Archive for the ‘*The Halia’ Category
- Tasting Invite –
The Halia group was established in 2001 with the award-winning The Halia at Singapore Botanic Gardens. Subsequently in November 2012, The Halia at Raffles Hotel officially opened its doors and is proud to be the first home-grown restaurant brand to set foot into the historic hotel and also Singapore’s most graceful landmark. Known for its quality cuisine, well-trained staff, excellent service and ambient settings, the Halia group is poised to establish itself as a leading brand in the food and beverage sector in Southeast Asia.
Together with a few other foodies, misterchewy and I made our way to The Halia at Raffles Hotel after work!
Prior to being seated indoors, all of us ordered a drink each before we started the dinner proper. On the left is CnG ($12) for misterchewy, which was essentially Coke, Grenadine syrup and whipped cream. A deliciously sweet and fizzy drink which we both liked! I had the Halia Mint Berry ($12) which was a refreshing combination of ginger, mint leaf, fresh blueberry and sprite.
Helming the premises of the former Seah Street Deli, The Halia at Raffles Hotel preserves the charming black and white floors of its predecessor, while incorporating the lush surroundings of The Halia at Singapore Botanic Gardens. The 100-seater restaurant offers a spacious dining environment decorated by planted foliage, a collection of wood-carved tables and an abundance of daylight that peeks through the restaurant’s classic French windows
The Halia at Raffles Hotel takes away the convention of a standard three course meal and introduces a “small” and “big” plates concept instead. This encourages free form dining and casts away the notion that an appetizer has to precede a main course. The big plates are also generous enough to promote communal dining.
It is always nice to order some sides to share and potato-loving people would be happy to know that The Halia’s Potato Fries ($8) totally rocked with light yet detectable hints of truffle oil, further complemented by truffle aioli and piquant mayo.
Easily mistaken as deep fried fish fingers, the Polenta Coated Asparagus ($9), as its name suggests, is asparagus coated with polenta and then fried. It tasted good on its own and also with the basil lemon mayo sauce that came with it. A great way to sneak vegetables into your diet!
We had the chance of sampling 5 different small plates. I’m not a fan of salads to begin with, and so I wasn’t particularly eager to touch the Chicken Breast Salad ($14) to be honest. However, I found that this was not your typical salad. The chicken was quite tender and it was interesting that the salad tasted sweet from the ginger flower dressing, yet a little spicy at the same time, due to the addition of chilli.
I had mixed feelings about the Foie Gras Salad ($23) because as much as I liked the nicely pan seared foie gras, it was on the overall too sweet and fruity for my liking. Apricot chutney, candied ginger pecan, blueberry and crouton had also been added into the mix.
The Confit Salmon ($16) had an interesting semi-cooked texture because it had been poached in oil at a low temperature. It was kinda like eating sashimi, except that its texture was slightly firmer. Its taste was further enhanced by the cauliflower purée and vanilla.
This probably doesn’t look very appealing but the Celeriac “Lasagna” ($12) was one of my favorites that night. It is a “lasagna” because celeriac replaces the usual pasta and provided that extra crunch. This Vegetarian dish was creamy without being overwhelmingly so.
I absolutely approve of the Oriental Pulled Duck ($18) which was very well executed. The duck confit which had been seasoned overnight and cooked in its own fat, was very flavorful and when eaten together with the cold soba noodles, provided that refreshing mouth feel.
The Sous Vide Baharat Chicken Leg ($28) didn’t leave much of an impression; I thought that it was kinda dry from the grilling.
The Seafood Gratin ($26) won me over. The Pignolina pasta had a firm, chewy texture and the parmesan cheese was rich, creamy and very satisfying.
The Javanese Spiced Maori Lakes Rack of Lamb ($47) was very tender, and had a nice sweetness to it from the red pepper relish. There was nary a hint of gaminess, likely due to the Javanese spice that had been coated on it.
I’m not sure about my fellow dining companions but I was excited by the presentation of the Chilean Seabass en Papillote ($43) when it arrived in parchment paper. The fish had been cooked in tasty mirin broth together with shiitake and wakame mushrooms. Interestingly, the fish was served together with a plate of sushi rice, which made this a very Japanese dish on the overall.
Sometimes I fear that I will be disappointed by fusion dishes but with the Halia Chilli Crab ($25), my fears were unfounded. The chilli crab tastes exactly like our Singaporean chilli crab, perhaps even better with its perfectly balanced sweet and spicy ratio.
Moving on to desserts, let’s just say that I really liked all four that we tried. I’m the sort who doesn’t mind having a heavy dessert after a meal. If you are like me, then the Sticky Toffee Pudding ($10) would probably work well for you too. This is by far the best sticky date pudding that I have eaten in my life. The combination of date, butterscotch sauce, sea salt and vanilla ice cream is truly awesome beyond words.
I’m not sure if you have to be 18 and above before you can order the Chocolate & Orange Custard ($10) because the orange gel had been laced with Grand Marnier, a type of brandy liquor. The shortbread crumbs and almond bits provided an extra crunch to this dessert.
I like my desserts sweet and also not too sweet. Paradox I know. The Ginger Nougat Parfait ($10) was certainly not something that I would expect myself to like. The combination of caramelised pineapple, puff pastry, almond, anise and cinnamon worked extremely well together, resulting in a unique mild ginger taste.
I couldn’t decide if I preferred the sticky toffee pudding or the Chilled Strawberry Soup ($12). Both were my favorites out of the four. A good amount of sparkling wine had been poured into the chilled strawberry soup and together with the lime sorbet, this was slightly sour and very refreshing.
The Halia has also launched a very attractive Pre-Theatre Dinner Set ($28++ for 2 course, $33++ for 3 course) which is available daily from 5.30 – 7.30pm. It showcases a number of Halia’s signatures such as the celeraic “lasagna”, Halia chilli crab and sticky toffee pudding. Nope, you don’t really have to produce your movie or theatre ticket and I don’t suppose you will be chased out if your dinner stretches past 7.30pm :P
Thank you FoodNews for the invitation and LeRoy for hosting us. Connect with The Chewys on Facebook!
The Halia at Raffles Hotel
1 Beach Road
Tel: 9639 1148
Mon to Fri
11.30am – 10pm
Sat, Sun & PH
10am – 10pm
Hohoho! Christmas is coming! Dear friends, do you feel the lovely festive atmosphere around you? Oh, and I hope you are done with your Christmas shopping! What about your plans to celebrate Christmas with your special ones? If you are still cluecless, I urge you to consider The Halia for their Christmas Day Mega-Brunch which is a family affair with an extensive spread of over 40 items on the menu. Please note that it is available only on Christmas day itself. Besides carving stations featuring turkey and lamb classics and “live” stations for pastas and eggs, guests can also tuck into various The Halia creations. Christmas Day Mega-Brunch is priced at $88++ per adult without alcohol, and $108++ per adult with and endless flow of wines and sparkling wines. Children aged 10 years and below will be charged at $38++.
Terms & Conditions
1) Reservations & full payment in advance are required for confirmation of
2) Last Seating is at 2.45 pm.
3) Buffet & wine service starts at 11 am and concludes at 3.30 pm”
Here’s a sneak peek into the Christmas Day Mega-Brunch! Featuring the White Prawn on Butter Lettuce, Cucumber, Tomato and Piquant Mayonnaise from the Cold items section, the crunchy prawns were extremely delectable when eaten together with the creamy mayonnaise. There will be at least five more cold selections on Christmas day.
Everyone was raving about the Ocean Trout en Croute with Tarragon Cream Sauce. The pastry crust wrapping the moist and savory ocean trout was crisp and lightly buttered. A slice can be quite filling!
There will be plenty of other food choices such as the live station as well as the pasta station. And of course, the dessert station is the one that is close to my heart. I could not help but pick out a serving of each dessert during the dinner! Dessert lover? Definitely!
The Creme Caramel certainly caught my attention with its beautifully torched golden sheen glistening under the dim light. The good news is that it tastes as good as it looks! Beneath the hard caramelized surface lies a soft and smooth custard that was enticingly bittersweet.
The Pecan Pie was also wonderful in its own way with its chewy texture and crunchy pecan nuts.
If you love your fruits, you will be pleased that these Mixed Berry Tarts are available at the dessert station.
The best thing about having a Strawberry Oreo Cheesecake is that you get to experience sweet, tart and savory flavors all at once. The cheesecake was rich and dense but definitely not too overwhelming.
As the saying goes, do not judge a book by its cover. The Pumpkin Pie may look ordinary without the strips of chocolate and berries, but it was surprisingly aromatic and not too sweet for my tastebuds.
From now till 31st December 2011, diners can indulge in an exclusive signature Christmas a la carte menu comprising six seasonal dishes created by newly appointed Chef de Cuisine, Reynaldo Arriola. A 3-course set dinner featuring dishes from the signature Christmas a la carte dinner menu is also available from $118++. For reservations, call (65) 8444 1148.”
Out of the two appetizers that are available in the Signature Christmas Menu, I clearly preferred the Honey Baked Kurobuta Ham, Shaved Fresh Chestnut, Caramelised Fig and White Balsamic Dressing infused with Star Anise ($32). Despite the fact that I was looking forward to a savory appetizer, the sweet honey baked kurobuta ham took my breath away. Somehow, the caramelized fig and white balsamic dressing managed to mask the smell of the pork. On the overall, the tender slices of kurobuta ham were truly a delight.
If you are more a fan of seafood, the Crystal Bay King Prawn Cocktail, Beetroot Mango Salad and Calypso Sauce ($32) is another option for appetizer.
Turkey is naturally low in fat and I can totally understand when the Roast Turkey Supreme, Apricot and Raisin Turkey Roulade, Potato Puree, Buttered Brussel Sprouts ($68) turned out to be a little on the tough and dry side. Ask for more red currant jus and I’m sure that the wait staff would be more than happy to comply with your request.
I was having high expectations of the Grilled Blue Eye Cod Fish with Miso, Pan Fried Spinach Polenta, White Asparagus and Passionfruit Sauce ($78) but was quite let down by its overly firm texture. Interestingly, the pan fried spinach polenta was served as an alternative to rice. This too, was rather dry.
The Christmas Souffle with White Chocolate, Cinnamon and nutmeg, salted caramel ice cream and red currant compote ($22)is best eaten when it is still warm. While I was unable to detect any hints of white chocolate in the souffle, its smooth creaminess really shines through. It is also safe to say that the salted caramel ice cream fared reasonably well.
I very much preferred the Mille Feuille of Pistachio and Cream, Eggnog Ice Cream and Stewed Cherries ($22). The contrasting textures of flaky puff pastry and creamy pistachio, together with the eggnog ice cream which had that alcholic pizzazz, sent chills down my spine.
Feeling too full to move? Have some Hot Halia Infusion ($10)! This house specialty of sun-dried ginger and wild mountain honey is very warm and soothing and will ease the bloatedness in your tummy!
If you have not made dinner plans for Christmas, I hope this helps! Merry Christmas everyone! :D
Thank you Karen from FoodNews for the invitation and warm hospitality over dinner.
1 Cluny Road, Ginger Garden
(enter via Tyersall Avenue from Holland Road)
Singapore Botanic Gardens
Tel: 8444 1148
(Reservations not accepted for brunch and tea)
Lunch – Mondays to Fridays, 12 noon to 5pm (set-lunch
only available till 2pm)
Dinner – Daily, 630pm to 11pm (last seating at 10pm)
Brunch – Saturdays, Sundays & PHs, 10am to 4pm
Tea – Saturdays, Sundays and PHs, 3pm to 5pm
From 5pm to 630pm daily, only drinks will be available