Cili 8 is a restaurant that serves a whole range of dishes, focusing on Pan Mee varieties as their specialty. The name Cili 8 comes not only from the belief of the Chinese culture where the number ‘8’ is seen as a sign of luck and wealth, but also from the eight different types of Pan Mee dishes served in the restaurant.
Located in Plaza 33, Petaling Jaya, Cili 8 was founded and run by three siblings hailing from Seremban; the Brand Consultant Raydes Lee, Chef Yuki Lee, and Operation Manager Karle Lee. They proudly guarantee the authenticity of their Pan Mee dishes – a family recipe and tradition that has been passed on from generation to generation. Each year when a family reunion is held, the process of making Pan Mee noodles together is one of the main highlights and bonding moments that they all would look forward to. They would sit on a round table with a huge wok of boiling water in the middle of it. The noodles are made by hand and are slowly placed on the edges of the wok until it falls into the boiling water to cook.
“We guarantee authenticity with recipes passed down from generation to generation,” said Raydes.
True enough, Cili 8 uses only the freshest, high-quality ingredients to ensure the authenticity of their dishes. Chef Yuki assures us that the ingredients are carefully hand-picked, and noodles are made inhouse daily, by hand! The dough is made from flour and can be kneaded using machine into a variety of shapes, but traditionally kneading it by hand gives a more resilient, chewy texture to the noodles which is crucial for an authentic Pan Mee experience.
Pan mee is typically served in soup, together with dried anchovies, minced pork, mushrooms, and a leafy vegetable such as sweet potato leaves or sayur manis (sauropus androgynus).  It can also be served dry with a thick black soya sauce (also known as dried pan mee). Other serving styles include curry broth, chili-based broth, and pork belly.
The soup plays a very important role in the preparation of pan mee. Typically, the soup is prepared by boiling pig bones and dried anchovies for hours in order to bring out the flavor. In the case of curry broth, a diluted form of curry is used.
The aroma coming off from Cili 8’s Signature Soup Pan Mee opens up your appetite, and the taste itself sates even the biggest cravings. Chef Yuki uses minced chicken breast meat, fresh eggs, homemade chili sauce, fried anchovies, and insists on using sayur manis despite the price hike due to limited availability, instead of going for cheaper options like some Pan Mee joints do.
Cili 8 also provides a special topping of deep fried fish strips for its Volcano Pan Mee, with the deep red colour making it Instagram-worthy for those who enjoy #foodoftheday. The Dry Pan Mee brings a sense of satisfaction while chewing on the noodles because of the light, chewy texture of the noodles. Even as you mix the runny egg yolk into the dish for a creamier, tasteful treat, it surprisingly doesn’t get cloying.
The restaurant has also launched a separate menu, the ‘Secret Room’. The menu consists of mystery dishes that are interchanged or rotated every two weeks for variety and exclusively available only during dinner time. This ‘Secret Room’ menu sounds intriguing and for sure will never disappoint foodies! If you’re itching to find out what new dishes Cili8 have to offer, you have to drop by every two weeks!
If you happen to find yourself around the area and fancy some good eats, do check this restaurant out. The prices are reasonable and the atmosphere is very warm and welcoming. With the good food offerings, lunch and dinner time can get pretty busy so you may want to go early or book a table before the restaurant gets packed. Make sure to bring your friends and or family, as dining at Cili 8 is best when shared with great company.