Sheares, Barker, Lopez, Olsen and Monteiro are few of the famous surnames of Eurasians in Singapore and Eurasian food is a key part of our multi-ethnic and diverse cultural heritage. A good place to experience authentic Eurasian food must be a restaurant in the premises of the European Association. Quentin’s Eurasian Restaurant is located in the Eurasian Community House at Ceylon Road off Dunman Road. The restaurant of Quentin Pereira, also known as “Skinny Chef” on his TV show, is one where you can enjoy Eurasian dishes prepared with family recipes that have been passed down through the generations.
Quentin’s Eurasian Restaurant has a small indoor air-conditioned area which looks like an old world dining room. There is a non-air conditioned area which has a more casual feel with a small section set aside for live music performances. There is also an al fresco terrace overlooking a small park.
Eurasians is a term coined by the British in colonial India to describe children of mixed European and Asian parentage. History buffs will know that the Portuguese and Dutch were among the first Europeans to arrive in Singapore and Spanish trading ships also came to Singapore. Apparently, the Portuguese had a policy of encouraging marriages with local female inhabitants. Hence, many Eurasian dishes in Singapore have Portuguese roots as well as Indian and Malay elements. Typical Eurasian dishes would include Curry Debal, Caldo Verde, Curry Kapitan, Beef Smore and Sugee Cake.
The menu of Quentin’s Eurasian Restaurant offers a very wide selection of Eurasian dishes. Quentin’s also has set menus for large groups, a kid’s menu and tea set menu during the weekend.
We went to Quentin’s Eurasian Restaurant for dinner and ordered their Porku Semur ($15), Rempah Bredu ($8) and Corned Beef Fried Rice ($6.80). We knew that we would be having too much food but could not resist the desserts and ordered a piece of Sugee Cake ($5) and Iced Chendol ($3.80). GST and service charge would be added to the bill.
Preparation time for the food was quite long. While we waited, iced water was offered and a large canister of water was left on the table. A complimentary basket of keropok was also served with sambal belacan.
The Porku Semur was pork marinated and stewed with spices and blended onions, ginger and garlic. The thick stew had chunky pieces of carrots and potatoes. It had a truly Eurasian taste combining the tartness of European red wine and the lemakness of Asian coconut milk and spices. It was an interesting dish and went quite well with rice. The corned beef fried rice was an East meets West kind of dish. It was like the zhi char fried rice with corned beef added – a simple delicious dish.
Rempah Bredu was tofu, kangkong and sweet potatoes added to a mild curry. It looked like a simple home cooked dish but it was full of flavours and very enjoyable. It was smooth and not too spicy.