Posts Tagged ‘Singapore Botanic Gardens’

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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Bee’s Knees (cafe) amidst lush greenery at the Singapore Botanic Gardens

Bees-Knees---Lush-Greenery_thumb1

When I say lush greenery, I do mean lush greenery!

Last month, we brought Baby to check out the the latest dining establishment at the Singapore Botanic Gardens, ie the Bee’s Knees. It’s located in this conservation building called The Garage, which houses Bee’s Knees cafe on the ground floor and a more atas restaurant called Botanico on the upper floor. We thought it would be a good opportunity to expose Baby to nature and greenery.

Btw, this 1920s era Art Deco building is called The Garage because it was actually used as a garage back in the colonial times, hence its seven vaulted entrances for the parking bays back then.

Baby-and-Grandpa-at-the-Singapore-Bo[1]

Gong Gong’s bringing his favourite boy out for lunch. Did you see what he’s wearing?? Yes I bought The Bee’s Knees shirt from Mothercare SG specially to go dine at the Bee’s Knees.Sun

Bees-Knees---Cake-Display-Counter_th

 

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Assembly Coffee 2016–Closed

It’s been 2 years since Assembly Coffee opened at Evans Road. How time flies! I remember I was so happy to have a 3rd wave cafe opening near my work place, and since then, Singapore has been inundated, with cafes galore. What a difference 2 years makes.

Despite my love for coffee, I’m not one of those who needs a fix every day. I don’t get a buzz from drinking coffee, and I can have it even at night. It’s more of the idea of relaxing over a cup of beverage that perks me up, so I’ve only visited Assembly Coffee once in a while, when my colleagues have time during lunch to sit down for a cuppa, which is not all that often. I actually dislike doing takeaways as it just defeats the purpose for me.

Anyway, last weekend I was back in the office to do some clearing up and decided to indulge a bit by getting their waffles. Assembly Coffee is not just known for its coffee, they do a mean waffle too. There are currently 5 waffle options on the menu and the 3 of us decided to share the mixed berry compote with vanilla ice cream one.

Mixed Berry Compote Buttermilk Waffles (1)

Mixed Berry Compote Buttermilk Waffles $12.50

I must say the 3 of us unanimously agreed that the waffle was fantastic. The waffle was crispy on the outside, but still fluffy on the inside. We don’t really like waffles that are just crispy throughout, then it feels like we’re just eating crust or something. The generous dollop of vanilla ice cream and mixed berries went really well with the waffle, softening the crispy exterior. Being the sweet toothed me, I wouldn’t mind if it were just a little bit sweeter though. Even the taste of the waffle itself was slightly different from the more one dimensional versions that you get from average cafes. I guess it’s the buttermilk at work.

Mixed Berry Compote Buttermilk Waffles (2)

Another waffle picture just for the fun of it. Scroll down if you want to see Assembly Coffee’s 2016 menu.

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Di Wei Teochew Restaurant at the Singapore Botanic Gardens

Did you know that there is a food court / coffee shop at the Singapore Botanic Gardens? No I’m not talking about the underground one at the front of the Botanic Gardens near Gleneagles Hospital (that closed down several years ago!), I’m talking about the one that’s nearer to the Nassim Gate.

I’ve written about Food Canopy foodcourt before. Since then, a couple of stalls have changed hands. The Thai stall has moved out and in its place is a new cze char/ zi char stall called Di Wei Teochew Restaurant. Although you might be wondering if it is too lofty for a cze char stall to be calling themselves a restaurant, but that’s because I was told the chef, Chef Chew was formerly head chef at Guan Hin Teochew Restaurant where he worked for 30 years! This is Chef Chew’s first venture out on his own. His signature dishes include cold crab, yam ring, yam paste, braised duck and hor fun. Speaking of the cold crab, if memory serves me right, it costs only $15, and a couple of my colleagues have even ordered this as takeaway to enjoy at home.

Di Wei Teochew Restaurant (1)

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