It was just over the weekend when eighteen food bloggers and food enthusiasts alike came together for a hearty brunch at Halia, a pretty restaurant nestled amidst the greenery of the Singapore Botanic Gardens. This is one of the largest bloggers' outing that I've organised yet, but thanks must surely go to each and every one of the participants for being so nice and helpful with the deposits, pre-orders and all. Like always, I'm usually one of the first few to write about the outing, and it's not because I'm racing to do it before everyone else but I'm really just trying to manage it with my backlogs and not end up writing about it six weeks later!
As with the usual "tradition" on this blog, it's always nice to introduce to you the wonderful guests of the day! Thank you for making this a successful outing :)
Zaylene from This is Yummy
Daniel from Memoirs of Food
Glenn from Hungry Epicurean
Angeline from Simply Angeline
Reiz from Sitting Wishing Eating
Cheryl from The Baker Who Cooks
Harris from The Simplest Aphrodisiac
Hui Yuan from Yuan Yuan / Hungrygowhere
Fen and Yuan from Indulgence After Workout
Serene and Leanne from NTU Deli Aprecio Club
Phoebe and her sister Chloe from The Food Chapter
The amazing thing about food bloggers' outings is this unspoken willingness to pass your food around for everyone to take pictures of, and no one will rush you to get it done and over with (unless it's melting of course). This time round, I had all the time in the world too, but the pictures didn't turn out that well because there was just too much natural lighting! Blazing glare from the sun got most of the pictures over-exposed. Still, the most important thing of all was the company of my fellow foodies, and it was fantastic :)
Cinnamon French Toast
The french toasts did look pretty and did taste promising at the start, but after a while it got quite overwhelming with the mix of strawberry sauce and honeycomb butter. The cinnamon flavour was not as discernible as I hoped it would be, though the strawberries were really sweet and a delight to chew on.
Kurobuta Pork & Portobello Burger
There were a few orders around for the Kurobuta pork burger, and quite mixed reviews of it as well. I remember hearing a coo of delight from Leanne and a "mmm" from Daniel at my table, though Phoebe and Zaylene weren't too impressed themselves. Leanne and Daniel thought the burger patty was well-done with a marinate of herbs and spices. Also worth mention is the apple aioli sauce which everyone enjoyed. Interestingly, the menu also stated that sake was added!
Poached Egg with Pan-Roasted Ocean Trout
The poached eggs, or more affectionately known as Eggs Ben(edict), came in three variations with a fish, meat or vegetarian option.
Poached Egg with Crisp Back Bacon
Probably the favourite amongst the three poached egg dishes, not surprisingly the crispy bacon won praise amongst some of those who ordered this.
Poached Egg [Vegetarian Option]
Both Angeline and Kaelyn chose the vegetarian option, though I know that Angeline, with high standards for her much faved Eggs Ben, didn't like this that much.
Blue Cheese, Walnut & Wild Honey Fingers
I think the menu would describe this dish better than me: "Gorgonzola mousse, maple-glazed roasted walnuts and wild mountain honey on multi-grain toast fingers, with young spinach & fresh fruit vincotto salad". As Cheryl said, blue cheese is an acquired taste (and so is the smell too!), but she found it alright. Got a little too overpowering near the end though.
Cappuccino Dunkin' Pit
I read about this dessert and I was wanting to try this out, and luckily I had Glenn to "share the sin" with me. This certainly looked very promising with the cappuccino ice-shavings on top of chocolate and vanilla cream, but pity that it was cream and not ice-cream, which would have been sooooooooo much better! The chocolate biscuits (or biscotti) that were served to "dunk" into the "pit" were delicious though, but more would be nice!
Excellent. Much thanks must go to Ms Trina who helped to organise this event with me, and the staff on duty for the day were also very friendly and polite.
$14 for the cinnamon french toasts
$18 for the kurobuta pork & portobello burger
$24 for the poached egg with pan-roasted trout
$16 for the poached egg with crisp back bacon
$14 for the poached egg with vegetarian option
$18 for the blue cheese, walnut & wild honey fingers
$10 for the cappuccino dunkin' pit
* Prices subject to the usual 7% GST and 10% service charge.
Ginger Garden, Singapore Botanic Gardens.
Pictures taken with the Canon EOS 500D.