Review: A communal feast at The Halia at Raffles Hotel
A delightful food sharing experience
Humans are inherently social creatures. The collective experience of sharing what you love with others often brings with it much fulfillment. And when it comes to food, plate sharing — a well-loved tradition in Asian culture — brings about mutual happiness from the entire table.
You can experience this first hand at The Halia, Raffles Hotel, with its new Communal Feast offering. Forget about typical appetisers and mains. Instead, an array of ‘small and big plates’ is carefully curated for diners to share.
Light and refreshing appetisers
Start of your meal with the individually served cream of potato and leek. Known to be a smooth and creamy vegetable soup, the hint of truffle oil lends a surprising tangy and sour flavor to the dish.
Next up was the goat’s cheese mousse – delicious with the undertone of sweetness from the drizzle of wild honey on top of the beautifully plated salad of tomatoes, dehydrated olive and dried brioche.
The House salmon pate is said to contain Hendrick’s gin, but the taste of gin wasn’t really strong.
Instead, the refreshing flavor of the salmon mixed with cucumber and beetroot chips on top of the crostini is a welcome palette cleanser before digging in the upcoming, heavier big plates.
The Halia’s signature Oriental pulled duck is a gastronomic testament to their reputation of serving contemporary European cuisine with Asian flair. The classically French duck confit is marinated overnight, allowing its juicy flavours to flatter the cold Japanese soba noodles gently tossed in sesame oil.
For those who want something light, the chilli crab dip is a bite-sized version of their signature chilli crab spaghettini. Similar to the local way of dipping fried mantau bread into the spicy gravy, at The Halia you dip with a toasted baguette for an European experience.
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Big plates for big appetites
We also enjoyed the tender baked kingfish collar — the salty pickled vegetables gives balance to the fish, and subtle hint of orange offers a rather unusual but delightful flavour to an otherwise plain dish.
We had anticipated the East-meets-West combination in the Wagyu beef zhajiangmian, but the dish was slightly disappointing. The beef is minced, which takes away from the slightly rough texture that meat lovers adore Wagyu for.
The coconut parfair, a combination of caramelised pineapple and ginger flower will literally pop in your mouth, as it’s decorated with popping candy in a light chocolate coating. This cold dessert is not too creamy, allowing the parfait to crumble into your mouth.
We also recommend the sticky toffee pudding, where the pinch of sea-salt hidden within the delicious butterscotch sauce takes the cake from an already sweet and fluffy pudding.
A good host designs a menu with a variety of dishes that the whole table of guests can enjoy together. That’s what The Halia at Raffles Hotel has achieved, leaving all with a collective sigh of satisfaction when the meal is over. The Communal Feast Menu is available for S$260 for four persons.
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The Halia at Raffles Hotel, 1 Beach Road, 01-22/23, Raffles Hotel, Singapore 189673, +65 96391148, www.thehalia.com