The first time I went to Halia at Botanic Gardens was during the day. This time, me and bf enjoyed a nice weekday dinner date in Halia's romantic night ambience. (We are actually sitting with Cyndiana from Foodnews though haha)
The Halia went through a revamp and while retaining its original concept, it is strengthened through several new elements such as an elevated deck for diners to enjoy the lovely garden setting, new staff uniforms (hand-printed using traditional batik method), an addition of a live band every Sunday evening, furniture replaced with bespoke wooden pieces expressly designed and made for Halia by a Thai designer, floor laid with tiles decorated with Peranakan-style patterns, and dishware made by hand in the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam. Very detailed efforts!
I remember the Chilli Crab sauce in Halia to be really good and one of their signatures, so Cyndiana ordered the Chilli Crab Dip ($15++) for us, which came served with crisp baguette. Lots of crab meat in the dip, great for people who are too lazy to crack their own crab! It's still as delicious as it was the last time I tried, and bf agreed too!
Next, we had the Lime & Ginger Yellowfin Tuna Kinilaw ($18++). I liked the combination of tuna and coconut slices, avocado, tomato, seaweed, chilli oil, topped with crispy wanton skin. This is one of the dishes I would recommend!
Lemongrass & Ginger Tiger Prawn Salad ($19++) in ginger flower dressing. A little spicy, but also very refreshing because of the fresh mango and tomato salsa in the salad.
This is probably my favourite dish here. I don't usually like fully-cooked salmon dishes because it usually taste dry and tough, but the Lightly smoked salmon fillet ($34++) at Halia is tender and juicy.
Halia has always been known for its heritage (the name is actually a Malay word for ginger, in deference to its location in the lush Ginger Garden of Singapore Botanic Gardens), hence the food often takes inspiration from many Asian dishes. For example, the curry in Spice Islands Marinated Lamb Loin ($44++) had a very familiar and strong fragrance due to the Indian spices used. I thought it was a unique way to present lamb loins!
Another asian dish, the Tower of Silken Tofu Tempura ($28++). Besides the smooth tofu, the grilled baby eggplants were surprisingly pleasant although I don't usually like eggplants.
We ended our dinner on a sweet note with two desserts.
This chocolate cake topped with raspberry sorbet ($12++) is quite cool because there's popping candy, so it was a fun dessert to eat. Haha.
And this! "Orh Nee" ($12++), is actually Yam Paste with Gingko Nuts, served in Halia's own unique way: frozen home-made yam parfait on pumpkin puree with candied gingko nuts & lotus seeds. I thought this was quite interesting!
Ordered two of the festive beverage specials - Mulled Wine Sangria and Granny's Apple Pie. However, we ordered non-alcohol version.
Bf had the Granny's Apple Pie ($10++), which is a concoction of Bacardi Oakheart, caramelized condensed milk, egg yolk, gingerbread syrup, fresh lime juice & apple juice.
Meanwhile, I had the tamer choice of Mulled Wine Sangria ($10++), Aguaribay Malbec, vodka, rum, home-made ginger lemonade, star anise, clove, cinnamon, cardamom, brown sugar & fresh fruits.
Looking at the quality of food at Halia, it's no wonder why Halia had so many accolades over the years.
*Featured in Lonely Planet Guide 2015/2016
*Voted for inclusion in Singapore Tatler’s Best Restaurant Guide 2003 – 2015
*Voted as one of Singapore’s Finest Restaurants (1-star) in Wine & Dine 2003– 2015
*Won a special award for Western Restaurant with Best Ambience in Wine & Dine 2005
*Awarded Tripadvisor’s Certificate of Excellence 2010 – 2015
*Recognised as one of Asia’s Top 500 Restaurants by The Miele Guide in 2013
*Won a Star Award in Epicurean Singapore 2012
*Won a Gold Plate Award by Singapore Women’s Weekly in 2010
*Winner of Modern European/Mediterranean Bistro category in The Business Times/Citibank Gourmet Choice Awards 2009
*Recognised as one of Singapore’s Top 50 Restaurants by Singapore Business Review in 2008
*Won a Best Restaurant Award from American Express in 2005
Went home with the ginger flower dressing which was used on the salad earlier, and also the ginger & pineapple jam!
If you haven't booked your table for Christmas, Halia is having a festive buffet spread!
CHRISTMAS DAY 2015 SPARKLING BUFFET
Choice of 3 seatings
1st seating - 10.00 am to 12.00 noon
2nd seating – 12.30 pm to 2.30 pm
3rd seating - 3.30 pm to 5.30 pm
Includes free flow sparkling, red & white wines
$138++ (2nd seating only), $128++ (1st and 3rd seatings)
Includes free flow soft drinks & juices
$118++ (2nd seating only), $108++ (1st and 3rd seatings)
CHILD (12 years and below)
Includes free flow soft drinks & juices
1 Cluny Road, Ginger Garden (enter via Tyersall Avenue)
Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore 259569