Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Out of the Rat Race and into the Mousetrap

   The evening started with dinner at the Halia at Raffles Hotel. This is the third of three Halia restaurants. The first is located at the Ginger Garden of the Singapore Botanical Gardens. The second, in Hanoi, has been rated the best restaurant in Vietnam by the Miele Guide. The wifey's prior research didn't turn up anything impressive. Nevertheless we decided to give it a go. Boy, we were glad we did. 
   Raffles Hotel's old world charm coupled with a "green decor". Particularly fascinating was the centrepiece of a tree in the middle of a round table which was carved out of a tree trunk.
   The wifey had chilli crab pasta and I had the pre-theatre dinner set. My main was Yellowfin Tuna Loin (served rare). The tuna steak was lightly salted and grilled to perfection - crispy on the outside, juicy and red on the inside. It would please both steak and sashimi lovers. Pairing the tuna with avocado sauce was an excellent choice. The buttery taste of the fruit coupled with the aroma of the sea makes a splendid pair. 
   How can we forget the ginger when one is at Halia? I chose coffee, infused with cardamom, ginger and cinnamon. In the mouth, it has a unique taste of coffee and spice. The explosion comes after you swallow it. Definitely recommended if you'd like something spicy to fight a cold.
   Finally, to top it all off, Ginger Nougat Parfait. The slice of pineapple added zest and the pastry stick was a welcome addition, tapering the taste of ginger. This resulted in a combination of spiciness and sweetness in a delectable proportion.
   The main event of the night - a play by the renowned Agatha Christie.
   "The Mousetrap" is the longest running theater show in the world. This "who dunnit" by the renown Agatha Christie is celebrating its Diamond Anniversary at the Jubilee Hall in Raffles Hotel. For the uninitiated, a "who dunnit" is of the murder-mystery genre, where the audience is kept in suspense, not knowing who the murderer is. Besides the mystery and suspense, "The Mousetrap" does have it's humorous moments (I love British Humour). It is great fun for the entire family. You have to experience it for yourself to understand why "The Mousetrap" remains one of the most beloved plays in theater history.  
   What I particularly enjoy about "The Mousetrap" is the fleshing out of almost all the characters. We are fortunate that Agatha Christie took the effort to develop each character. Everyone hides a secret. Nobody seems totally innocent. My favourite character must be the ever self-confident, flamboyant, ladies-man, Mr Paravicini. You either love him or hate him. He brings humour and sarcasm, adding to the colour of the play. 
   I simply adore the venue. Jubilee Hall is one of the very few places in Singapore where you can imagine that you're enjoying a play in the 1940s. Quaint as the decor may be, the seats were actually very comfortable. Indeed a very apt venue for this long-running play.
   As the wifey pointed out, what is most amazing is that all through the 60 years it has been running, no one has ever let the cat out of the bag. So "who dunnit"? I'm not going to be the first to tell. But let's just say, it wasn't the butler with the candlestick.

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