1 Cluny Road
Singapore Botanic Gardens
+65 6476 6711
Set amid the orchid and ginger-laden grounds of the Botanic Gardens (halia, in fact, is the Malay word for ginger), this is a fabulous place for brunch and then an afternoon stroll. Not that we found it easy to stroll after such a feast.
Main courses were especially hearty. A poached egg on brioche with pan-roasted ocean trout ($24) proved a marvellous balancing act of textures and flavours, with egg and fish served on roasted brown mushrooms, spinach, tomato and brioche. Across from me, an open-face Spanish-style omelette ($12) with capsicum, mushroom, courgette and potato was pronounced a simple yet successful medley of rustic tastes.
My wife followed up with a splendid-looking caramelised banana and vanilla custard crepe, slathered with toasted nuts and clotted chocolate cream ($12), while I enjoyed every spoonful of my Bircher muesli ($12) with aloe vera yoghurt, fresh berries and mountain honey.
Halia doesn’t have the extensive menu offered by some buffet-table versions of Sunday brunch, but where it excels is in the quality, presentation and taste of the ingredients and dishes. Plus, as befits a restaurant set in the Gardens, there are vegetarian versions of many of its dishes.