The latest entrant to the scene of hip hangouts in Jalan Besar is Mahota Commune, which focuses on wellness and sustainable living.
The cafe, or Pantry, at Mahota Commune is bright and airy, with many real plants that create a relaxing atmosphere.
Spanning 20,000sqf and occupying the third floor of block 809 of Kitchener Complex, it includes a restaurant, a cafe, a supermarket, a clinic, and an activity studio. The space, done up in earthy tones, was designed by an in-house team based in Japan. It incorporates lots of natural and organic textures, such as plants in the restaurant and cafe, cedar wood from certified sources, reconstructed wooden barrels that serve as furniture and display stands, and cork and corrugated tin cladding. Unique details include a feature wall of bottled samples of dried fruit, spices, grains, nuts, herbs and more. Apart from being an interesting display, it serves to educate customers and showcase the wide range of quality and nutritious ingredients used in the brand’s food, says Valerie Tan, co-creator of Mahota Commune, which is set up by the Singapore company behind the Prime Supermarket chain. Upon entering, you’ll see the restaurant, or Kitchen, which offers healthy hotpots and Italian cuisine. “Whatever you eat here in the Kitchen, you can get at the supermarket,” says Valerie. This includes vegetables from the brand’s organic farm in Shanghai, as well as sustainably sourced free-range beef from Australia.
The lifestyle store is done up in earthy tones and natural materials for a rustic look.
Complementing the neutral colour scheme of the space are some curved structures in cheery colours.
Enjoy a leisurely meal at the spacious cafe, which includes lounge seating for a more casual dining experience.
Bread is made fresh with unbleached flour at the bakery, and the Pantry serves up light bites, cakes, organic coffee and slow-pressed juices. The red velvet cake here is made with beetroot, rather than food colouring, to achieve its colour. “No MSG, food colouring, preservatives or anything artificial can be found in my kitchen!” adds Valerie. At the Market, you can buy mostly organic produce, free-range meat, sustainable seafood, toiletries, and ecofriendly tableware. There is also a range of biodynamic and organic wines from France, Italy and Australia, on top of wines from Mahota’s own winery in Penglai, China. A traditional Chinese medicine clinic offers alternatives to Western medicine, and includes acupuncture and cupping treatments. You can take part in group exercises, meditation, yoga and more, in the studio, or join workshops on woodworking or terrarium-making. This is one place you can spend the whole day in!
The restaurant, or Kitchen, is the first thing you see upon entering the space. It offers hotpots and Italian cuisine in a cosy but modern setting.
A feature wall – shelves of bottled spices, grains, dried fruit and more, set against chipboard panels – decorates a walkway.
Shop at its supermarket for organic and sustainable products. Seasonal produce from the brand’s farm in Shanghai are available here.