Christmas Dinner at The Halia (Singapore Botanic Gardens)

Located within the lush greenery of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, The Halia, is a fine-dining restaurant that serves up dishes that use a key ingredient – ginger (which is what the restaurant is named after, ‘halia’ means ginger in Malay.

Christmas Dinner at The Halia (Singapore Botanic Gardens)
Outdoor seating

When we arrived, the restaurant appeared to be smaller than what we had expected, but there were both indoor and outdoor seating. It was fortunately for us that day that it had rained earlier, resulting in a nice cool air enveloping us as we were seated outside in the outdoor area. :) We were so near nature that we spotted an adorable bushy tailed squirrel running across the beam!

We had about 20 people in our group, and we were waiting for one of our party to arrive. However, while waiting it took the wait staff more than 15 minutes after we were seated to take the initiative to give us bottles of chilled water and asked us what we would like to drink. Thereafter, it seems like they wanted to ‘drown’ us asking us whether we would like to drink after every meal. It didn’t help that they were also slow on serving up the bread (slices) which were a little miserable – literally one slice per person on the table. And not to mention we were almost done with the bread did the vinegar (to go with the olive oil and bread) arrive, almost another 10 minutes later. It also didn’t help that the vinegar was only given to the first table and not passed down the table.

Once the person we were waiting for turned up, it was another good 10 minutes or so before the appetizer – salad – arrived.

Christmas Dinner at The Halia (Singapore Botanic Gardens)
The salad was served in a relatively large bowl with lots of leafy greens topped with mango bits, slices of fresh succulent prawns and rice noodles. It was a good appetizer and opened up the appetite for the next course.
Christmas Dinner at The Halia (Singapore Botanic Gardens)
and how could we leave out the vegetarian salad? :)

Once we were done with the salad, the wait staff instantly asked us (with a passion) if we would like some more drinks.

Soup of the day
Soup of the day: It was an odd concoction of potato and spinach. Not one of our favorites of the night.

Next up, the main course consisted of a choice of either vegetarian, fish, beef or lamb. I had the beef and it was yummy. 

Whole grain-fed stockyard tenderloin with garden salad & pepper sauce
The beef was tender and moist and complimented well by the pepper sauce with accompanied it. The only thing that I had too much of was the salad (again!) that came with the beef (too much greens for the day!).

I heard that the fish was pretty good as well.
Christmas Dinner at The Halia (Singapore Botanic Gardens)
Paperbag over halibut fillet served with Japanese rice and truffle mayonnaise

The lamb looked interesting and was also quite nice apparently.
Christmas Dinner at The Halia (Singapore Botanic Gardens)
Spice Islands marinated lam loin

Once we were done with the main, the dessert soon followed shortly. It was an in interesting concoction of ginger and spice with pineapple bits presented in the form of a nougat, which was a bit like a cross between ice-cream and whipped cream. It was light on the palate and definitely lived up to its name ‘Ginger & Spice, All Things Nice’.

Christmas Dinner at The Halia (Singapore Botanic Gardens)
Ginger & Spice, All Things Nice - Frozen ginger nougat parfait with pineapple sauce

All in all it was a somewhat satisfying dinner albeit the over enthusiasm by the servers to fill us up on drinks at every opportunity. Worth a visit if you want to dine in a green lush environment and try out the innovative ginger dishes. But be prepared to widen your pockets as the prices are considered to be in the fine dining range (e.g. expensive) and the service is not too consistent. After the salad, the serving of food was a bit better but still slow (if compared with the fine dining meal I had at Abu Volando Urai); it could be further improved.




The Halia (Singapore Botanic Gardens)

Address: 1 Cluny Road, Ginger Garden, Singapore Botanic Gardens
Telephone: 8444 1148 (Reservations not taken for Brunch)
Opening Hours:
  • 12pm – 4pm, 6.30pm – 11pm (last seating at 10pm) (Mon – Fri)
  • 10am – 4pm; 6.30pm – 11pm (last seating at 10pm) (Sat – Sun) 

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When travel collides with a byte, a unit of information made up of bits, TravelBytez is formed: snippets of ramblings on travel, food, shopping, living and anything else that comes to mind.
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