Halia Restaurant

halia's alfresco dining area
Last night, I went to Halia Restaurant in the scenic Botanic Gardens for my birthday dinner with the boyfriend. Halia (which means ginger in malay) is a 7-year old restaurant located within the Ginger Garden. Nestled in the heart of lush foliage, Halia’s alfresco area was an idyllic spot for a romantic dinner. With fans overhead and ample greenery, heat and humidity were successfully kept at bay. From the moment we were greeted till the moment we left, we received wonderful service from Halia’s staff – they were friendly and attentive to our needs throughout dinner.

Crisp Black Pepper Softshell Crab with Wasabi Mayo
We were recommended Halia’s signature Crisp Black Pepper Soft Shell Crab ($18) [****.], and I was eager to try it after hearing so much about it. This dish was paired with wasabi mayonnaise (decorated here on the plate), and their staff are prompt in offering you more wasabi mayo. In fact, the waitress who attended to us was insistent on it, and for good reason too – it tasted lip-smackingly good. The wasabi taste wasn’t overpowering, and the mayo balanced out the slight spicyness of the black pepper.

200-day grain fed ribeye

Our main courses were up next and my boyfriend had the 200-day grain fed Ribeye Steak ($45) [****.] which was served with french beans, potato and brown mushrooms on the side as pictured here (the cut’s a tad bigger than it looks here). He paired with Halia’s house Cabernet Sauvignon. I pinched a morsel of steak from him and it was juicy. The texture of the meat was consistent in its tenderness, with slightly above-average marbling (in my opinion).

Seafood Bouillabaisse

As pictured above, we’ve got the Seafood Bouillabaisse ($42) [****.] which I ordered to go with the Sauvignon Blanc I was having. Halia’s version consists of 3 of each of the following – fresh scallops, mussels, prawns, sea perch fillet and squid infused with Asian spices such as lemongrass and chinese parsley among others.

Bouillabaisse
[BOOL-yuh-BAYZ, BOOL-yuh-BEHZ]
is defined as a celebrated seafood stew from Provence, made with an assortment of fish and shellfish, onions, tomatoes, white wine, olive oil, garlic, saffron and herbs. The stew is ladled over thick slices of French bread.

© Copyright Barron’s Educational Services, Inc. 1995 based on THE FOOD LOVER’S COMPANION, 2nd edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst.

Chocolate Torte with Strawberries in Kirsch
Dessert was a pleasant surprise because we ended up with not 1, but 2. The Chocolate Torte with kirsch strawberries ($15) [***.] came first. Halia’s menu states that this dessert will take 15 mins’ preparation so do order this some time in advance. Commonly paired with chocolate torte – vanilla ice-cream – together with the kirsch strawberries were a pleasant combination. The torte was crisp on the edges around the bottom, and the warm chocolate oozed out easily.

Teh Tarik Halia

Our final dessert was Halia’s signature Teh Tarik Halia [****.] – caramel tea crème brulee with ginger sorbet, a dessert specially created in tribute to the Ginger Garden. My favourite of the 2 desserts. I’m not a fan of ginger, but I really liked the lightness of the sorbet, and the crème brulee was really unique because it was infused with tea.

Halia is a fantastic choice for the upcoming anniversary, or a big date…it was a memorable experience for me. I’m certain it’ll be one for you too.

/ prices stated above not inclusive of ++

The I-wanna-know[s]:

Taste – 8.5/10
Price – $$$ to $$$$
Service – 9/10
Ambience – 9/10
Accessibility – 7/10

Legend:
[$]-cheap like peanuts: ($10 & below/person)
[$$]-average Jane ($15-$25/person)
[$$$]-you might wanna tke tht card out..($30-$60/person)
[$$$$]-extremely exorbitant ($70 & above/person)
[* to *****] – rating(s) for individual dishes

Tel: +65 6476 6711

Address:
1 Cluny Road, Ginger Garden
(enter via Tyersall Avenue)
Singapore Botanic Gardens
Singapore 259569

Opening hours:
Monday to Friday
(except public holidays):
11am to 11pm
Saturday, Sunday &
public holidays:
9am to 11pm

Website: http://www.halia.com.sg

Dress code: Smart Casual

Nearest MRT: Orchard MRT (soon-to-be Botanic Gardens MRT – Circle Line)

Buses: SBS Transit 7, 105, 123, 174, 502 | SMRT 75, 77, 106

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