Cheap & Good: Mac 'n cheese from The Big Cheese

Truffled Mushroom Meat-Free Mac has lots of chunky mushroom pieces.
Truffled Mushroom Meat-Free Mac has lots of chunky mushroom pieces.ST PHOTO: NATASHA ANN ZACHARIAH

I am an adventurous eater, but trying something new goes out the window when there is macaroni and cheese on any menu.

A whole bowl of pasta liberally topped with creamy, melted cheese - what's not to like? Mac and cheese is truly comfort food for any age.

So when I hear that there is an eatery dedicated to all things mac and cheese, I am excited.

The Big Cheese in Sunshine Plaza is a hole-in-the-wall joint that serves different versions of the pasta dish.

I start with The Big Cheese ($7.90 for small, $9.90 for regular), with pulled beef in the truffled mac and cheese, and a gruyere cheese topping.

It is a decent combination of classic elbow macaroni and a generous serving of the slightly salty cheese. However, I wish there is more pulled beef as it barely makes an appearance.

In contrast, the Truffled Mushroom Meat-Free Mac ($5.50 for small, $7 for regular) has lots of chunky mushroom pieces to devour.

  • THE BIG CHEESE

  • 01-59 Sunshine Plaza, 91 Bencoolen Street tel: 8147-0485

    Open: 11am to 3pm and 6 to 10pm (Tuesdays to Sundays), closed on Mondays

    Rating: 3.5/5

I prefer the Make-A-Mac option (from $5.90), as I can craft my mac and cheese from scratch and beef it up with more ingredients. This keeps the dish from being boring, with just cheddar and elbow macaroni.

Pasta choices include fusili, penne or conchiglie, seashell- shaped pasta. Then, you choose two types of cheese from the six available - cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, gruyere, gouda and feta - and pick two items from the meat and vegetable category.

Lastly, finish off your creation with a topping. The list includes bacon bits, truffle oil and Ritz crumbs.

My mac and cheese masterpiece is a combination of fusili, gouda, mozzarella, beef pepperoni, broccoli and Ritz crumbs. It comes piping hot and is quite delicious.

I particularly enjoy the crumbled biscuit bits as they add crunch to the chewy macaroni.

The Big Cheese is only two months old, but it already has its fans. This is the first eatery for owner Hakim Abdul Karim, 28, who worked in the food and beverage industry before striking out on his own.

As there are few seats in the tiny space and a constant stream of diners, opt for takeaway instead. Be prepared to wait though, as each order is prepared on the spot.

Mac and cheese dishes in restaurants can be expensive, so The Big Cheese's wallet-friendly prices mean I will return when I need my carbs and cheese fix.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 14, 2017, with the headline 'Mac and cheese that's hard to resist'. Print Edition | Subscribe