Halal Dining: Halia at Botanic Gardens, 1 Cluny Road, Singapore 259569

Newsflash! Halia at the Botanic Gardens is one of those iconic restaurants that you would bring business partners, life partners, travelling partners and Muslim friends to, because it is one of the few Halal-certified restaurants that is fancy and delicious. I like it for serving up Singapore-inspired Western dishes and mocktails without being too over the top. The location in idyllic Botanic Gardens really helps as well. For the food, even though there are some misses, I still find that overall they managed to stand on their own.

I love their alfresco area surrounded by greenery, which can seat groups of people comfortably. 

We started with some drinks, and I love the herb-infused mocktails such as the Goji Berry Infusion  (S$7) and Halia Mint Berry (S$7)!

This was my Halia Mint Berry with mint, blueberries, ginger, lime and Sprite concoction. Super refreshing. 

The food concept at Halia remains all about communal dining and sharing plates, though they also have lighter and side dishes. Here's the menu.

We started with a light dish like the Lightly Smoked Kingfish (S$17) which had chilled cucumber & ginger shooter, almond, chilli & lemongrass oil. This was very nicely executed with the cucumber shooter being the perfect gravy to complement the fish. 4/5

Then there's the Carmalised Onion and Beetroot Tart (S$17), something I've never tried before. This was an interesting one, with the earthy beetroot on top of some very thin puff pastry,  sprinkled with feta cheese and balsamic glaze. Although interesting, I wouldn't really automatically go to this as compared to the Kingfish. 3/5

For something in between, we had the Charred Caesar Salad (S$12) that features black garlic aioli, beef bacon, pickled cucumber, shaved parmesan and of course romaine lettuce, which was purposely burnt. I liked this quite a lot for the smoky flavour! 4/5

We also shared a medium Fresh Boston Bay Mussels (S$22 for 300g), which was probably the most popular dish of the night. The mussels were perfectly cooked in that delicious coconut and ginger flower broth, with some grilled foccacia to mop up the sweet, seafood broth! 4/5

We then came upon the mains, which featured many plates. There's the Slow cooked tender Chicken Breast and Braised Minced Leg Potato Gratin (S$29) with "Wok-hei" cabbage and mushroom sauce. Now, even though this sounds delish, I find it a rather safe choice. There wasn't too much to write home about. 3/5

What I had preferred was the Lamb Rack and Braised Spice Islands Marinade Rump Stew (S$46) which can be shared between two, for sure! It had bulgur wheat, feta cheese, baby spinach, thyme jus and the most tender lamb. 4/5

There's also a beautiful Pan-fried Barramundi (S$28) for fish lovers using Asian ingredients like Thai coconut cream, along with the usual green asparagus, cherry tomato, pignolina, basil oil. This I think is a good solid meal even though it sounds simple too. Get this over the chicken if you don't feel like having red meat!

For desserts, we tried the Fig Tart (S$11) which had yogurt mousseline, speculoos, caramelised fig (I love figs!) and turmeric foam. Very innovative, light but well balanced between the sweet and sour as well as the textures! We were so stuffed by then but there's still a bit of room for dessert. 3/5

Lastly, some Yuzu Gateaux (S$13)  which had yuzu infused cake, intense chocolate yuzu ganache, lait caramel mousse and yuzu foam. This was citrusy and a real palate cleanser after all the food we've eaten! 3/5

Halia never fails to disappoint, and their Halal certification makes it even more accessible to all Singaporeans who do enjoy other types of meat and non-alcoholic drinks. I like Halia for their innovative use of Asian spices and herbs to make dishes just that tiny bit more special.

1 Cluny Road (Ginger Garden), Singapore Botanic Garden, 259569
Monday-Thurs 9AM – 9:30PM
Fridays 9AM – 10PM, Saturdays 10AM – 10PM, Sundays 10AM – 9:30PM
+65 84441148
Reserve on chope.co or quandoo.sg

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