Eightisfy Western: Restaurant-quality handcrafted pasta dishes & Western fare at hidden industrial canteen

It’s not every day that you can get to savour restaurant-quality pasta made with artisanal ingredients in an industrial canteen. Eightisfy Western is not conveniently located. First, I had to navigate a vast parking area within the Redhill 1 industrial estate along Jalan Bukit Merah. Then, I kept walking until I stumbled upon Maddox Canteen tucked away in a distant corner.

eightisfy western - Maddox Canteen

At 1.15pm, the canteen was bustling with nearby workers, all enjoying their lunches. A little history— Eightisfy Western started off as a joint venture between 3 partners but it is now solely owned by 40-year-old Cheng Kai, fondly known as CK.

eightisfy western - stall front

eightisfy western - chef ck

CK previously operated a Western food business in the Aljunied industrial estate before honing his culinary skills at Cicheti, renowned for its Italian cuisine. Cicheti served as a pivotal stepping stone for CK, providing him the opportunity to experiment and craft a multitude of dishes.

As I chatted with him, I realised that we had both studied at SHATEC and were mentored by the same instructor— what a small world!

eightisfy western - nero closeup

Describing CK as a super chef is an understatement. I’m genuinely baffled by how a one-man show manages to prepare such a diverse array of dishes in a compact kitchen. He handcrafts approximately 6 to 8 varieties of homemade pasta, which he exclusively features on his secret pasta menu (a well-guarded secret among his regulars).

What I tried at Eightisfy Western

eightisfy western - squid ink nero

I started off with the opulent Nero De Seppia Spaghetti Infused with Local Flavour (S$17.80). Don’t be surprised if this dish isn’t on the menu as it’s only known to his regulars (and now you know).

Plated elegantly, a jet black nest of squid ink spaghetti took centre stage, encircled by a medley of grilled prawns, fishcake bits, tau pok, red chilli slices and a sprinkling of a mysterious-looking chopped herb that looked like parsley.

eightisfy western - squid ink nero toss

eightisfy western - bundle of pasta

I proceeded to toss all the ingredients up and took my first bite of the pasta. An appealing rush of umami squid ink notes mingled with the unexpected yet familiar essence of laksa. When I spotted the accompanying elements, I had a hunch that it was going to be laksa… and I was spot-on.

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The chopped herb was none other than daun kesum (laksa leaves) which injected zesty, lemony undertones into every strand of perfectly al dente spaghetti. The impeccable texture of the pasta was a testament of CK’s expertise in handling it, as it maintained a firm and satisfying bite throughout.

eightisfy western - ingredients

I loved that the tau pok bits were fried till they became enjoyably crispy, providing a standout texture that set them apart from the other components. The red chilli rings provided hints of spiciness which helped balance out the richness of the squid ink.

eightisfy western - closeup of prawns

My only complaint would have to be the grilled prawns. Despite being smoky and delicious, I found them to be a tad dry and slightly firmer than what I personally prefer. Perhaps a touch more moisture would elevate this dish to a flawless 10/10 in my books.

eightisfy western - serving of pasta

eightisfy western - serving of pasta

Next in-line was the Blue Moon Duck Ragout Pappardelle (S$14.80). The dish consisted of sheets of pappardelle dressed in a duck ragout with cherry tomatoes. Just before serving, CK slathered a layer of duck confit oil as the finishing touch.

eightisfy western - blue moon ale

He told me that the dish is named ‘Blue Moon’ after the brand of the Belgian-style wheat ale that he uses to infuse the duck mixture in.

eightisfy western - pulled duck closeup

If you’re a non-alcoholic whodetests beer, fear not. The flavour is pretty subtle yet it adds a nice smooth finish to the meat. The duck ragout itself is rich, decadent and the flavours are very well balanced. In fact, my dining companion mistakenly identified it as beef.

eightisfy western - papperdelle closeup

Although the pappardelle sheets were massively broad, they didn’t feel doughy and were pretty light on the palate. The addition of the duck confit oil injected an extra depth of luxuriousness to the whole combination.

eightisfy western - pork chop

The last dish that we tried was the Garlic Pork Chop (S$8.80), which is available on his displayed menu at the stall front. The large slab of meat was half doused in the garlic sauce, served with French fries, baked beans and coleslaw.

eightisfy western - pork chop closeup

The garlic gravy provided a refreshing departure from the ubiquitous brown sauce that’s served everywhere else. Its slightly pungent notes harmonised flawlessly with the meat. While the pork chop was succulent, I must admit that it didn’t quite reach the pinnacle of tenderness that I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying at other places.

eightisfy western - coleslaw

The coleslaw was sliced really thin and it tasted light and refreshing. The French fries and baked beans were as good as they should be and I had no complaints. That being said, I felt that the pasta dishes served here really shine over their Western offerings.

Final thoughts

eightisfy western - overview

While some may perceive the special pasta menu at Eightisfy Western as slightly pricey for an industrial canteen, I wholeheartedly believe that the exceptional quality and tantalising flavours more than warrant it.

With homemade pasta crafted with care and top-notch ingredients that rival those of fine restaurants, what’s not to adore? If you plan to visit, don’t hesitate to inquire with CK about his secret pasta menu and prepare to be blown away.

Expected damage: S$5.50 – S$15 per pax

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Price: $ $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Eightisfy Western

3752 Bukit Merah Central, Maddox Canteen, Singapore 159848

Our Rating 4/5

Eightisfy Western

3752 Bukit Merah Central, Maddox Canteen, Singapore 159848

Operating Hours: 11.30am - 2.30pm & 5.30pm - 8pm (Mon to Fri), 12pm - 2.30pm & 5.30pm - 8.30pm (Sat), Closed on Sun

Operating Hours: 11.30am - 2.30pm & 5.30pm - 8pm (Mon to Fri), 12pm - 2.30pm & 5.30pm - 8.30pm (Sat), Closed on Sun
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