Peter Rollinson has been in Singapore for five years now – enough time for him to fatten up his list of favourite Singapore dishes, which includes frog porridge. The Australia-born chef skillfully recreates this comfort food with a subtle Western tweak in Jurong Farm Frog 'Porridge' ($18++). He uses oats instead of white rice, shapes frog legs like lollipops and cooks them French style with garlic and butter, and he it with locally harvested ginger, spring onion and coriander. The prototype of this dish made its debut in Project Food Prints – the restaurant's by-invite-only experimental dinner series centred around the farm-to-table philosophy – as did the Wagyu beef from boutique brand Mayura Station in South Australia, which now features in a couple of dishes, like the Carpaccio ($26++) appetiser that Rollinson serves with several garnishes, changed every now and then, that are meant to give a depth of surprise to each sliver. During our tasting, it had a small Nicoise olive, blanched asparagus, Meditteranean anchovies, roasted tomato and Jerusalem artichoke chips.
The restaurant's fascination with food produced ethically and in small batches also manifests in the vegetarian appetiser, a beautifully plated tarty salad ($28++) of heirloom beets and carrots – harvested from original seeds passed from generation to generation – Meredith goat cheese from Victoria, Australia, caramelised onion, black olive and a chunk of walnut.
Supported by a new pastry team, The Halia's new dessert offerings are light-hearted and cute, like Textures of Chocolate ($16++) which simulates mud, air, ice and soil, and The Ginger Garden ($14++), inspired both by the restaurant's location at the Botanic Gardens and fairy tales like 'Alice in Wonderland', with a meringue shaped like a red-top mushroom, chocolates that look like brown leaves, and ginger crumble that appears like gravel. The Halia has always been on our list of top places for high tea. Now we have a reason to stick around for dinner. James Ong
|Venue name:||Halia at Botanic Gardens||Contact:|
Ginger Garden, Botanic Gardens
1 Cluny Road
|Opening hours:||Mon-Fri 11am-11pm; Sat & Sun 9am-11pm|