Start your weekend right with brunch at The Halia at Raffles Hotel, a new urban-chic sibling of the award-winning The Halia at Singapore Botanic Gardens. Situated on the ground floor of Singapore’s most iconic hotel, weekenders can now relish in the lush indoor greenery and relaxed atmosphere while enjoying delectable brunch specials.
The interior of The Halia at Raffles Hotel is spacious and well-lit with natural light streaming in from the framed colonial-style windows all around. Along with the black and white subway tiles on the floor, and a vertical garden against a back wall near the serving station, this sets the canvas for a casual dining experience.
A live tree, a nod to the original Halia at Singapore Botanic Gardens, with a wooden table is the centerpiece of the restaurant that welcomes you when you step in. Tall wooden tables with backed leather bar chairs are ideal for a group of friends, while regular-height tables (some with upholstered banquettes) are family-appropriate – especially those with young ‘uns.
Start your brunch with a refreshing drink from the extensive drinks menu which includes Heavenly Halia (S$20) – a concoction of fresh ginger, pineapple, peach liqueur, Blue Curacao and sprite.
Or if you prefer, kick back with a tall glass of the restaurant’s popular signature cocktail, Singapore Sling by Hendrick’s (S$28), a tribute to and an adaptation of the iconic original creation (invented right here at Raffles Hotel decades ago). What makes Halia’s version delightful is the addition of Hendrick’s Gin, which has unique rose and cucumber infusions, and a secret orange liqueur. I think this version is better than the original, it’s not as syrupy and the cucumber infusion adds an invigorating dimension to this sexy cocktail.
Brunch purists with voracious appetites and egg aficianados will be thrilled by the Grilled Breakfast with Any Style Eggs (S$23) – with an option to have it fried, poached, as an omelette or scrambled, accompanied with Italian pork sausage, sweetened bacon, Portobello mushroom, vine tomato and toasted sourdough. I’m all over poached eggs these days, like yolk on white yo. ;p
Another hearty option is the White Bean Iberico Chorizo Leek Stew (S$16) with egg sunny side up, smoked chipotle sauce, tomato and fine herbs. Not a common item on most brunch menus, the portion of this stew serves two or three people comfortably. Unlike most stews that tend to be heavy, this is robust without being too thick, and totally appropriate to dunk sourdough toasts into. The idea of having stew on a weekend morning is charming and I enjoy this very much.
Look forward to the Sous Vide Wagyu Rump Cap (S$36) served with buttered brocollini, truffle mash, slow roast cherry tomato and drizzled with tarragon jus. The slices of steak are excellent – every bite is juicy and the texture is soft, while the truffle mash completely shines. MUST TRY!
Too many restaurants serve truffle this, truffle that and the overkill made truffle-anything passé for me very quickly. However, this truffle mash is delicate and elegant with the right amount of truffle perfume. It has effectively revived my appreciation towards truffle again.
Another homerun for me is the Pancakes (S$12) with bacon butter, fresh strawberries and puree. Fluffy, airy and served in three pieces per portion, this tastes as good as it looks. I particularly enjoy the interesting sweet-savory combination of fresh strawberries and crumbled bacon – both in flavors and textures. This leaves me wanting more.
If you’ve got room for dessert (hey, it’s the weekend – please make room), there’s the Sticky Chocolate Brownie with Creme Brulee Ice Cream and Passionfruit Sauce (S$12). This brownie is a little bit like a denser version of a chocolate wafer and I personally prefer my brownie to be more cake-like, ie. thicker and less crunchy.
A definite MUST TRY is the Sticky Toffee Pudding (S$10), a simple yet beautiful dessert of fluffy pudding topped with vanilla ice-cream, butterscotch sauce and a sprinkle of sea salt. It’s not as sweet as it sounds, the flavors are just right and it definitely hits the spot for me. The moist and slightly springy texture won me over – it’s like nothing I’ve ever had before – and I must go back to have this again.
Halia’s Signature Halia Infusion of Sundried Ginger and Wild Mountain Honey (S$10) rounds off brunch nicely – served cold or hot.
The simple brunch menu at The Halia at Raffles Hotel is certainly filled with surprises and out of the few which I featured above, I’d easily go back to the restaurant and order most of them again. Given the quality of food and serving portions, I think the prices are very fair. Brunch at The Halia at Raffles Hotel is served every weekend and on public holidays from 11AM to 5:30PM. I’m looking forward to returning soon!
The Halia at Raffles Hotel
#01-22/23, 1 Beach Road
Tel: (65) 9639-1148