A Restaurant For A Date: Halia

“Date” above is defined loosely; if you are in to have a bit of fun, and you want also to impress your dining companion, Halia at Raffles Hotel seems like a good choice.

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The menu baffles a little. But because it has a casual and contemporary feel, you just go along and order. And seeing how fun the dishes look on the menu, even the more conservative should be able to find something he is willing to try.

I once had lunch on a weekday which involved ordering set lunch and other dishes to share. On weekends, there is no set lunch and you order from the big plates and small plates sections as you wish.

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Communal / sharing dining is taking over the world (in different waves) and it is particularly annoying in Singapore. I think it is something to do with us having less access to fresh produce (affects the price) and restaurateurs’ inability to size portions properly (“Now, how much money should I make from these diners?”).

But at Halia, I think they’ve managed to do a decent job of sizing the plates properly and making the price point match what is delivered. And service is good. All in all, you are quite likely to have a good time.

Try the chilli crab pasta, and the pulled duck with cold soba.

Note: Nearest MRT is City Hall; parking can be had at Raffles Hotel but cheaper alternatives are: the National Library Building, and Raffles City.

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Grub Grub: Long Phung Vietnamese Restaurant

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Sometimes you have a craving for Vietnamese food, and remember seeing someone saying on Instagram that a joint in Joo Chiat is good. Your synapses fire off pleasantly, you arrange for someone to drive you there and then you have lovely Vietnamese noodles in a bowl in front of you.

Long Phung is a grubby place, and it shrugs off from caring because it knows patrons will come anyway. The food is great, reasonably priced and you are guaranteed a happy belly.

PS. It is on the end of Joo Chiat Road that’s further away from Katong mall (I don’t like calling it by its new name); it’s right next to the public car park. It’s pretty near to Fei Fei Wanton Mee and Kim Choo’s if you are into those.