Quentin’s serves up amazing Eurasian food.
Formerly at East Coast Road, it has moved to the Eurasian Community House at Ceylon Road. While the previous restaurant had a certain elegance (yah lah, I took photos of the place for my book - “Eat, Drink, Be Merry: Singapore” [shameless plug]), its new premise is more spacious and laidback. The best spots are on the balcony at night where you can see police convoys escort SR Nathan from home to work and back again.
Oh yes, the food.
Eurasian food isn’t common in Singapore (despite the number of notable Singaporean Eurasians). Like the Peranakans, Eurasians are the offsprings of two races. In this case, western colonists and locals (Wikipedia entry), in particular Indians.
This explains why there’s a large number of curries on the menu such as Vindaloo, Devil’s Curry and Babi Assam. And why the dishes are tempered with western cooking sensibilities – the meaty croquette and Smore are examples of western food adapted to Asian palates.
GET TO THE FOOD, ALREADY!!!
At Quentin’s, the food’s amazing (am I allowed to repeat myself?), you won’t go broke, and it’s much better than the Portuguese settlement at Malacca.
The Chicken Curry Devil ($14) was spicy with a pleasantly undefinable aftertaste. The chicken’s chewy but smooth. Oddly enough, there’s cabbage and some sausages floating in the red mix. This is a must-go-for when you’re at Quentin’s. They also have an Oxtail version (haven’t tried that one yet though).
My other favourite is the Patchri ($6) – fried eggplants with sweet and sour sauce. Black on the outside; soft and creamy on the inside. My only gripe: As it’s on the mild side, the Patchri can get lost in other stronger flavours on your plate.
Also go for the Prawn Bostador ($13). Juicy, fresh prawns smothered in a creamy, tumeric sauce with lots of green chillies. It tastes like a clam chowder and can get quite jelat after a few rounds. But until it does, it’s brilliant. Here’s a tip: ladle these curries onto a mound of white fluffy rice and mix them up ala Nasi Padang style.
Personally, I’d give the Meaty Croquette (two big fried balls by the way), Singgan Serani and Babi Assam a miss. They’re not as interesting as the other Eurasian dishes on the menu. If I’d go back again, I’d try the Smore, Sugee Cake, Curry Seku and Curry Permanta.
Three dishes (about $40 with rice) are enough to feed four hungry people. Also, they’ve got a Sunday Brunch ($16) where everything’s done up buffet style for big-eaters and late-risers.
Quentin’s (139 Ceylon Road, Eurasian Community House Singapore 429744; Tel: 6348-0327 / 6254-4556 / 9147-0146; http://www.quentins.com.sg)