Met up with G and L shortly after my travels to Europe. G had also traveled to Europe, though her trip was organized just after mine such that we just missed one another. As such, we only got to catch up with one another a couple of months from our last catch up. I’ve eaten at Halia – Botanical Gardens previously, so I was expecting a similar experience. To my surprise, not only have they changed up the high tea menu, the restaurant at Raffles Hotel offers a more comprehensive menu for lunch, brunch, and dinner. The cuisine feels like an east meets west vibe. They have the usual western fare (eg. high tea), but they also have some fusion dishes with some local elements in it (eg: Halia Chilli Crab pasta)
We were there for tea, and hence we do not have really hungry stomachs to begin with. However, we managed to try the following dishes:
Oriental pulled duck ($18) – gherkin, caper, micro herb salad, soba noodle, sesame oil. It’s odd, but I was quite surprised by the presentation of the dish, since it looked more like shredded duck compressed, rather than pulled duck (much larger pieces). Flavours wise, I really liked the dish. It was quite light and it was easy to finish this up.
Truffle scrambled egg ($14) – Toasted sourdough, rocket, vine tomato with added smoked salmon. This was a pretty standard western dish for me. Though the eggs were cooked perfectly, I couldn’t really taste the truffle.
We also had the afternoon tea set ($35++) to share. I suspect that this is the current going rate for a typical high tea experience (I previously had high tea at Salt for a similar price). Part of me can’t help but feel that high tea in Singapore can be quite the rip off. I’m still not sold on whether it is worth my buck paying almost $40 for a few snacks when I could probably get a main and a half at the same price. Furthermore, the selections at each restaurant are more or less the same…. scones, chocolate tart, macaron, cucumber sandwiches, salmon pate….. boring! I’m definitely of the opinion that the restaurants can afford to inject a little more creativity into their high tea offerings
Unfortunately, the selection at Halia – Raffles Hotel, failed to impress… Their high tea came with the following:
Cured salmon pate, crostini, salmon roe
Yellowfin tuna, smoked avocado
Goats cheese mousse, apricot chutney, pickled celery, honey walnut
Duck rillette, caper, gherkin
Savoury choux pastry
I think that Halia – Raffles Hotel has some interesting selections. I would recommend the lunch/dinner menus more than the high tea menu though. The service there was quite prompt and we stayed there for a couple of hours, though we were asked to leave shortly after 6 as the staff claimed that they had to prepare for the dinner service. Overall, a great and quiet place to have a catch up with friends in the city.
Add: Raffles Hotel, 1 Beach Rd