Take a stroll, take your time, surround yourself with greenery, and just take everything easy on a Saturday morning at the Botanical Gardens. What is there not to like?
Times like these are hard to come by. The fatigue from school and tropical heat fade away as one gets distracted by a joyful couple getting their wedding shots done with their friends by the lake and the sight of a families have a good time on the expansive lawn.
At the end of it, you can even reward yourself with a nice afternoon tea at Halia, located in the midst of the Ginger Gardens of the Botanical Gardens. Furthermore, the price tag pales in comparison to the staggering 42++ you get in one of those ritzy hotels downtown.
That’s what Halia at Botanical Gardens got to offer, a relaxing afternoon tea surrounded by lush greenery on the weekends without breaking the bank. Halia’s Weekend Afternoon Tea Set (28.00++ SGD), concocted by Executive Chef Peter Rollinson, an Australian chef who has once headed Flutes at the Fort, the Prime Society and the Sault Restaurant in Daylesford, Australia.
As part of the tea set, you get to enjoy either coffee with single refill or if you prefer something more exotic, the Halia Infusion, a ginger tea sweetened with honey is pretty good too especially when served chilled on a hot day.
Together with the tea, enjoy the petite savoury and sweet bites from the elegant two-tiered tea set. The Freshly Baked Scones was an excellent start, competently baked, these scones exudes a warm buttery fragrance. Savour it with the delicate Chantilly cream or the orange and ginger jam.
Chef Peter also took inspiration from local cuisine for the tea menu. Most apparent was the Wagyu Beef Rendang Samosa which was not bad but too oily. Besides local cuisine, the afternoon tea is also a way to sample some of the dishes Halia offers as main courses, a sneak peek of the main menu.
While I applaud the attempt to come out with interesting tea bites, some just don’t work such as the House-cured Salmon, Pickled Cucumber and Toasted Rye which was too raw and rough in taste. The Quince and Almond Cake with Crème Fraiche was just weird with the crème fraiche and the Coconut Panna Cotta, mango, passionfruit and lychee with toasted coconut was overwhelmed with the taste of coconut.
However, there are tea bites I enjoy too, such as the Smoked Trout Parfait with Cucumber, Apple and Lime which was a fascinating combination of the savoury and fruity flavours, the Poached Chicken & Smoked Paprika Finger Sandwich was pretty good too and so was the Ginger Flower Macaron which worked for me with its touch of spicy ginger.
Overall, some worked and some didn’t and the afternoon tea menu changes once in a while so don’t be surprised to find something different for your next visit! As for service, I think it needs some polishing up, when I arrived, one of the servers attends to the Caucasians first instead of the Korean family and I, but other staff were friendly and courteous, hopefully it is an isolated case. Overall, the ambience was great and price is quite reasonable for an afternoon tea here.
Halia Tea Service
Available Saturday, Sunday & Public Holiday from 3.00 pm to 5.00 pm (last seating)
28++ SGD per person.
Thank You Cyndiana and Ivy from Food News for the invite.
Halia at Botanical Gardens
Ginger Garden @ Singapore Botanic Garden,
1 Cluny Rd