(December Eighteen is halal friendly!)
It feels like you’re on the set of a Wong Kar Wai movie. A working jukebox playing Chinese oldies, posters of popular East Asian films plastered on walls, and carrom boards being repurposed as dining tables draw attention to the lush recreation of 1980s interior that December Eighteen evocatively executes. Deriving its name from the date the owners of this stationery-antique store as well as restaurant got hitched, December Eighteen offers a pleasing dining experience, amplified by the artistic olde-worlde ambience.
A prominent aspect of December Eighteen’s menu is that it offers a wide variety of local as well as East Asian delicacies, some with flavourful twists. It took us a while to decide on what to eat as almost everything looked delectable.
The Deep-Fried Dumplings (RM 10) and Sweet Potato Fries (RM12) were the two appetizers we decided to savour first. The chicken and vegetable filled dumplings were well-seasoned but lacked remarkability as the wrappers were slightly too thick, giving off a rather doughy taste and texture. The sweet potato fries were crispy, but failed to impress us as they tasted just as you would expect them too, sweet and slightly salted.
The mains on the other hand is most likely where December Eighteen gained its popularity from. As it approached noon, we noticed the tables around us placing orders for the same dishes, relishing every bite, just as much as we did.
The Orange Chicken Rice Bowl (RM15.90) was the perfect blend of sweet and savoury. Topped with corn, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, as well as an over medium egg to accompany the strong orange and mildly peppery flavour of the chicken, this rice bowl was appetizing, every bite was distinct.
The Scallion Chicken Noodles (RM15.90) was equally delightful. The noodles and deep-fried chicken cutlets alongside a poached egg, and scallion garnishing, was a desirable combination. Although occasionally overpowered by the strong taste of scallion, the simplicity of this dish made every flavour stand out.
The final main dish was Nasi Lemak with Curry Chicken (RM18.90), a local favourite and comfort food. The curry chicken looked mouth-watering, however failed to meet our expectations as it had a bland flavour to it, slightly tangy and lacking the spice that most Malaysians are accustomed to. Nonetheless, the fragrant rice, spicy sambal, and salted hard-boiled egg made up for the lack of flavour in the chicken, making this a piquant meal.
To go along with our meal, the drinks ordered include an Iced Matcha Latte (RM15), Signature Café Mocha (RM15), and Iced Chocolate (RM10). The matcha latte was creamy and sweet, with a mild earthy taste to it. The mocha had a bitter aftertaste but the high caffeine content does have its perks. Lastly, the iced chocolate was rather watery and lacked the sweetness one would expect from it.
December Eighteen possesses the interior and food presentation of a social media post worthy restaurant. The décor exudes the charm of a bygone era while the food was appetizing.
Accessibility: 8/10 – A 6 minute walk from the Mentari BRT station.
December Eighteen is absolutely MONCH approved!
Address: 18G, Jalan PJS 8/12, Dataran Mentari, 46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Written by Shabnam Sidhu
Photographed by Vihaan Philip