Review: The Quarters @ Icon Village

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Quarters – a form of accommodation we used to have in Singapore in the 60s. Old school. That’s the direction The Quarters are heading towards – serving food that are reminiscent of our heritage, yet with a modernized twist.

The Place

Located within Icon Village at Tanjong Pagar, The Quarters is situated just beside Cold Storage and opposite Two Men Bagel House.Photo 26-7-15 12 01 18 pmThe warm lights sets up a cosy atmosphere within the cafe, and the container walls were congruent to their old school theme. A place I would love to grab a cuppa, but I’m not too sure if they’re big enough to fit the crazy lunch time crowd!

The Menu
The Quarters keep their menu interesting with the infusion of modern elements into our Singapore favorites. They could probably run to be the face of cafes for SG50.

The Food

For appetizers, we had Calamari, Salted Egg Fries and Har Cheong Gai!

1) Calamari ($13.80)Photo 26-7-15 12 37 57 pmBattered squid served with their in-house curry aioli. The curry aioli deserves a shout out on its own as it manages to capture the essence of the curry spices, and this went perfectly well with the calamari. Although I thought that the price for this dish may be a little unjustified, despite it being a seafood dish.

There’s just no way I’m gonna pay $13.80 for an appetizer at a cafe, and these fried calamari were just average, faring slightly below your usual tze char fare. Kudos for the aioli though! Genius.

2) Salted Egg Fries ($9)
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Salted egg YAY! Another one to add into my list here! The dip was yet again on point. Slightly grainy, just the way I like it, and it was flavorful as well! Thank goodness as I was afraid that it may be too bland like some renditions of it!

3) Har Cheong Gai ($9.50)
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Shiok. If you love Har Cheong Gai, you’d love this because this was amazing. The flavors of the prawn paste were rich and the dish was elevated with the additional heat from the home made belachan. Damn shiok I tell you. A truly Singaporean dish!

Overall I loved the dips for all our appetizers, and the dishes were perfect renditions of what we all love as Singaporeans. With such standards, I was looking forward to how they would surprise us with their mains!

For mains, we had a Barramundi, Satay Burger and a Chili Crab Pasta!

1) The Great Escape ($18.80)
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This is the Barranmundi with a crisp skin, and tender meat – served together with a Lemongrass and Ginger Flower Cream Sauce, and sides of potato and French beans.Photo 26-7-15 1 23 06 pmI’m not sure why they gave us the sauce separately, but I guess it’s for OUR photography sake. HEHE. No lah, maybe the chef wants us to taste the fish on its own first, and don’t worry there’s no hint of fishy taste in this one! But… Not too impressive, it’s just fish. It’s a good dish if you just want some fish for your meal because fish is healthy. HAHAHA!

2) Satay Burger ($17)
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Spiced Chicken Thigh marinated for 24 hours and wrapped between the crisp and chewy handmade rice patty. Served on the side is its DAMN YUMMY Peanut sauce.Photo 26-7-15 1 24 58 pmWhat a unique take on a satay burger, really. And this actually tasted GREAT. I’m not a fan of ketupat. Heck. I HATE ketupat. But if all ketupats are served the way The Quarters does, I’ll eat all the rice in the world. Haha! The chicken thigh was also oh so tender, and the peanut sauce was awesome! I loved this dish and it’s definitely “Singapore’s Best Satay Burger” like what they’ve touted it to be!

3)Ma Jie’s Indulgence ($18)
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This was the usual Chili Crab pasta we are seeing more and more often in many cafes, and honestly, not all were able to pull this off well. Honestly, when I first encountered this dish, I was skeptical because of how it looked. It looked a little weak to me, but boy, WAS I VERY WRONG.

One of the best Chili Crab pasta rendition I’ve had, and topped with fresh crab meat, I CANNOT. It’s so addictive, I kept going mouthfuls after mouthfuls, until I felt a little fat then I stopped. My mother and my sister will like this a lot.

Oh and before I forget, we’ve had one of their salads too! Perfect for the health conscious CBD crowd! Here’s the Samsui Chicken ($12.80)
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Inspired by the idea of Chicken Rice, this salad has chicken poached in Hainanese inspired broth, onsen egg, and Salad leaves in a Vinegarette based on Singapore’s Favorite Chili Sauce. When eaten together, it tasted just like having chicken rice without the rice, but still got the chicken rice taste. Clever, very clever. I would go for this if I’m on a diet and craving for chicken rice! And that… is almost everyday.


The highly raved Duriancanboleh ($8.50) makes its grand appearance here!
Photo 26-7-15 1 49 30 pmDuriancanboleh. Simi can boleh? OH CREME BRULEE AH! Hahaha! This was worth its rave because the velvety smooth durian creme brulee blew us away with its texture and flavors. Made from the highest grade of durian, Mao Shan Wang, this was one decadent dish!

Bibik’s Brownie ($10.80) was another dessert we’ve had.
Photo 26-7-15 1 58 40 pmOooh, looks sinfully great! The components in this include, Buah Keluak Ice Cream with  chocolatey brownie. The Buah Keluak Ice Cream boasts of Chocolate, Nutty and Berry flavor notes. While it did taste chocolatey (the owner says this is PURE buah keluak, never add anything to make it taste like chocolate hor), the after taste was… weird. No. I don’t like it so much. If you’re a fan of buah keluak then maybe, just maybe you’d like it. But the ice cream definitely did not work for me.

Lastly, we had the Wonderffle ($12.80).
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Oh you wonderful waffle. Lemongrass and Pandan ice cream with gula meleka sauce served on soft, yeasty old school waffles. The ice creams were so fragrant and on point, I would just go and order it on its own! Yeah, and don’t expect the waffles to be the usual crisp waffles because no, they aren’t.

Photo 26-7-15 12 27 21 pm Photo 26-7-15 12 29 49 pmBefore I end off, the drinks and coffee in here were also decent. Definitely a good place to grab a cuppa. Lucky you, CBD peeps. I would come here for coffee everyday.

Closing Remarks

I think it’s pretty incredible for The Quarters to be able to reinvent the old school favorites to suit the modern tastebuds. While there were hits and misses for me, taste is purely subjective and despite the misses, the food were not bad at all, really. It just did not sit with my tastebuds. Prices though, could be slightly revised for some items on the menu to keep themselves competitive in the area, in my opinion. Nevertheless, The Quarters is definitely a place to go, and I look forward to their brand new creations!

How to get there?
Icon Village
16 Enggor Street
Singapore 079717

Opening Hours
Mon – Fri   8am to 10pm
Sat            10am to 10pm
Sun           10am to 6pm

Instagram: @thequarterssg

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