***I did not receive financial compensation for this post, but I did receive free drinks and food at Halia on the night we attended. Views expressed are my own.***
About a month ago, I (and by extension, Ravi) were invited to Soul Jazz Saturday at Halia (ground floor, Raffles Hotel). Our date nights are usually spent either at dinner, or at a movie, so going to hear jazz sounded like a lovely change of pace.
The Halia, a regular patron of Singapore-born jazz artistes started with bi-weekly sessions showcasing home-grown jazz talents such as Claressa Monteiro, at its flagship restaurant, The Halia at Singapore Botanic Gardens. From 6 July 2013, The Halia at Raffles Hotel is excited to present The Jeremy Monteiro Organ Trio, which consists of veteran musicians, Jeremy Monteiro on organ, Andrew Lim on guitar and Tamagoh on drums. Jeremy Monteiro is one of a handful of trained jazz organ players in the region.
As someone who loves New Orleans so much I almost moved there (but instead I met Ravi and the rest is history), I am naturally a fan of Jazz music as it’s played there. Jazz brunches are a common thing around Boston, and I’ve been to a number-those tend to play “smooth” jazz. Soul Jazz is different from New Orleans and Smooth jazz. The combination of Organ, guitar and drums is very different sound, but still quite pleasant.
I particularly like that the members of the trio are Singaporean. It has been said that there isn’t a large enough local music scene, and that local musicians often have to leave Singapore to be successful. So it’s really quite encouraging to see Halia (and perhaps even more specifically the face of British Singapore-Raffles Hotel) supporting local musicians.
About Jeremy Monteiro
Dubbed “Singapore’s King of Swing” by the local press, Jeremy has performed across the globe in events such as the London Jazz Festival in 2012 and the inaugural Jazz & Saveurs Festival in Segré France in 2010.
His organ trio
Organamix was nominated in the “Best Live Album” category at the Independent Music Awards in the United States. Jeremy has over three decades of experience performing jazz in Singapore and internationally, and was also named the Cultural Medallion Recipient in 2002. Last year, he received the Brand Personality Award 2012 from the Asia Pacific Brands Foundation and the 2012 Singapore Tatler Leadership Award – (Culture). For more information, go to http://www.monteiro.sg
We drank Singapore Slings (28SGD). Invented upstairs at the Long Bar, they’re a pineapple heavy fruity drink. The kind where you don’t taste the alcohol until you’ve had one too many. I like the cucumber swirl that Halia adds to theirs.
We tried the Puff Pastry (pictured-13SGD) and Potato Fries with Truffle Aioli (8SGD). The Puff Pastry was tasty, and was effectively a twist on bruschetta. The fries were delicious as well. They were yummy enough that I didn’t think to take a picture until they were gone.
However, it was the desserts where Halia really shined.
Ravi was glad when I was too taken with my Strawberry Soup to want a taste of his Toffee Pudding (10SGD) as he didn’t want to share it.
The Strawberry Soup (12SGD) was a unique experience for me–the wine gave it a bit of a kick, and the lime sorbet cut the sweetness of the strawberry nicely.
I don’t know that we’ll run out to do it again soon, to be honest. Of late we’ve been doing dinner and then much needed grocery shopping on Saturdays, but it might make for a nice change of pace. As the parents of young kids, we have been a bit too tired to do anything more challenging than that)
While the drinks are pricey (but not out of line with Singapore prices), the desserts are affordable, and could easily be shared. I think it makes a fun date, although perhaps not a first date as it did get a bit loud to talk at times. Or, as for us, a nice change of pace for those of us in a dating rut.
The Jeremy Monteiro Organ Trio performs every Saturday, at The Halia Bar at Raffles Hotel. The trio will perform three sets: starting at 8:30 and ending at 11.30pm. The Halia Bar is located at Raffles Hotel, #01-22/23, 1 Beach Road, Singapore 189673. For reservations, call (65) 9639 1148.