Media Invite Raffles Hotel is the epitome of Colonial Decadence, and there is no better way for one to experience it gastronomically, than by dining at The Halia. Like its sister outlet at... READ MORE
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Raffles Hotel is the epitome of Colonial Decadence, and there is no better way for one to experience it gastronomically, than by dining at The Halia. Like its sister outlet at the Botanic Gardens, the garden theme is maintained at The Halia at the Raffles Hotel to create a relaxing but chic atmosphere. Located at the same corner of the ex Seah Street Deli, this restaurant is conveniently located near City Hall MRT.
Halia which is Malay for Ginger offers contemporary European fare with Asian touches. Invited to sample their latest menu offerings, we could not wait to sample the new Communal Feast Menu. The Communal menu is built on the premise that meals should be eaten together with friends and loved ones, and therefore the dishes are served in portions, that everyone can enjoy. Perfect for 3 – 4 persons, the communal feast menu here inspires a convivial dining experience celebrated with friends and family.
Curated by Executive Chef Ciaran F. Armstrong diners have a choice between a light or a hearty menu. We were glad that we skipped lunch, as the hearty menu was definitely well worth our calories.
Starting off with bread and soup, our senses were opened when we were served the bright colors presented in the Goat’s Cheese Mousse. We are not particularly fond of the wide array of cheeses found in fine dining restaurants, but this platter proved to be an appertizer worth devouring. One interesting dip was the curry infused oil that comes together with the bread.It sounds odd, but it was so yummy with that slight tinge of spice.
Below, you can see an old school kettle with a thick creamy drink. That’s actually that novel way of serving the soup of the day! What you we had was a very homemade Cauliflower & Truffle Oil Soup. My wife thought it was really cool for such a communal setting, as it was a no mess way of serving soup!
And then we were served the most delicious Chilli Crab. Disclosure: I am one huge crab fan. I love my crabs and I know them well. And when it comes to Chilli Crabs, I am picky about the chilli sauce, the mix of spices, and of course the freshness of crab meat. The Halia Chilli Crab was really very good. Of course what made it really good was also the fact that I could eat without getting my hands dirty. That finger licking factor is something I enjoy, but when crab is served without the shell, and when it tastes so yummy, I won’t complain!
Next up was the Minced Beef “Zha jiang mian”. The dish reminded me of Taiwan, but with plenty of fresh ingredients and tastefully prepared. The dish certainly added great balance to the whole journey so far.
Just before the big mains that came along, we were also introduced to house smoked salmon pate. Complete with Hendrick’s gin, crostini and cucumber, the dish was nice. Don’t worry about the gin, as I did not feel it,
Next up were the mains. My wife loved the twice-cooked spring chicken and she was raving about how tender the chicken was, and still moist on the inside. Although I have a personal preference for fried chicken, I have to admit that the chicken was really tender. Together with the fish, the dishes were very enjoyable and we were very highly satisfied with the dishes.
The last mains that we had was the “Gunpower” Wagyu Rump. Most of us don’t get to eat Wagyu very often, and just the mention of Wagyu makes me hungry again. The dish is certainly cooked very differently as it is marinated for 4 to 6 hours with elements similar to gunpowder (mainly charcoal and nitrate salt), to cure the meat by preventing oxidation as well as to add a touch of smokiness. The meat is then cooked sous-vide in a water bath at 59 degrees Celsius for 30 to 45 minutes before it is quickly grilled on the grill to finish before it is served directly. There is certainly a lot of preparation done and it was definitely out of the ordinary.
And they truly saved the best for the last. For dessert, we had Coconut Parfait and Sticky toffee pudding. I normally don’t take coconut nor toffee, and I was therefore a bit apprehensive about these desserts. However, the Coconut Parfait was surprisingly quite nice, but the sticky toffee pudding really hit the sweet spot. Together with the lava cake like pudding, the hot moist chocolate together with the melted toffee proved to be a symphony of decadence. I could have finished the whole dessert by myself, but alas it was communal, and I had to share it with others. Trust me about this pudding, as even the waiter was “raving” about it, when he served the dish to us.
Frankly the meal was like a buffet of sorts, as we managed to sample so many dishes that we were stuffed. The best thing was that it was hard for us to find a bad dish, as all the dishes were tasty, and even the worst dish would rank an average at most restaurants. We would highly recommend the Halia, if you are planning for a long lunch or dinner with your friends, and looking forward to some great food at the same time.
If you have the budget, it’s time to round up a few friends, and sit down for a great dinner at The Halia.
Communal Feast Menu – Hearty
*Priced at $270++ for 4 pax, inclusive of a communal jug of Lemongrass or Iced Tea.
Available daily from 12pm – 2.30pm (last order at 1.30pm) & 6pm – 10.30pm (last order at 9.30pm).
* There is also a Light Menu that is priced at $160++ for 4, which comes with fewer dishes.
1 Beach Road
Tel: 9639 1148
Mon to Fri
11.30am – 10pm
Sat, Sun & PH
10am – 10pm