Posts Tagged ‘tuna’

The Halia Restaurant at the Botanic Gardens

*Media Invite*

I was seriously elated when I received an invitation to try out The Halia Restaurant, a beautiful restaurant nestled in the heart of the Botanic Gardens. There is something magical and mystical about dining amidst lush greenery.

Up until then, I’d never dined at Halia before, but for those of you who have, The Halia Restaurant has rejuvenated itself with a new look, menu and culinary team since October 2011. Chef Reynaldo Arriola helms the kitchen now. “Halia” is a Malay word for ginger and the restaurant is aptly named so because it is smack in the middle of the Ginger Garden at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. The restaurant now boasts a new show kitchen with counter seats, which I think is pretty rare for a Western restaurant.

It can be a tad inconvenient to get to The Halia Restaurant as it’s almost in the middle of the Botanic Gardens, but it helps that there is now a Botanic Gardens MRT station, which means it is only about a 10 – 15 minute walk after you get out of the station.

Ms Karen Wee of FoodNews hosted the dinner for 5 lucky diners, myself included.  Because there were so many of us, we were able to sample a great number of dishes. It’s almost incredible how we managed to finish all the food (there were hardly any leftovers!) and if you don’t believe me, you can count the number of dishes!! Between the 6 of us, we polished off 5 appetisers, 7 Mains and 3 desserts, with additional servings for some of the dishes too!

Most of the photos used are provided by The Halia Restaurant, as they have a professional photographer lah. My excuse is that it was dark when I took my pictures. 🙂

Halia - Ginger Jive - Ice blended fresh ginger, fruit punch, orange & honey

Ginger Jive – Ice blended fresh ginger, fruit punch, orange & honey @ $12++ – We started off the evening with a refreshing Ginger Jive drink. Refreshing it was indeed especially after an arduous day at work. Love it that it’s all healthy ingredients that is used! Preps you for any “unhealthy” things you might eat next… The ginger leaves a nice warm buzz in the chest too.

APPETISERS

Halia - Half dozen Sydney Rock Oysters (2)

Half dozen Sydney Rock Oysters @ $35++ – Oysters done in 3 different ways. I used to think that I only like my oysters fresh shucked and unadulterated, ie just with some lemon juice, and maybe some tabasco sauce if I’m in the mood. However, the tempura & ponzu oysters on the right were fantastic. The tempura was light and crispy, and the oyster just ever so lightly cooked such that it was still flavourful and succulent. The sauteed baby spinach with Pernod deglaze, nutmeg & parmesan gratin oysters on the left were also very good.

Halia Appetiser - Jamon Iberico Bellota, baked Yuzu walnut & olive oil

Next up Jamon Iberico Bellota, baked yuzu walnut and olive oil @ $30++. When this dish arrived, I tell you, there was an audible collective whoop of joy from all at the table. Just looking at the dish itself was a treat to the eyes. Jamón ibérico is a type of ham from Spain. It is very expensive, very delicious and not widely available outside of Spain. Each slice of this salty and fatty savoury goodness will send your tongue into the high heavens.

Halia Appetizer - Tian of vine ripened tomato, pine nut, guacamole & mango salsa

 Tian of vine ripened tomato, pine nut, guacamole, mango salsa, shiso and braised courgette @ $28++ – After the saltiness of the Jamón ibérico, it was nice to enjoy this vegetarian appetiser. Love the sweet mango salsa while the pine nuts gave the dish a good crunch.

Halia Appetizer - Foie Gras Salad

Salad leaves, ginger-infused foie gras, balsamic deglaze, green apple, fresh fig and piment flakes @ $29++ – The salad leaves were lost to me as my focus was only on the foie gras. The nicely seared outer skin gave way to a melt in the mouth fatty richness of foie. I don’t think I need to say much about foie gras, except to say that it was simply fantastic.

Halia - Tempura of white prawn, salad leaves with light lemon vinaigrette, baby shiso, beetroot and celeriac reduction

Tempura of white prawn, salad leaves with light lemon vinaigrette, baby shiso, beetroot and celeriac reduction @ $28++ – The 5th appetiser of the night, tempura of white prawn. The prawn was succulent and juicy under the tempura batter. Not that this wasn’t nice, but for just $2 extra, I’d highly recommend that you go for the Jamón ibérico.

Read more »

Casa Verde at Botanic Gardens

Recently, I received an email from a lady living in Australia asking me for recommendations for 2 “must visit” cafes in Singapore when she is here. After thinking long and hard, and taking into account proximity to tourist locations, I finally recommended Casa Verde at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

I love Casa Verde because of its unique location. It’s right smack in the middle of the Botanic Gardens, which means you get to dine in lush greenery, with the sounds of some fountains to aid your digestion. The breakfast at Casa Verde is quite good, and very affordable. An English Fry-up aka Big Breakfast aka Gourmet Breakfast costs only $14! If you come before 11am, you get a drink thrown in as well. There are some local favourites like Laksa and Mee Siam too, but I’d rather go to a hawker centre for that.

Seating is a bit of a problem on the weekends when everyone descends upon this place, children, dogs and more. If you don’t mind not having the free drink, you can still enjoy the all day breakfast at other times of the day.

Here’s what we enjoyed for brunch some months ago. We arrived just after 11am so we had to order from the lunch menu.

Casa Verde - Gourmet Breakfast with Scrambled Eggs Casa Verde - Gourmet Breakfast with Scrambled Eggs (2)

Whole Day Gourmet Breakfast (Choice of fried or scrambled eggs, mushrooms, back bacon, Cumberland sausages, has brown, grilled tomato & 2 slices of toasted country bread served with butter and preserves) $14 – You know I have this love affair with eggs, I just can’t resist posting close up shots of eggs. I think for $14, this is a pretty good deal! My favourite breakfast joint Epicurious still takes the trophy, but this is not too bad either. Only thing is, they don’t have baked beans.

Casa Verde - Gourmet Breakfast with Sunny side Up

Casa Verde - Gourmet Breakfast with Sunny side Up (2)

This is also part of the Whole Day Gourmet Breakfast Set, just that I have chosen eggs done sunny side up instead of scrambled. I like it that the bacon used is back bacon. Streaky bacon just feels too oily and sinful for me when not cooked by myself.

Casa Verde - Toast with butter and jam

Lovely warm toast to go with all the eggs.

Casa Verde - Tuna Mayonnaise on Foccacia Casa Verde - Tuna Mayonnaise on Foccacia (2)

Tuna Mayonnaise on Foccacia $12 – There are not that many pescetarian options at Casa Verde so my father was forced to order this despite not liking tuna all that much. In the end, the tuna mayonnaise was a bit too creamy to his liking. We have eaten really good tuna mayonnaise sandwiches before at Egg3 Cafe and this one at Casa Verde didn’t quite match up.

Casa Verde - Club Sandwich

Casa Verde Club Sandwich $12.50 – Loved the chicken within the sandwich. It was tender and flavourful. Tomatoes and lettuce tasted fresh and complemented the chicken well. Once again, the chef was rather heavy handed with the mayonnaise. If you don’t like too much of it, be sure to tell them in advance.

Casa Verde by Les Amis Group

Crowded crowded crowded! This was 1pm on a Sunday!

Botanic Garden

Dining amidst greenery is a really good way to spend a lazy weekend

Casa Verde (by the Les Amis Group)

Visitors Centre, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Cluny Road Singapore 259569

Tel: 6467-7326

Sundays to Thursdays: 7.30am – 11am (Breakfast) 11.30am – 6pm (All-day Dining) 7pm – 11pm (Dinner – Last order at 9.30pm)

Fridays, Saturdays and eves of Public Holiday

7.30am – 11am (Breakfast) 11am– 6pm (All-day Dining) 7pm – 11pm (Dinner – Last order at 10pm)

http://www.lesamis.com.sg (click here for menu and prices)

Casa Verde Facebook

%d bloggers like this:
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...