Halia at Raffles Hotel is the urban and chic sister of flagship Halia at Singapore Botanic Gardens. I like how spacious and casual it is, and there’s also an al fresco bar with a huge Hendrick’s bathtub. We ooohh-ed and aahhh-ed over it after learning that it’s an actual Hendrick’s Gin dispenser!
Dinner began properly with a round of drinks (i.e. alcohol after a long day at work heh). Singapore Sling by Hendrick’s ($28++) is a well-balanced easy-to-drink cocktail (my favourite on SQ flights) but too expensive imo. To which I was told it’s similarly priced as Long Bar (birthplace of Singapore Sling) upstairs. Shrug, guess there will always be takers for pricey alcohol.
Then came a steady streams of sides, “small plates” and “big plates” — these are not starters or main courses. The concept is that your dining experience can consist of a big plate to share before a small plate, or several small plates (or even big plates, if you are hungry!) to last the meal. No rules, no formulas.
Presentation was top-notch and most of the dishes were very photogenic, making my life very easy (thank you chef)! I love how colourful our plates were, especially the cured hiramasa kingfish, foie gras salad, and sous vide chicken leg! Towards the end of the meal, we were asked which small and big plate do we like most. My answer was immediate — celeriac “lasagne”. Period. It’s so delicious that I wanted to hog the whole plate but sadly I have to share, haha. Oh no, I’ve got a sudden craving for it now!
I’ve got no fav for the big plates; they were not bad, but nothing as impressive as the vegetarian friendly “lasagne”. Actually, I imagine I’d have loved the mushroom, lentil and walnut bake (from reading the description on the menu) but it was “sold out” that day. Minus points since it’s a no-no for any restaurant to be unable to deliver what’s promised on the menu.
Anyway, on to the desserts! The sticky toffee pudding was such a hit that there was an encore order for it! I much prefer the light and fruity chilled strawberry soup, with an interesting tinge of sourish balsamic vinegar in it. And it’s been quite awhile since I had the gimmicky “let’s pour some liquid (sparkling wine in this case) at the table” performance so that was nice, double thumbs up!
Polenta Coated Asparagus ($9++)
basil lemon mayo
Cured Hiramasa Kingfish ($25++)
paprika, citrus, espelette pepper, lemon, daikon, sauce vierge
Wagyu Beef Carpaccio ($24++)
truffle aioli, micro cress, chilli lemon salt, pickled radish
Celeriac “Lasagna” ($12++)
mushroom, thyme, baby spinach, lemon, madeira cream
Foie Gras Salad ($23++)
apricot chutney, ginger, blueberry, crouton, almond kernel
Oriental Pulled Duck ($18++)
gherkin, caper, micro herb salad, soba noodles, sesame oil
Sous Vide Baharat Chicken Leg ($28++)
butternut squash puree & roast, ginger, coriander red pepper salsa
Seafood Gratin ($26++)
pignolina pasta, basil, parmesan, olive oil
Halia Chilli Crab ($25++)
spaghettini, spring onion, egg
Javanese Spice Maori Lakes Rack of Lamb ($49++)
eggplant puree, red pepper relish
Ginger Nougat Parfait ($10++)
caramelised pineapple, puff pastry, almond, anise, cinnamon
Chilled Strawberry Soup ($12++)
sparkling wine, balsamic, lime sorbet, black pepper
Sticky Toffee Pudding ($10++)
date, butterscotch sauce, sea salt, vanilla ice cream
White Chocolate Mousse ($12++)
chocolate soil, peach puree, raspberry, chocolate ice cream
Special thanks to Ivy (who has already memorized my dietary requirements by now haha), LeRoy, Jael and Alethea from FoodNews for the kind invitation and making sure we are well-fed!
#01-22/23 Raffles Hotel
1 Beach Road