Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Food Review: Afternoon High Tea at Halia, Raffles Hotel, Singapore

It was my good fortune to be invited by Halia at Raffles Hotel to try out their new Afternoon High Tea set a couple of weeks back.

If there is no such thing as BRUNCH in this world, my next favorite meal of the day would undoubtedly be the Afternoon High Tea. I'm not sure why I love these "in-between" meals. Perhaps because there's just something slightly rebellious to eating at times when not as many people are eating, or because there's a sense of luxury of time if you could do brunch or afternoon high tea. You enjoy the company with the people you dine with more, I think!


Halia at Raffles Hotel took over the now defunct Seah Street Deli, which was known for it's old-school American deli food and sorely missed. I'm glad a restaurant that is at least up to standard was its replacement, though Halia has more of a European and Asian fusion slant to their food. As you can see, the decor maintained elements from the old, but updated with the new. I like how it fits perfectly with the architecture and heritage of the hotel.

For $35++ per person, you get the following items. Their tea comes from Gryphon. 


I ordered their Halia Infusion - after all, I am in a restaurant named as such. Halia means ginger, in case you are wondering! My iced ginger drink had honey mixed in, and was a spicy sweet delight on a very warm Saturday afternoon.


On to the actual food! It came in a lovely 2-tiered display, with 2 sets of everything. It is very pretty and looks just about right for a light afternoon tea. You don't want to stuff yourself, but have something to go with with your tea as you soak in the atmosphere and company of a friend!

Since it comes in a set, I don't think I need to go into details of each of them since you can't choose. But you can choose what to eat FIRST. I must say that for me, the most impressive item would be the foie gras mousse on flaky puff pastry. It was fresh, the pastry was buttery flaky and the foie gras smooth and fragrant! The blue cheese with apricot chutney was also very good. I was not so much a fan of the savoury muffin, and the scones could be a little less hard!


The sweet plate is a good idea if you are a dessert type of person and can't decide on what to go for, because there's everything! The macarons did not lose out to the ones from other dessert places, and the cakes were light and fluffy. The Opera cake was particularly rich and satisfying.

On the whole, though $35++ might be a bit steep for the afternoon tea set given what was served, you should see it as buying into an experience. The going rate for afternoon teas in town are also priced similarly anyway, so if you are in the City Hall area do consider Halia for Afternoon Tea!

We were also offered to try the famous Singapore Sling which was not part of the Afternoon Tea Service, because it is such a signature drink at Halia it's a pity for us to miss it! It is made with Hendrick's Gin, and tasted like how the Sling should be - not overly sweet, with the alcohol finely balanced with the fruity grenadine flavours.


Lastly, even though it was not part of the menu, I love that we were also offered to try their Halia Chilli Crab Spaghettini (S$25). It. was. so. good. The pasta was al dente, and coated with generous layers of thick chili crab sauce, peppered with chunks of crab. If not for the tea service we had before I could probably polish off this whole plate of spaghettini myself!

If I ever had cravings for chili crab and pasta, I know where to go. No wonder this is a signature dish. Very symbolic as a Singapore's dish (best of local flavours combined with best of western cuisine).


If you and your girlfriends are on the look out for a nice casual place to have afternoon tea and you like what you see on the Afternoon Tea menu, do consider Halia!
The Halia at Raffles Hotel
1 Beach Road, #01-22/23 Raffles Hotel, Singapore 189673
Mon – Fri: 11.30am to 10pm, Sat, Sun, PH: 11am to 10pm

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