Food wise, The Quarters offers mains and desserts quite different from the other 149 new cafes. It’s a risk to take. Let’s hope that being atypical pays off.
The Quarters finds itself at the revamped extension of Icon Village at Tanjong Pagar, joining neighbours Two Men Bagel House, Jasper’s Pantry, Sumire Yakitori, OKG Express, Munch and Hereico.
Items on the menu were inspired from traditional recipes and ingredients, then given a modern perspective which is hopefully casual, accessible, and tasty. So you may go in wondering, “What is this? What to order huh?”
There were Crispy Fries with Salted Egg Yolk dip ($7.60), Umami Babi ($8.50) where slow braised pulled pork collar were stuffed in mini mantous, capellini with buah keluak sauce called the Asian Truffle ($14.80) and Wonderffle ($9.50) – waffle with lemongrass and pandan ice cream drizzled with gula melaka.
Oh, there was also this poached egg in Laska broth ($7.80). Strange, very strange.
To be honest, some worked, some tasted out of place.
Let’s start with those I liked – The Ma Jie’s Indulgence ($18.00) – capellini with chilli crab sauce.
The gooey sauce was a winner, tilted towards the sweet side, and thus not as spicy as expected. Sauce to capellini ratio hit the right note, angel hair cooked al dente style, and suggests a good cook is behind the kitchen.
While $18.00 might feel pricey for its portion, there was generous addition of real crab meat. (Some places use crab sticks which I frown upon.)
Owner Deming was probably the first to commercialise Durian Crème Brulee, having started DCB Duriancanboleh in 2013. He saw durian as “God’s gift of custard”.
On the surface, the Duriancanboleh ($7.00) looked like any usual crème brulee, but as you take a spoonful of the smooth luscious creamy base, the taste of distinctive durian kicked in yet not being overpowering. The texture was wonderful, I mean, compared to durian fruit which could be slimy. (I actually liked this, considering I am no fan of durian.)
Salted Egg Fries ($7) should be a favourite with customers. The dip was kind of addictive, but I wished the fries were not that dry – think it was over-fried for a minute or two.
The Wonderffle ($9.50) joined the ranks of yet another one in waffle-crazed Singapore. Unfortunately, this would draw comparisons to the better ones, and the batter happened to be too dried out, and ice cream could be fuller-scooped. This didn’t make it for us.
Coffee is sourced from Papa Palheta, using the popular Throwback (milk chocolate with tinge of mandarin oranges.)
From our rempahs to ice creams, The Quarters take special effort to create everything from scratch, assisted by a small but strong team. Some fine-tuning needed. If not, stick to their tried and tested.
16 Enggor Street #01-09 Singapore 079717
Tel: +65 68344174
Opening Hours: 8am – 10pm (Mon –Thurs), 8am – 11pm (Fri), 10am – 11pm (Sat), 10am – 10pm (Sun)