Sunday, December 15

Food Review: Halia (At Raffles Hotel)

Cuisine: Asian, Western, Fusion
Price: $85 per person
Location: #01-22/23, Raffles Hotel Arcade, Seah Street

The Halia is situated in the classy Raffles Hotel Arcade, so before you even walk into the restaurant there is a great ambience. Between 5:30 - 7:00 pm a set menu is available, but we arrived afterwards so went with the a la carte. We ordered a few dishes; wagyu beef carpccio for starter, Halia chilli crab and Chilean sea bass en papillote for main, home made Christmas pudding and sticky toffee pudding for dessert. For drinks we ordered the Heavenly Halia and Turkish apple tea. Throughout the meal the service was fantastic, with the staff attentive and extremely friendly.

The slices of beef were delicious but I didn't particularly like the mayonnaise based sauce. I felt it overpowered the taste of the meat. A tasty introduction to the meal and the best was yet to come.

The Halia chilli crab was the star of the meal. There was an abundance of succulent crab meat in every bite. The sauce complimented the spaghetti and crab, with a hint of chilli. Not only was it a generous portion, but it also tasted great!

The sea bass was well cooked but I felt it was under salted. The broth was extremely rich and tasty. The dish also came with a portion of rice drizzled with truffle sauce The combination of broth, fish and rice created a fantastic mouth full. Like the chilli crab, the portion of meat was generous. An impress set piece for the meal!

The Heavenly Halia was bland. There was little taste and the flavour of the alcohol didn't come through at all. The Turkish tea was pleasant, though I'm not a tea person. Then it was onto dessert!

The Christmas pudding came with a choice of brandy butter or rum and raison ice cream, we chose the former. The slice of pudding was pretty good. It was moist with the dried fruits giving a hint of richness. I felt the brandy butter did not have enough brandy in it! Overall a decent dessert but I felt the brandy butter could have been stronger.

I had to try the sticky toffee pudding as it's a rare and precious treat when my mum cooks it! Like the Christmas pudding there was only a hint of richness, overall it was quite a light dessert. In that I was disappointed, since I'm used to my sticky toffee pudding being incredibly rich. The ice cream was nice and creamy and was perfectly sweet. 

Overall I was slightly disappointed with the Halia. The ambience, location and service were great, but the only stand out dish was the Halia chilli crab. That said every dishes ingredients complimented each other well, and its clear a lot of care and thought was put into each meal. I would highly recommend this restaurant.