Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Halia : The Gingerhouse


Halia is a restaurant hidden amidst the bushes in botanic gardens. Although it is not easy to be located, you can guess that it must be near the ginger garden since the name Halia means 'ginger' in Malay. Attracted by the tantalizing brunch pictures on its website, it was slightly disappointing to find out that the trout salmon fillet(not the usual smoke salmon version) topped with poached egg and that velvety hollandaise sauce is no longer available. So we shared a couple of other brunch dishes.





Caramelised banana walnut bread, vanilla mascarpone cream, kumquat compote and crushed hazelnuts

This requires 20minutes of waiting time but the taste of the bread (more like a light cake) was warm, moist and fresh so I think the wait is reasonable. The bananas were grilled nicely to give a subtle bitter caramelised flavour. The bread itself is choke full of walnuts which some people who dislike nuts may want to avoid but I guess having some walnuts are still beneficial to the brain


The American
Poached eggs with roast tomato , hash brown,homemade pork sausage back bacon, tomato jam & Brioche toast

 Like the previous one, the portion is good for sharing. Nothing spectacular but perhaps the only slight flaw is the overcooked poached egg. Not only was the egg yolk fully cooked, the egg white had a sharp tang of white vinegar.
warm chocolate pudding, white chocolate sauce(if you can spot), crushed pistachio, orange flower ice cream
It was strange that they served an ice cream on a hot plate even though the chocolate pudding was supposed to be warm. The ice cream melted rapidly. This pudding is the steamed English version of fa kueh so perhaps the menu should have stated whether it is the creamy custard version or a cake version. The white chocolate sauce is also evidently very very little.
 

Young ginger Nougat frozen parfait with roasted pineapple and spiced pineapple sauce
Nougat is not something common on a restaurant's menu and this one is worth trying since it has been the longest running dessert on it's menu according to the waiter. The use of coconut, ginger and pineapple highlights the Asian flavour and it's no wonder a hit especially for tourists.
 
Special brunch item of the day: almond orange cake with citrus sherbet and lemongrass panna cotta
Another interesting Asian style dessert whose individual components are well balanced. Sour food lovers will certainly like the tangy sherbet.
 

The place has both indoor and outdoor seatings but it does not take reservations for weekends and PH brunch. Service was friendly but the attentiveness of the staff can be improved. Nonetheless, it may be a decent dining place to go if you are looking for one that is located in Botanics Garden.
 
Halia Restaurant
1 Cluny Road Ginger Gardens

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