Inspired by Fifteen, a UK restaurant-chain started by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, Eighteen Chef was founded for a special purpose. The main aim that Benny Se Teo, the founder of this restaurant, set out for was to provide troubled delinquents and ex-convicts a non-judgemental working environment, and hence, an easier integration back into the society. But honestly, I had no idea until I did a little research on the restaurant. And do not let this knowledge cloud your judgement on the quality of their food either. They definitely do not lack in the taste compartment. With an internship at Fifteen to boast, Benny created a Western menu that is sure to delight. You will be thrilled by the “Be your own Chef” section where you are offered 8 sauces, 30 ingredients and 12 top-ups to choose to pair with your pasta or rice. A novel way for customers to customise their dish according to their own whims and fancies. The more adventurous will probably be piqued by sauces such as Creamy Mango or Red and White. But I prefer to try out something safe and conventional at the first visit.
Cheese baked rice with sausage and creamy white sauce: Served in a slightly deeper pasta bowl than normal, the sight of the slightly burnt cheese on the top layer is just thrilling. As I scarfed down spoonfuls, I noticed that the cheese was only present at the top instead of being between layers for the more wholesome taste. However, the cheese layer was so generous at the top that it’s sufficient for each scoop. The gooey mixture of thick melted cheese and creamy sauce with grainy rice hits the spot for me and provides warmth and comfort for the tummy.
Bolognaise Cheese Fries: Mozzarella cheese-baked fries topped with tasty beef bolognaise sauce. The hearty taste of the beef bolognaise, the smooth and concentrated-flavour of the cheese. Need I say more?
Tucked away at a remote corner of Eastpoint Mall near Simei Station, the restaurant can be easily missed. With not a lot of space and seats to offer, the restaurant is almost full during dinner time. Even on weekdays. Most of the patrons are young adults and especially those who are still studying, no thanks to the all-day student meal promotion. Setting themselves apart from the normal 11am-5pm student meal timing, students eating at Eighteen Chefs can enjoy their pasta or baked rice with limited choice of toppings, a glass of iced lemon tea and a scoop of ice-cream for just a price of $6.40. I’m really starting to dread working life.
3 Simei Street 6
Eastpoint Mall, #01-36,
Tel: 6782 1298
Sun – Thu 11.30am – 10pm
Fri, Sat and Eve’s of Public Holiday 11.30pm-11pm