Already a recipient of a star in the inaugural Perth Good Food Guide, The Quarter comes with high expectations. Its modern British cuisine headed up by chef Shannon Wilson has already won positive comments from a few of my friends let alone Perth food critics.
Despite being in the centre of the business and shopping district of the city, the dim candlelit dining room tucked away behind the old Wesley Church created a very intimate atmosphere. The Quarter’s fitout looks relatively simple, but completely clean, modern and stylish. It’s a bit of a classy yet comfortable gem in the heart of the city.
The service from the wait staff varies on the actual staff member. On previous occasions I've been impressed with the quality of the wait staff, with their great attitude that was friendly and helpful. I felt that the regular wait staff that have served me previously gave a great level of service, however perhaps some of the newer staff are just a little less friendly and helpful but that’s not to say the service was anything less than adequate.
Tasting plate for two - $30
The chilled gaspacho was light and tangy, offering a little something to start that both refreshed the palate and left it wanting for more.
The pork with crisp piece of crostini style bread had the texture of soft canned tuna, but with a mild pork taste and was quite light on the palate.
Lastly, packing the strongest hit to the palate, was the goats cheese salad. The goats cheese had a texture like soft cheese portions made for crackers and had a strong salty cheese flavour. The walnuts and grapes accompanying the salad added welcome taste and texture to the otherwise strong cheese.
Lamb assiette - $39
Probably the signature dish of The Quarter is the lamb assiette (otherwise known as lamb three ways).
Starting with the slow cooked shoulder, the lamb was uniformly cooked with the tender meat easily tearing away from the attractive cylindrical shape. The lamb was flavoursome and easily enhanced with the slightly creamy spinach puree.
The lamb rack was one of the ribs off the rack. Mind you, having the whole rack on this plate would have made it a big meal in itself. However, true to its description, the lamb was cooked as a rack and coming medium rare was tender and just about melted in my mouth.
The Quarter’s take on the traditional shepherd’s pie saw a reasonably lean mince lamb “filling” placed at the base of a bowl that was of a great consistency gourmet flavour, but had a bit too much salt for my tastebuds. However saying that, I haven't heard anyone else have an issue about the salt in this otherwise excellent dish so perhaps mine had a bit of an accident? The filling was topped with a decent amount of silky smooth mash that brought together the shepherd’s pie.
Slow cooked pork belly - $35
As expected, the pork belly skin was audibly crunchy. Tick. The pork meat itself was quite moist but I felt it needed the accompanying cider jus and apple & sage crumble. The apple and sage crumble gave the pork a sweet accompaniment that works well with pork, though I could have done with a sweeter punch from the apple.
The potato fondant was delicious. It was buttery, well seasoned, and had the texture of golden roast potato slices.
Broccolini, herb butter - $8.50
Fresh broccolini was blanched and flavoured with a light herb butter making this dish taste healthier than “butter” normally suggests.
Rocket & parmesan salad, balsamic dressing - $8.50
Shaved parmesan and sweet and thick creamed balsamic gave this fresh rocket salad a nice sweet and salt combination.
Valrhona chocolate tart, passion fruit cream - $14
Quality Valrhona rich chocolate tart. Could any chocoholic complain? The rich and thick Valhrona chocolate mix was utterly smooth, had the texture of a thick and rich cheesecake, and a chocolate punch to rival a decadent rich dark chocolate mud cake.
To tone all that rich chocolately goodness back a bit, the mildly flavoured passionfruit (juice and seed) infused cream was light and refreshing.
Orange crème brulee, hazelnut shortbread - $13
I’m not really a fan of adding citrus to my crème brulee (I’d rather add liquer) but this crème brulee was good. The crème brulee was smooth and creamy and had a good amount of sweetness that was lifted by the tang of orange.
Overall, The Quarter lives up to the reputation already built. The food is prepared to very high standards and makes for some great flavour combinations. The atmosphere is stylish and the candlelight ambience just sets the mood.
Points to note: Remember to book ahead as The Quarter is very busy and I understand there Friday and Saturdays are booked ahead for a couple of months.
Go for: Intimate fine dining in the city.
93-95 William Street
PERTH WA 6000
(08) 9322 2424
Monday - 7am to 3pm
Tuesday to Friday - 7am to late
Saturday - 6pm to late