Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Quarter, Melbourne CBD by Bureaucrat

Apologies in advance for the blurry photos.  It was around this time that I was having epic issues with my camera.  For this post, you'll have to apply your own image sharpening filter to imagine the photos that I had wanted to take.  Or, alternatively, you can enjoy the Impressionistic vibe of my photos  :)

Usually, I can't be bothered going out for dinner on a week night.  For me, a week night needs to be quick, home-cooked and ideally as healthy as possible... although, that's more of an ambition than a reality for most nights.  However, one night, we found ourselves still in the city after work.  Rambling through the lane ways, we came across The Quarter near Flinders Street.

It was pretty much at full capacity, both inside and outside.  We managed to score a tiny table on the pavement - with the outdoor dining setting, it was a chance to pretend to be like a Parisian!  The echo of lively chatter, knees up and the slight smugness of all the diners who were enjoying their meals while passer-bys looked wistfully at the food and the convivial atmosphere.

The Lawyer can't resist seafood risotto or seafood pasta when he sees it on the menu.  Case in point, he got the seafood risotto ($23.50).  It was a tad pricier than I expected for a restaurant of this ilk, but when the dish came, the price was quite rightly justified - there were lots of seafood!  Prawns, calamari, mussels and scallops - four of each item made it quite generous.  

The flavour was also spot on - that creamy, garlic and white wine flavour was perfect.  I did note that the rice was not aborio.  It was regular medium grain rice, which was obvious since the rice had the look, texture and feel of a half-cooked congee.  However, the Lawyer didn't mind and licked his bowl clean.

I needed some of that green leafy stuff, so I opted for the super grain salad ($18.50), which is made up of quinoa, corn, currants, roasted pear, toasted almonds, pumpkin seeds, pinenuts, mint, spinach, tossed in pomegranate vinaigrette and creme fraiche.  A bountiful mound of greenery and all things hippy dippy.  

Lots of sweet flavours from the juicy currants and soft pear and pomegranate dressing; a real panoply of nutty, nubbly, earthy textures from the quinoa, corn, seeds and nuts (there's my protein intake for the day!).  To top it all off, the luxe creaminess from the creme fraiche and the cooling mintiness turned the salad from just rabbit food to something far more special.  It was such a lovely sweet tasting and creamy salad that it could almost be a dessert!  There was so much that I had to get the Lawyer to help me out.

Food - 7.5
Ambiance - 7.5
Service - 7
Price - 7.5

A reasonably good European style cafe.  The food is generally above average (I would have scored it 8 for food if they had used proper rice for the risotto).  Serves are fairly big, too.  Service was prompt.  I'd say the main draw card for The Quarter is the lane way atmosphere.  Sometimes it's all about the vibe and surroundings that make the dining experience, and if the food is good too, then that'll certainly helps.

The Quarter
27 Degraves St
Melbourne 3000
Telephone: 9650 6156

The Quarter on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

obelix glutt said...

looks interesting. must give it a try.

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