Eighteen Chefs - Underworld flavours. #04-02 Cathay Cineleisure.

Chef Benny's story of rags, drugs to riches is surely a heartfelt one. Taking in ex-addicts or ex-cons and rehabilitating them where no other employer would already wins him the blue ribbon but his culinary skills are actually pretty good. Also having spent a stint with Jamie Oliver under the same re-hab scheme has given Benny a East meets West flavour. 

Chef Benny likes his meats and his pasta. His Heart Attack fried rice is one to try. The accompanying garlic fried rice has a dark appearance but its flavour while robust does not overwhelm the grilled sliced beef. The beef is surprisingly flavourful and tender for a dish that costs $15.80. What a great and inexpensive way to get your beef fix.

The 18-burger is another signature dish but is a slight misnomer because it is not a beef patty in the middle of the bun but grilled beef slices. However don't let that stop you. Take a bite and it does taste like a good burger should. Then there is the batter fried wedges, a great side to the burger.  Dipped in 18C's own take on spicy garlic enhanced ketchup it makes a tasty morsel.

Chef Benny's other fave is the Aglio Olio pasta which can be as a side on one of the grilled meat dishes or by itself. The standard Spaghetti Bolognese is actually very good apart from the "local al dente" which means a tad soft for the discerning. But Chef Benny defends it because he is tired of the complaints from his local patrons to whom real al dente pasta feels under cooked. Hmmm. Anyway the ragu sauce is pretty good especially for $8.30.

18C is a great little diner with numerous (affordable) delights to offer. Chef Benny has international exposure and knows his craft. His blend of East meets West is certainly recommended. Other branches are at Tiong Bahru Plaza, East Point Mall and Fusionopolis. 

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