The next time you head to the Singapore Botanic Gardens for a morning jog or a leisurely stroll, you can stop by Halia to re-fuel before you head home. The restaurant, which is nicely nestled amongst leafy foliage and lush flowers, has brought back its breakfast service on weekdays for anyone who fancies a bite to eat after a workout.
Plus, in keeping with its theme of inclusion, Halia attained Halal-certified status in June this year, so expect slight changes to some of your favorite dishes on the menu, alongside gluten-free options. Of course, this means the alcoholic beverages have also been replaced by a new herbarium concept, which uses herbs found in the gardens to create flavorful, alcohol-free concoctions.
Halia’s bartenders, now deemed as herbalists, have whipped up seven herbarium drinks including a spiced blend of cumin, ginger and cinnamon ($8) that acts as an all-natural digestif; a goji berry infusion ($8) with fruity roselle flower; and a lychee, thyme and raspberry brew ($8) that’s said to be a natural remedy for coughs and sore throats.
Obviously, everything at the restaurant is highly inspired by its surrounding flora and fauna, and that applies to the food as well. On the limited breakfast menu are standard savory and sweet plates, such as smashed avocado on toast ($12), 62.5 degree poached egg on brioche ($18), truffled scrambled eggs on sourdough ($18), and a selection of baguette, brioche and focaccia toasts ($12) served with pineapple ginger jam, homemade kaya and honeycomb butter.
For sweet tooths, order the super food granola ($12) to satisfy your cravings in a healthy way, with Greek yogurt, blueberries, kiwi and honey.
But if you’re looking for something that other brunch cafes don’t serve, try the plate of wobbly poached eggs lying on a bed of spicy, tangy chilli crab sauce, served with slices of crispy crostinis ($14).
Oh, and since 2017 has been the year of the nasi lemak craze, of course there’s a version with a twist available at Halia. The restaurant’s rendition ($22) of the traditional dish tosses in braised wagyu with coconut pandan rice, fried egg, spiced nuts, pickled cucumber and an aromatic ginger flower sambal that won’t numb your tastebuds.
We heard that our Prime Minister himself, Lee Hsien Loong, dined on this particular nasi lemak dish together with Indonesian President Joko Widodo and his family during the leader’s visit here.
Hey, if it’s good enough for world leaders, it’s good enough for us.
Halia is at Ginger Garden, Singapore Botanic Gardens, 1 Cluny Rd, 8444-1148. Sun-Thurs 9am-9:30pm, Fri-Sat 9am-10pm.