Modern Culinary Treasure
Located in the one-hectare Ginger Garden of the colonial sanctuary that is Raffles, one of Singapore’s most iconic hotels, the recent opening of Halia at Raffles Hotel signals the third prestigious venue for this trendy culinary brand.
Making it the first homegrown restaurant brand to set foot into the historic hotel, the urban-casual Halia at Raffles Hotel is the newest addition to the Halia portfolio of restaurants, following the launch of Halia Hanoi and Villa Halia in 2008, and the award-winning Halia at Singapore Botanic Gardens which celebrates its eleventh birthday this year.
Reflecting the style of a bygone era, charming black and white floors welcome you into a spacious dining room lushly decorated with tropical foliage, a collection of wood-carved tables and an abundance of daylight that peeks through the restaurant’s classic French windows. Specialising in contemporary European cuisine complemented with Asian inspirations, a multi-faceted menu provides diners with both small plates and big plates options. This unique concept encourages free form dining and casts out any notion that a proper meal must compose of an appetiser before the main course.
If you’re looking forward to an afternoon of sharing dishes amongst friends and family, Halia’s big plates are generous enough to promote communal dining, allowing everyone at the table to sample the restaurant’s exquisite cuisine. Equally tempting, the big plates menu offers an intriguing variety of multi-cultural dishes. We can’t resist ordering the popular ‘Javanese Spice Maori Lakes Rack of Lamb’, a hearty dish with tender lamb rack marinated in the chef’s secret Javanese spice mix.
Another favourite vegetarian offering on the menu, the ‘Mushroom, Lentil and Walnut Bake’ is brimming with earthy essence of fennel, sundried tomatoes, and mushrooms. Last but not least, no visit to Halia at Raffles Hotel is complete without trying their signature dish, the ‘Halia Chilli Crab’, a spaghettini cooked with crabmeat and a spicy egg based gravy. Not only is the Chilli Crab Spaghettini a Halia original, it is a successful adaptation of one of Singapore’s most loved dishes. The dish is served in all Halia restaurants and in Hanoi it is enjoyed by Singaporeans who crave a taste of home as well as travellers that have heard of the famed chilli crab dish.
Although all of the small plate options look incredibly tempting, we are able to narrow down the selection to three irresistible dishes. The ‘Celeriac Lasagna’ is a must for vegetarians, combining succulent layers of mushrooms, thyme, baby spinach, fresh lemon and Madeira cream. For the carnivores in our group, the ‘Foie Gras Salad’ was an absolute hit. Artisan crafted foie gras is enhanced with apricot chutney, candied ginger pecan, blueberries and flavourful croutons, creating a fusion that is both healthy and indulgent. Showcasing Singapore’s culinary roots, the ‘Oriental Pulled Duck’ is a rich medley of flavours as the duck is marinated overnight with cinnamon, fennel and juniper berries alongside other aromatics before being cooked in its own fat and tossed with soba noodles.