Renowned Singaporean restaurant opens offshoot at Raffles Hotel Singapore
August 5th, 2013
Established over a decade ago amid the verdant tropical greenery of Singapore’s Botanical Gardens, the original Halia at Singapore Botanic Gardens restaurant has garnered considerable acclaim as one of Singapore’s leading destinations for superb cuisine and elegant fine dining. Recently, the opportunity arose to take over a prominent corner location at the iconic Raffles Hotel, leading to the debut of The Halia at Raffles Hotel in November 2012. While the cuisine concept of contemporary European with Asian inflections closely follows that of the sibling restaurant at the Botanical Gardens, the style at the new restaurant is stepped down a notch or two, with a more laid-back, “urban-casual” feel than the fine dining environment of the original The Halia. In addition to the comfortably proportioned interior dining room, The Halia at Raffles Hotel boasts an attractive open-air bar space in one of the colonnaded courtyards of the Raffles Hotel complex. The stylish bar offers refreshing beverages all day, specialising in premium quality artisanal spirits, sumptuous cocktails and craft beers from Singapore’s oldest brewery- Archipelago.
Diners at The Halia at Raffles Hotel can select dishes in two sizes from the menu- “small Plates” and “big plates”- a concept designed to encourage a “free-form” style of sociable dining- where “big plates” sized dishes can be shared, and the “small plates” can be ordered in combinations for sharing, or as individual servings. Dishes are attractively priced, and the Express Lunch Set at S$25++ for three courses is particularly popular. Stand-out dishes from the culinary team include the signature dish from the original The Halia– the Halia Chilli Crab Spaghettini (S$25++) is an enticing adaptation of one of Singapore’s most famous local dishes- chilli crab- combining it with spaghettini, egg and spring onion to create a dish popular with both locals and visitors. Other notable dishes include the Javanese Spice Maori Lakes Rack of Lamb(“big plate”- S$49++) is a tender lamb rack marinated in chef’s secret Javanese spice mix that was first created at The Halia at Singapore Botanic Gardens in 2001 and the Sous vide Baharat Chicken Leg (S$28++) features a deboned spice-rubbed chicken leg served with coriander red pepper salsa, and butternut squash prepared in two ways- roasted and pureed. Dessert selections include a traditional Sticky Toffee Pudding (S$10++)- warm date pudding drizzled with homemade butterscotch sauce and sea salt, topped with vanilla ice cream; and Ginger Nougat Parfait (S$10++)- a combination of ginger parfait, caramelised pineapple, puff pastry and almonds, with hints of anise and cinnamon.
The word “halia” is of Malay origin and means ginger in English- at The Halia restaurants, ginger is creatively incorporated into a number of both the dishes and refreshing beverages, imparting a quintessential Asian taste element.
A well-crafted beverage list provides a good selection of wines, champagnes, fresh juices, soft drinks, etc to accompany meals. And cocktails, beers and spirits can be ordered from the bar all day. The Halia enjoys a collaboration with Hendrick’s, the Scottish producer of handmade, cucumber and rose infused gin. The Halia at Raffles Hotel bartenders have been specially trained by Hendricks in the preparation of a collection of finely executed cocktails made with the ultra-premium spirit. The bar also dispenses on draught a selection of four of the flagship small-batch brews from the Archipelago Brewery– the oldest commercial brewery in Singapore– Belgium Whit, Summer Ale, Irish Ale and Bohemian Lager.
The Halia at Raffles Hotel is open on weekdays from 11:30 am to 10:00 pm, and on weekends from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm.
The Halia occupies a prominent street level corner space of the Raffles Hotel Arcade.
The Halia at Raffles Hotel restaurant
Dark timber French windows wrap around all sides of the dining room- suffusing the room with natural daylight. The classic elegance of the black and white marble flooring blends with natural timber furniture and the lush foliage references the botanical” heritage of Halia restaurants.
A contemporary red leather banquette extends across one side of the room adding a colourful accent to the predominantly neutral tones of the decor.
A semi-private dining table stands behind the reception counter- adjacent to the kitchen.
The centre-piece circular table is crafted from the cross-section of a massive hardwood tree – with the inter-twining trunks of a living tree growing out through its core.
Selected dishes from The Halia menu
“Small Plates”- Wagyu Beef Carpaccio– truffle aioli, micro cress, chilli lemon salt, pickled radish; S$24++
“Small Plates”- Celeriac “Lasagna” -mushroom, thyme, baby spinach, lemon, madeira cream; S$12++
“Big Plates”- Signature Dish- Halia Chilli Crab– spaghettini, spring onion, egg; S$25++
“Small Plates” – Oriental Pulled Duck -gerkhin, caper, micro herb salad, soba noodle, sesame oil; S$18++
“Big Plates”- Sous Vide Baharat Chicken Leg -butternut squash puree & roast, ginger, coriander red pepper salsa; S$28++
The Halia Bar- courtyard of Raffles Hotel
Directly adjacent to the restaurant, the Halia bar occupies a large open-air space in the colonnaded hallways of the Raffles Hotel complex.
In addition to the leather upholstered bar counter seats, timber high tables and chairs offer a casual, relaxed environment for refreshing drinks.
A beautiful internal courtyard provides further outdoor seating options at elegant white wrought-iron tables and chairs under the large green parasols.
A Hendricks Gin antique -style bathtub- with functioning tap that pours gin- is a decorative feature in front of the main bar.
Cocktail highlights from The Halia bar
Singapore Sling by Hendrick’s– Hendrick’s Gin, cherry brandy, Cointreau, pineapple juice, grenadine syrup, & Benedictine D.O.M; S$28++
Hendrick’s Cucumber Bandung- Hendrick’s Gin, milk, whipping cream, rose water, cucumber juice; S$20++
Heavenly Halia- fresh ginger, pineapple, peach liqueur, Blue Curacao, Sprite; S$20++
Premium artisanal spirits- from L to R
Milagro Tequila combination- Reposado & Anejo (S$30++ per pour); Milagro Anejo Tequila (S$25++ per pour); Milagro Reposado Tequila (S$28++ per pour); Milagro Silver Tequila (S$22++ per pour)