I first ate at Eat at 18 a year ago, and had a slightly off putting experience. I opted for macaroni cheese, and things seemed to be going well. Made with two types of cheese, roasted peppers and tomatoes, it came with some excellent cheese bread which tasted fatty but not greasy – but sadly also with two tiny bits of smoked duck right at the bottom, inexplicably omitted from the description (you’d think they would highlight this as to a meat eater it would possibly increase the appeal). However I said I would go back and give it another chance. This time I would really stress the word vegetarian!
Eat at 18 is a slightly longer established upmarket cafe in Melaka, named after its street number. A five minute stroll away from Jonker Walk, it’s operated by a small local hotel group. Inside it looks like I’ve come to expect from these cafes – attractive, antiques on the wall, greenery, areas with different styles. There are air conditioned and natural sections, plus a reservable area at the back for groups. On my first visit, the staff were a mixed bunch, with the leader being at first slightly dismissive then actually quite helpful, and her assistants being very nervous, but things seem to have settled now.
Across our visits, we have had a few options. Apart from the unfortunate macaroni cheese unpleasantness, all of the food and drinks have been very good, especially the coffee. We had hashed (as in sautéed) potatoes with mustard and onion which were very well cooked and full of flavour, served with a salad.
Cheese quesadillas were also delicious and served with a salad. The mixed cheese was melted very well between two sesame seed tortillas, which were crisply fried and very filling.
Glazed crispy chicken was described as very juicy and tender inside the cracking skin. It also had a salad and some of the bread which is freshly baked on site. The salads came with either a passion fruit or a sesame and lemon dressing, nice if you like that sort of thing.
Beef stew with carrots, potatoes and radish was huge and apparently very good, but too much for one person. No picture, I’m afraid, so here is some bread.
So my return visit was better, and I am happy to recommend you visit. It is a little expensive at around RM80 for two, but the food is good. Just make sure you stress any dietary requirements, no matter how detailed the description on the menu, just in case.
To get there, take the first left off Jonker Walk (assuming you are walking towards the river from the stage end) after the sculpture park. Eat at 18 is very near the second junction you’ll come to, on the right, and covered in leaves.
Address: 18 Jalan Hang Lekiu, Melaka 75200