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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Halia Restaurant

Little Boy's sudden announcement that he wished to move out, followed by him moving out just as suddenly, all packed in 2 NTUC Fairprice plastic bags left me a bit lost. When the kids were little, we wanted more space for them to run around in and wished for a larger home. Now that we have this huge cavern to call home, the kids are no longer here to run around in it. I didn't feel like working so I took off yesterday to nurse my feelings of lostness.

Does anyone remember hanging on to the string of a helium balloon? It floats. It floats. And suddenly, your balloon breaks the string and floats away ... disappears into the blue sky. Balloon gone. Well, that's how I feel. My balloon tugged and tugged and then disappeared, and I am left staring at nothingness, a bit shocked. I couldn't bear to stay home in this empty cavern of a house even though I have plenty of work to catch up on.

I fled the house and spent the afternoon at Halia Restaurant instead. I needed to sort out my thoughts and make sense of why a life filled with kids has suddenly turned into a life with no kids at all. I thought I had it all planned out, filling my time with Motivation Genome and book marketing. I suppose nothing prepares you for the day your children  go "Ok. Bye bye! See you later Alligator!"

This was certainly not my first time at Halia but it was by far the most enjoyable visit.

Halia Restaurant in the Botanic Gardens delivers splendid quality at reasonable (not cheap) prices. The beef carpaccio was seasoned just right and very fresh. The food was simple with subtle tastes... sometimes surprising. The focaccia bread came with an olive oil dip that was flavored with thyme vinegar... a very pleasant surprise indeed. It's hard to succeed at simplicity you know. The more simple the food, the more exacting standards have to be because the raw produce has to be of tip top quality.

Beef Carpaccio. Fresh and seasoned just right with a sharp cheese (parmesan?) and pickles. It's not easy to get a beef carpaccio seasoning just so.

Steak with mushroom and potato puree. Very tender meat without any taste of meat tenderizer. The mini leeks lifted the taste of the heavy red meat. The potato puree was creamy and fragrant and went really well with the woody tastes of the mushrooms.

Ginger panna cotta. The crusty bits were really crusty and paired well with the soft bits. It was a pity I left the wafer too long. By the time I got around to eating the wafer, it had absorbed moisture from the panna cotta and was no longer crusty.

Ginger Mocktail


The service was excellent. Really! The servers were gentle and genteel. They smiled kindly at me and learnt my name. They chatted knowledgeably about the menu. They had clearly tasted the food before and knew what was what. This was a quality of service that approached what I would expect in a French restaurant like here. These weren't waiters and waitresses. They were Food Consultants.

When I got there, I was in a crabby mood. I wanted to be alone, but I didn't want to be alone either. So these Halia Food Consultants made genteel conversation and left me alone to brood when they sensed that I didn't really wanna talk. Dirty dishes disappeared quickly and quietly. Halia Food Consultants attempted small talk but did not insist to chat. When I left, the world seemed a better place. It helped too that my Halia Food Consultant was a motherly lady called Kenkar. I felt sure she understood my problems even though I breathed no word to her about my Empty Cavern Nest Home. I didn't feel like I was in a restaurant... it felt like I was at someone's really nice home. That's what it felt like.


Malar said...

Oh dear! Such a tough situation! Empty nest syndrome is very hard to be managed...... Hope you're fine now!

My Sinfonia said...

Probably unconsolable. Anyway, you are doing so much now you will, in time, get through it. See through it all, as my ma say

Petunia Lee said...

Malar - I'll get over it. I'll just get busy with other stuff.

Petunia Lee said...

Sinfonia - No lah... not that bad. Not inconsolable. Just a little moody... crabby... grumpy.

Celine said...

Well last Friday, your voice cracked when you were talking abt Friday movie nights.... I noticed bcz I read your blog, the Husband did not. How are you feeling today?

Kenkar looks familiar. I went to Halia once when I was a tad upset with Medium Boy, and I *think* it was Kenkar who also served me my food with grace, humour, and I left feeling much better too.

Petunia Lee said...

Celine - Oh yes! Much better! Partly, Little Boy was chased out of The Daughter's apartment (by the admin... errrr.... he isn't supposed to squat there) and is now home. We've also discussed and Little Boy has decided that he can stick around at home for a few years more. That gives me a more gentle transition back into my own life... and it allows me to at least keep tabs on his moral development for the next 4 years or so.


Also, I guess the kids read the post and have been more attentive lately. It won't last but well... I can enjoy whatever attention there is.