With a little touch of fun, communal spirit, and hearty portions, The Halia at the Raffles Hotel is set to present to diners a Communal Feast menu on top of the restaurant’s existing delectable spread. Ideal for sharing among four friends, be prepared to indulge in at least 10 – 12 contemporary, flavourful dishes prepared fresh from the kitchen. Inspired by the traditional dining concept in Asian culture whereby family members gather to eat with dishes placed in the centre of the table, the Halia’s communal feast menu goes the distance with a selection of large sized servings and even larger helpings of shared fun. For this exciting spread, guests can choose between the ‘Light’ (10 courses; $160++) or ‘Hearty’ (12 courses; $270++) menus.
As the meal begins, start off with a toasted bread selection that will certainly whet up the appetite.
While the bread is good, each selection is taken up a notch further with the oil dips. I am particularly enchanted by the choice of curry oil with kecap manis. It reminds me strongly of the residual oil you get after stir frying a good rempah. Well flavoured with the aromatic scent of curry and then sweetened with that classy bit of dark sweet soy sauce, this was a winner combination in flavour.
The Chef’s Soup of the day is served in a pot, and guests are expected to serve themselves in individualized ‘rooster’ motif crockery. For the lunch, I had the Creamy pumpkin soup. It was savoury sweet, with a velvety smooth texture that was both hearty and satisfying. I like the mild peppery flavour that enlivened the dish further.
A definite highlight for me is the Goat’s Cheese Mousse with Heriloom Tomatoes, olives, wild honey and brioche. Now, goat’s cheese is a delicacy in its own right. Packed with pungent yet aromatic flavours, it carries an acidity and flavour that is uniquely different from the more regular cow cheese. In this instance, the restaurant took a twist on things by incorporating wild honey into the mix as it created a light mousse that goes excellently on the crispy brioche. The result? A slightly sour yet richly aromatically sweet combination that is heavenly light and packed with flavour. I could not stop going for this dish and soon discovered that the limiting factor was the amount of brioche on the board.
Look at the beautiful goat cheese mousse.
Up next, tuck in to a unique combination of Oriental Pulled Duck served with Gherkin, Capers, Soba Noodles, Micro Herb Salad and Sesame Oil. Light, refreshing flavours from the soba is well contrasted with the more savoury, fatty flavours from the duck.
The House Smoked Salmon Pate comes bottled, and opened only to serve. Salmon is infused with Hendrick’s gin, smoked with wood chips and sealed in a glass jar that has a ‘miniature garden’ on the top. When the lid is released, a puff of smoke is released into the air. The resulting salmon pate is naturally flavoured and yet brimming with a good smoky intensity that will leave you questioning, how did chef do that? Toasted baguette is served by the side for that wonderful contrast and crunch.
One of The Halia’s signatures that I raved so much about in my previous visit, the Chilli Crab Spaghettini, is presented for this menu with just the sauce as the Chilli Crab Dip. The sauce is what makes everything so special, and it comes with no surprise that one of Singapore’s most loved dishes is reimagined in a tiny pot full of authentic flavours and heartiness. I adore the adequate amount of spice, the zesty tomatoes, the choice of crab meat, and the incorporation of egg. Have the dip with the side of toasted baguette and this will be an ideal conversation starter for the table.
The Baked Kingfish Collar is perfect for seafood lovers with its piquant dressing of pickled vegetables, miso, orange and ginger. The collar is a wonderful choice to present for its firm yet oily meat, that is nicely complemented with sweet salty miso that is glazed over the top.
A unique dish on the menu has to be Minced Beef Zha Jiang Mian. Noodles are taken away and replaced with an assortment of thinly sliced carrots, bean sprouts and spring onions. The dressing of oyster sauce with minced beef gravy and Iberico chorizo pork intensifies the dish’s flavours into two unique dimensions – one that is salty, savoury and hearty contrasted with a realm of grassy, springy and crisp textures.
To bring out the meat lover in you, enjoy the portion of Twice-cooked spatchcock of spring chicken. A wonderful, young and tender chicken is marinated with a good dose of paprika and mesquite, sous-vide first before being finished up in the oven for that alluring, golden brown skin that just reimagines the word ‘inviting’. The side of Spiced Cabbage Slaw is just as good with that crunch, flavour and creamy heartiness that goes exceptionally well with the chicken.
For a bit more luxury in your meats, be served up with the ‘Gunpowder’ Wagyu Rump. The ‘Gunpowder’ Wagyu Rump (Mayura Signature Series 9+) is marinated for 4 to 6 hours with elements similar to gunpowder (mainly charcoal and nitrate salt), to cure the meat by preventing oxidation as well as to add a touch of smokiness. The meat is then cooked sous-vide in a water bath at 59 degrees Celsius for 30 to 45 minutes before it is quickly grilled on the grill to finish before it is served directly. It is nicely paired with a creamy spring onion mash that takes the use of butter to a whole new level – creamy and decadent.
For desserts, start off with the Coconut Parfait with pineapple, ginger flower and chocolate. Ice popsicles are recreated with a frozen coconut cream that is served on a bed of crush nuts and candy pops. A playful touch on tropical flavours that nicely represents Halia’s characteristics.
As a finale to the entire meal, tuck in to a favourite portion of Sticky Toffee Pudding made with dates, topped with butterscotch sauce, sea salt and vanilla ice cream. The golden butterscotch sauce is a beautiful contrast against the brownish red toffee pudding. The pudding is not too sweet, and nicely played with creamy butterscotch and creamy vanilla. I enjoyed this from start to end.
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The Communal Feast menu is available two styles, ‘light ($160++) and ‘hearty’ ($270++) and the hearty meal is best served amongst 4 – 5 persons. Both sets include a non-alcoholic communal jug of lemongrass or iced lemon tea. This menu is an excellent way to indulge in a selection of the restaurant’s signatures and more while getting to sample a variety that usually will be impossible in a single sitting. I enjoyed most of the dishes and would love to come back for items like the Goat’s Cheese Mousse, House Smoked Salmon Pate, Chilli Crab Dip and the Twice-cooked spatchcock of spring chicken. And definitely some of that date pudding with vanilla ice cream and golden butterscotch sauce.
Thank you The Halia for the invitation
1 Beach Road
Reservations: 9639 1148
|Communal Feast Menu
Both menus are available during12pm – 10.30pm (Mon to Friday. Last order 9.30pm)
2pm – 11pm (Sat. Last order 10pm)
2pm – 10.30pm (Sun and PH. Last order 9.30pm)