Wednesday, September 23, 2015
The Halia @ Singapore Botanic Gardens
I don't know why I've never been to The Halia at Botanics before. I was seriously blown away when I arrived at the restaurant. It's so beautiful and I love the greenery and how serene and calm the place is. I was thinking that it might get very warm and humid because we were dining outdoors but the soft breeze kept us cool all night long. Seriously, why haven't I been here before?
Hands down one of the most romantic places for a date night and an ideal venue for gatherings, The Halia is a popular destination for brunch and events. If you're looking to hold a wedding or any event, you can consider the Villa Halia which can hold more than 300 guests.
Ginger Jive - $12
I walked a good 2km to The Halia because I didn't read the instructions and didn't know that I should come in by Tyersall Avenue. So I walked a huge round to get to Halia and I was perspiring buckets when I finally, finally, arrived. So I opted for something fruity and refreshing to calm my heart down. Orange, honey, fruit punch and ginger. Who would have thought that a concoction like this would be this magical?
Lime & Ginger Yellowfin Tuna Kinilaw 70gm - $18
A brilliant put-together of numerous tastes and textures that really brought out the flavour of the tuna. Love that hint of ginger and citrus finish. A definite must-order if you're looking for something to whet your appetite
Goat's Cheese and Honey Mousse - $16
Most of my dining companions were cheese lovers so this was exceptionally pleasing to them. I'm really not huge on cheeses but I decided to give that smooth and rich goat's cheese on a crusty bread a shot and I surprised myself when I agreed to a couple more servings. I like that the cheese was not overwhelming like most cheeses and I adored its creaminess
Spice Islands Marinated Lamb Loin - $44
Aptly named, this dish comes spiced with curry, chilli, ginger and coconut. I gave this a miss as I don't take lamb but for this to be one of the most sought after items on the menu, I can only imagine how tasty it is
Paperbag Oven-baked Halibut Fillet - $40
Fish is always so delicate and so easy to go wrong with. And Halibut is certainly not an easy one to tackle. I've honestly never like halibut that much but this changed my perception of it. The halibut was so tender and every bite was bursting with flavour. Absolutely delicious! The Japanese influence was very pronounced, with sesame Japanese rice, mirin sake and wakame gracing the dish . The ginger broth was so good that I couldn't resist pairing it with rice. I ended up eating so much rice because I just couldn't let that broth go to waste!
Halia’s Singapore-style Chilli Crab Spaghettini - $26
A signature at The Halia that regulars come back time and again for, the Chilli Crab Spaghettini was a stunner with that wonderfully cooked pasta, generous portion of crab meat and that slightly sweet chilli crab sauce that packs a spicy punch. This might not fit your expectations of an authentic chilli crab dish because the level of spiciness is probably way below that of your usual chilli crab's but it's perfect for me. Tangy, sweet, and just a tad too spicy for me but that spicy kick was seriously addictive
"Orh Nee" - $12
Orh nee is one of my favourite things and one of the most difficult desserts to get in Singapore. I'm talking about actually delicious ones. So when I saw this on the menu, I knew I must have it. Props to the chef for coming up with this cleverly deconstructed version of a traditional dessert. The homemade yam parfait was a contrast to the warm pumpkin puree but the two ingredients worked hand in hand together. The pumpkin puree toned down the sweetness of the parfait and the combination is a creamy and very mildly sweet one, complete with an added crunch from the candied gingko nuts and lotus seeds. I would have loved for the yam parfait to be sweeter and more intensely flavoured though.
Die Die Must Have Chocolate - $12
The name is about right. Imagine a firm chunk of rich chocolatey ganache just breaking apart slowly in your mouth. It takes you right up to dessert heaven and the tangy touch from the raspberry sorbet, raspberry sauce and crispy raspberries complemented the chocolate really well. Highly recommended!
I enjoyed the food so much that I'm planning to return for brunch. I haven't had the time to do so but a friend asked for a recommendation for a brunch venue and I thought of The Halia immediately. He thanked me for my suggestion later on and said that he and his date really enjoyed the food and ambience! I was so pleased. I love it when I recommend something delightful!
* This was a media tasting
1 Cluny Road, via Tyersall Road
Monday - Friday : 12pm - 10pm
Saturday - Sunday : 10am - 10pm