DurianCanBoleh ('DCB'), seems like a rojak (mixed up) words that can only born in Singapore. DurianCanBoleh basically represent the brand for Durian Crème Brulee, invented by Chef Chung Deming a few years back. From the outside, it looks just like any other crème brulee, however once you savour it, you will noticed the infusion of the durian with smooth crème. Using what considered to be the best durian Mao Shan Wang, DCB packs the durian flavours in each bite.
|The Coffee Bar|
Following the success of of DCB, Chef Chung decided to open up The Quarters ('TQ'), which represent modern Singapore cuisine. Drawing the inspiration from Singapore humble beginnings, and evolution of our culture through food, it will be represented in each of the dishes in TQ. The principle behind TQ is fresh ingredients, home made with love.
|The Menu and Beer Collections|
We started with Salted Egg Fries ($9) and Calamari ($13.80). Salted Egg Fries consist humble shoestring fries with salted egg aioli on the side. The stick-like fries are deep fried until crisp, readily to absorb the aioli which as pretty subtle in terms of taste. The squid in the calamari very tender and succulent. The curry aioli is bold and packs of punch. Personally, I prefer the curry aioli compare to the salted egg aioli to go with the fries and calamari, as the salted egg tasted too mild.
|Salted Egg Fries|
Har Cheong Gai ($9.50) and Umami Babi ($10.80) complete the appetizers. Har Cheong Gai or also known as prawn paste chicken is a staple in every chi zhar place across the island. Each boneless chunks are well seasoned with prawn paste, deep fried and to be enjoyed with the belachan. Watch out for the spiciness of the belachan. Some of us like it until we ate it with the fries.
|Har Cheong Gai|
Umami Babi was supposed to be a combination of slider and braised pork. Unfortunately, the pork was slightly too dry and turned out to taste like pork jerky slider.
For healthy options, we sample Wafu Beef ($14.80) and Samsui Chicken ($12.80). The wafu beef salad provide a good non-carbo options. The medium rare beef ribeye works well with the soy vinaigrette dressing. While the samsui chicken salad, I like how TQ use chicken thigh with skin on for this salad, instead of lacklustre breast meat. The dressing tasted more like a sweet chilli sauce rather than normal chicken chilli sauce.
For main meals, Satay Burger ($17) is a must try. A well marinated chicken thigh, in between the handmade rice patties. The meat is tender and succulent, while the handmade rice bun combined crisp and chewy. It is unique and gives you the different take on satay and ketupat. Meanwhile Ma Jie's Indulgence ($18) or known as chilli crab pasta kind of missing the WOW factor for me. Pasta was al-dente, well coated with the chilli sauce and crab meat, but the blend of the sauce with the paste just does not click for me.
|Ma Jie's Indulgence / Chilli Crab Pasta|
The Great Escape ($18.80) you can say its one of the textbook dishes for fish in a fine dining restaurant. The skin is crisp, while the meat is soft and flaky. I suggest you just dipped into the lemongrass and ginger flower subtly infused sauce instead of pouring it on the fish, as it will ruin the crispy skin.
|The Great Escape|
Not to miss for the dessert of course its Duriancanboleh ($8.50). I never tried it before, but I was expecting something like durian pengat style, instead a of yellowish smooth crème brulee. The caramelized thin layer of sugar on top nicely done.
|Duriancanboleh / Durian Creme Brulee|
|Duriancanboleh / Durian Creme Brulee|
Wanderffle ($12.80) is decent. While the subtle homemade lemongrass and pandan ice cream is much appreciated, it is difficult not to compare the waffle texture with lots of cafes outside. The version here is more artistic and thick. The gula melaka glaze can be pretty sweet, so you need estimate it on your own.
Bibik's Brownie ($10.80) served with Buah Keluak Ice Cream. Sorry to say, I am not a buah keluak fan. So after I tried the ice cream, my face made those funny looks that the other foodies said was Instagram worthy. Luckily no one capture it. Phewww!! After that, I so absent minded I forgot to taste the brownie.
|Bibik's Brownie with Buah Keluak Ice Cream|
The coffee bean at TQ are sourced from Papa Palhetta. So I definitely must try their coffee and with a bonus we also tried their Affogato ($8.50). The combination of the homemade ice cream with nutty chocolaty espresso was a just awesome. Probably the best dessert here other than DCB.
TQ also offer their special Cocktail of The Quarters ($16) combination of gin, vodka, lemon, mint and dill; or mocktails Quarterade ($6) – lemon, mint and dill without the alcohols. For beer and cider check out their attractive brands such as F***ing Hell, Dead Pony or Green Goblin.
|The Quarters Cocktail|
Decor of the place is a very open, casual with industrial warehouse feel. Elements such as wooden board, tin wall and black steel are part and parcel when you are dining here.
Overall, I admire Chef Chung vision in opening The Quarters. Though I applaud him for introducing his take on modern Singapore dishes, however its uniqueness of the dishes might need to be met with the courage and curiosity of the current diners. Do give The Quarters a try if you are around Tanjong Pagar area and let me know how you think of the food. Cheers!!
Thank you very much to The Quarters team for tasting invitation. Shauneeie as hand model & Msginginly for the handphone capture.
Food & Drink: 7/10
Budget per Person: $11 - $25; $26 - $50