Archive for the ‘Botanic Gardens’ Category

Halia at Singapore Botanic Gardens is now certified Halal!

[Media Invite]

Did you know that the Halia restaurant at the Singapore Botanic Gardens has recently been converted into a Halal restaurant as of June 2017? This beautiful restaurant which has been at the UNESCO World Heritage inscribed Singapore Botanic Gardens since 2001 can now be considered an inclusive dining destination for all. Muslims who visit the Botanic Gardens often now have the option to dine amidst this lush greenery without having to scoot off elsewhere for lunch or dinner.

It certainly makes sense to cater to the Halal market because of its unique location in one of Singapore’s most popular tourist destination.  In order to be certified Halal, a significant change they have had to make is to remove alcohol from the menu. I am told this has not put a dent on profits because now the customer base has widened! Anyway, with a name like “Halia”, which means “ginger” in Malay, the connection is now even stronger.

Btw, when I say “inclusive dining destination”, I do mean it also in terms of pricing. Years ago, if you thought Halia to be an expensive restaurant, you would be right. But the menu has been largely revamped and now there are many main course-sized dishes going for less than $30. Appetisers are in the $15s range while desserts are about $11. Yet when you look at the decor and the ambience at Halia, you feel like you are dining in an upscale restaurant! On the evening of our media tasting, quite a number of tables were occupied by people celebrating birthdays. I would certainly love to celebrate my birthday there, it is so romantic at night!

Anyway, on to the food. In general, I thought the food was very good, given the pricing. Quite a number of the dishes were also innovatively presented so that nothing is predictable or mundane. Also the presentation, and small touches were befitting of an upscale restaurant. It is the attention to detail that takes a dish from good to great.

Halia - Fresh Boston Bay mussel ($22  )

Fresh Boston Bay mussel $22

My favourite dish of the evening was this mussel dish, featuring a slightly spicy coconut and ginger flower broth had such an intense flavour that made me crave for more. A good thing that they provided a substantially sized slice of focaccia bread to mop up the delicious broth. This dish is listed under the “In Between” section of the menu, meaning that this may not be filling enough if you’re a large eater.

Halia -Lightly Smoked Kingfish ($17  ) Chilled cucumber & ginger shooter, almond, chilli & lemongrass oil (2)

Lightly Smoked Kingfish $17 

The fish was pretty delicate in flavour as well as texture, and disappeared all too soon. Oh you’re supposed to pour a chilled cucumber & ginger shooter onto the fish, but I quite liked it on its own.

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Singapore Botanic Gardens Heritage Festival–Lots to eat, see and do!

The annual Singapore Botanic Gardens Heritage Festival is back for 2 weekends from 30 June – 9 July 2017. There’s so much to see, do and eat that you might want to spend more than 1 day at the Gardens!

Check out this link for more details on the programmes and promotions lined up for the Heritage Festival, but here’s a short summary on what you can expect:

  • Performances at Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage and the Bandstand
  • Programmes such as laughter yoga to qigong to
  • Children’s craft-making activities
  • Talks such as why the Singapore Botanic Gardens gained UNESCO World Heritage status or getting to know your Kampung vegetables.
  • Guided tours of the Gardens
  • Plant sales
  • Free entry to National Orchid Garden
  • and more!

Singapore Botanic Gardens (1)

And of course, not forgetting the fooooood! The F&B outlets at the Singapore Botanic Gardens will be coming up with special heritage dishes and/or discounts to whet your appetite during this period. Scroll down for pictures of what to expect.

~~~ Halia ~~~

Check out the numerous food and drink selections that have ginger and other botanical inspirations in them. The Chilled Ginger Jive is particularly refreshing, especially after a long and sweaty stroll in the Gardens. The Lemongrass and Ginger Prawn salad is really good too. It has a zesty Asian dressing and is quite substantial as a meal actually. And of course, the Chilli Crab Spaghettini is their long standing house favourite.

Check out Halia’s Chilli Crab Sauce Cooking Demonstration approx 45min on 1,2,8,9 July 4.30pm. Demo is FREE but registration is required.

Halia’s Provisions Store will also be offering a 10% discount for various items during the Heritage Festival, such as Halia’s signature chilli crab sauce, ginger flower sauce, ginger pineapple jam etc.

Halia at SBG - Chilled Ginger Jive (Ice blend of fresh ginger, fruit punch, orange & honey) $12

Chilled Ginger Jive (Ice blend of fresh ginger, fruit punch, orange & honey) $12

These 2 glasses look like 2 birds perched on the railing!

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10 great cafes in Singapore’s parks to catch Pokemon Go

I never thought I’d say this but out of sheer curiosity, I’ve jumped onto the Pokemon Go bandwagon just to see what it’s all about! A week ago, I had barely a clue what Pokemon was, and now I’m itching to spend some real money because I’ve run out of Pokeballs and there are no Pokestops near my place!

Anyway for those of you with time to spare, you might just want to check out these 10 cafes located in some of Singapore’s beloved parks. Park yourself (pun intended) in a nice spot within the cafe and catch ‘em all! Actually, even if you’re not into Pokemon Go, these are great cafes to chill out and enjoy Singapore’s lush greenery and outdoors. Smile

~ Singapore Botanic Gardens ~

1. Casa Verde

Casa-Verde-Signature-Breakfast

Address : 1 Cluny Road Singapore Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre Singapore 259569

Tel : 6467 7326

http://www.casaverde.com.sg/contact

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Singapore Botanic Gardens

Let’s take a break from food photos for a while and let me indulge in my other favourite things to do in Singapore…visiting parks, museums and old buildings. Here’s some photos I took a few days back at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. You can always find something interesting to see and do if you just slow down and let the world go by. Someday soon, I plan to prepare a little picnic basket and have a nice homemade afternoon tea with the Partner at the Botanic Gardens. Why live, if it’s not to enjoy the little wonders in everyday life?

Shy tortoise basks on roots

Some animals wait for you to snap as many photos as you want, although they may still feel shy about it and tuck their heads in.

Bird sipping nectar from flowers

I was so lucky to be able to take numerous shots of this little birdie sipping nectar from the flowers. He was doing all sorts of acrobatics, sometimes sipping nectar while hanging upside down, not a metre away from me. Can anyone identify what this bird is?

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