are wet butter tiger prawn, Thai chili royal mussels, salted fish marinated chicken and garlic fried rice.
It is open daily from 11am to 10pm. Its al fresco dining area affords diners one of the best sunset views.
“Not only is the sunset view here different every day but it is also spectacular,” said Teoh, as one can enjoy the entire landscape taking on a surreal saffron hue with the clouds reflecting the sun’s red and orange glow.
Besides the healthier option of food and magnificent view of the sunset, the management hopes the place could serve as an educational platform for the public, especially the younger generation.
“The owner came from a poor family and previously ran a seafood restaurant.
“Now, he is focusing on the ecofarm, where children can learn about how plants are grown, how they are a good source of food,” Teoh said, adding that it took two years for the owner and shareholders to develop the 1.6ha plot of land into today’s restaurant.
Several mango trees at the compound have been there for more than five years, giving the eatery a natural setting.
Some of its decorations are made from recycled construction materials, containers among others, to emphasise the “green” concept.
For those who love to take photos, this place offers a picturesque scenery, starting from the entrance, the interior with various designs of furniture, the overall “old boat design” shape restaurant, and of course the sunset view at the al fresco or
air-conditioned dining room area.
Another interesting feature is it is managed by a group of youngsters in their 20s, with the youngest at 19.
One of them is Ken Teoh, 21, who said being young, they rely on each other to manage the place.
He added that among the future plans include offering accommodation in containers, expanding the eatery to cater to more diners, and hosting boating and fishing activities.
“Managing the seafood business is not easy.
“The cost is high. But we are taking the challenges one thing at a time.”