Eighteen Chefs’ boss fumes S$1M tiles now resemble ‘coffee shop toilet’

Restaurateur Benny Se Teo in a 2019 photo, at left. His before-and-after tile photos, at right. Photos: Benny Se Teo/Facebook
Restaurateur Benny Se Teo in a 2019 photo, at left. His before-and-after tile photos, at right. Photos: Benny Se Teo/Facebook

A Singaporean chef went on a rant online after he allegedly paid a million dollars to tile a bathroom only to end up with “an unwashed coffee shop toilet” after it quickly lost its luster.

Benny Se Teo, founder of restaurant chain Eighteen Chefs, roasted home decor company Rice yesterday for its multi-tone hexagon tiles that, after washing a number of times, faded to only three tones, according to photos he shared. 

“After 2-3 months of cleaning plus 3 professional ‘cleaning sessions’ … looks like an unwashed coffee shop toilet,” the 61-year-old wrote. “Really gives the local tiles industries a very bad name !!!”

Reached for comment Friday afternoon, Rice said it would reply to inquiries by email. 

The company, which Teo labels “reputable,” states on its website that its tiles are shipped from Italy and claims 20-plus years of experience. 

Teo replied to a comment saying that he was trying to seek compensation and might call in lawyers since he spent at least S$1 million (US$740,000) dollars for the renovation.

“[R]ice and main [contractor] blaming one another … I paid 6 figure[s] upfront for this [renovation] … will not hesitate to sue one of them,” he wrote.

Teo, who also runs The Meathouse restaurant, is known for his inspirational story as a reformed drug offender who hires ex-convicts and at-risk youths for his restaurants.

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