A lover for Peranakan cuisine, I am always on the lookout for restaurants serving nice and authentic Peranakan dishes and when my friend suggested a new place that I’ve not been to, I was excited to try the food
Located within the Eurasian Association, the Quentin’s Eurasian Restaurant is an establishment serving up traditional home-cooked Eurasian cuisine. You may ask me what has Eurasian cuisine got to do with Peranakan food and for this, we will have to trace back to the roots of the Eurasian in Singapore. Eurasian migrants to Singapore in the 19th century came largely from other European colonies in Asia, such as British Malaya, in particular, Malacca and Penang. Malacca being the home to Peranakans definitely played a part in the influence of Eurasian cuisine. While the dishes served at Quentin’s is not fully Peranakan, there are some dishes that are quite similar and a whole lot of other dishes which opened my taste buds to a whole new world
Since it is within the association clubhouse, Quentin occupies a huge space with an outdoor area as well as an indoor air-conditioned area
The indoor seating is limited to around 30 persons
The menu is flashed on the iPad and orders are also taken from the iPad directly. Each dish has a clear description of the ingredients as well as cooking style so ordering is a pretty easy process.
The first thing served together with our iced water was the fried cracker with a plate of spicy belachan chilli. The belachan chilli was not overly spicy so it is suitable for even those who can’t take a lot of heat. The crackers provided are the prawn crackers which is subtle yet savoury with the chilli.
The first dish we had was the Pasteis De Bacalhau which is a well-loved Portuguese dish made of dried codfish, potato, chopped parsley, cilantro and onion and eggs. The end results are these perfectly fried golden brown egg-shaped balls which are very soft and scrumptious. The codfish added a nice tinge of seafood flavour with the mashed potatoes and this is great as a snack.
Next was the popular Peranakan dish Buah Keluak cooked with pork ribs instead of the usual chicken meat found in many other restaurants. There were 4 nuts being served with the pork ribs and the gravy was a deep brown colour with almost not much oil floating on top. The pork ribs were cooked till very tender with a slight flavour of the bitter Buah Keluak nut. Personally, I found this version to be milder than the other versions I have tied so it is quite refreshing.
Another popular Peranakan dish, this is the prawn with pineapple Assam curry which came with 4 huge prawns and chunks of pineapple. The prawns were difficult to peel so I think they have been frozen for quite a while as the meat is also not as springy as the fresh prawns. The pineapple was cooked till soft and the gravy has the rich balance between sweet and tangy sour from both the pineapple and the Assam. For me, the prawn was a missed but the gravy saved it from a total miss.
Another favourite dish is the sambal belachan kang kong which is known as water spinach. Slightly different from the ones we get from usual Chinese stores, the Eurasian version is fried with sliced chilli, onions, tomatoes and garlic together with belachan paste. The main difference is the tomatoes which are not usually used so it makes the dish more watery and sweeter. Personally, I feel this is good for children or older folks who cannot take spicy food but loves the taste of belachan but for me, the taste was too light and lacks a punch.
The Tim soup which is cooked with pork bones or chicken with salted vegetables, black beans and tomatoes is the best soup to balance up the rest of the dishes with chilli. With a light layer of oil, the soup has great flavours from the chicken and the salted vegetables. While it has that nice salty savoury taste from the salted vegetables, it is not overpowering.
The prawn and tofu soup came looking different from the pictures from the menu. The balls were fried but were still quite juicy. However, I found the soup really quite bland and not to my liking.
Lastly is the turmeric cabbage which is a dish with strong influence from India as part of the Eurasian heritage as well. The cabbage was very pretty in a bright yellow colour from the turmeric and it was crunchy yet full of flavours. This is personally one of my favourite dishes as the taste was very refreshing yet flavourful.
Overall, the dishes at Quentin were pretty delicious and has authentic Eurasian flavours. Even when certain dishes resemble dishes from other cuisines, it has a slightly different unique flavour which makes the dishes a very refreshing palate experience
Address: 139 Ceylon Rd, Level 1 Eurasian Community House, Singapore 429744
Operating hours: 11.30 am to 2.30 pm and 6.30 pm to 10 pm ( Tues – Fri)
11 pm to 2 pm and 6 pm to 10 pm ( Sat-Sun)
Closed on Mon