For a limited time this summer, Halia at the Singapore Botanic Gardens will be featuring a special-edition cocktail and dessert menu in honour of SG50. It also celebrates the Botanic Gardens’ new Orchid Tea Blends, a special collection of refreshing teas that highlight Singapore’s national flower and are infused with natural orchid petals. I recently attended the launch of this special menu and think it’s the perfect place to enjoy a tropical afternoon while doubly celebrating Singapore’s heritage.
Halia’s resident mixologist created three special drinks – one mocktail, two cocktails – to highlight the tea along with other local ingredients. I was actually quite partial to the non-alcoholic twist on the Arnold Palmer, “The Singapore Jubilee”, which is made with Red Orchid Tea, Homemade Lemonade and Blueberries. It’s so light and refreshing, and goes perfectly with the Halia’s open-air, breezy atmosphere.
Of the two cocktails, the rum-based “Yam Seng” and the gin-based “1965”, I was surprised to find that I preferred the latter since I normally can’t stand gin. With Hendrick’s Gin, Red Orchid Tea, lemon syrup and lime juice, it once again just seemed to match the surroundings perfectly. I felt like I was drinking a liquid, languid afternoon in the tropics.
The two tea-infused desserts are both as local as it gets – ice kachang and many-layered lapis cake – though each elevates its humble hawker forebear in its own way.
The kachang is actually a sparkly granite made with Gold Orchid Tea and ginger (which gives it a nice kick) and accompanied by yuzu gel, lychee fruit and jelly. I enjoyed my first bite and thought the presentation on this dish was beautiful, but it seemed to melt within seconds.
On the other hand it took me mere seconds to gobble up the delicious White Orchid & lapis (a delicate Indonesian layer cake), which comes with multi-grain crumble, crunchy caramelized banana pieces, and rich, smooth White Orchid Tea ice cream. Sweet, but not too sweet, nor is it too heavy for a bit of afternoon indulgence.
Whether you’re looking for a nice location to meet up with fellow mamas, or are looking to reward a well-behaved munchkin with a special afternoon tea, Halia at the Botanic Gardens is a great place to do it. The SG50 menu is only available through July and August though, so start making plans!
The SG50 Menu of Orchid Tea-infused cocktails and desserts is available at Halia at Singapore Botanic Gardens from 1 July through 31 August, 2015. The Orchid Tea Collection – a perfect Singapore souvenir or gift – is available for purchase at the three Gardens Shops locations within Singapore Botanic Gardens.
Halia @ SBG, 1 Cluny Road, Ginger Garden, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore 259569, Tel: (+65) 8444 1148