You’d think given the countless hours we’ve spent watching Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares that we’d have picked up a thing or two about running a successful restaurant. Alas, it seems the only thing we’ve picked up is his proclivity for foul-mouthed tirades, which we discovered a mere couple of hours into Chef Life: A Restaurant Simulator.
Our opening night at the restaurant started well. We were flipping meat, chopping vegetables. It was a veritable cook-fest. But we soon lost track, one dish after another turning into inedible, barely recognisable gloop, and our customers were left hungry and annoyed. How do you burn a salad?
Despite a slightly unpolished presentation, Chef Life can be quite a bit of fun. You start the day ordering produce and you can then prep for the evening’s service if you want. You pick the dishes that are on the menu, and then when the doors open you get cooking.
Cooking is mainly down to time management and some actions using the right analogue stick. You stir by turning it in a circular motion, and you need to do that before the stir bar fills up or the sauce will stick to the pan. Similarly, you need to flip the steak before one side burns, and you need to get those chips out of the deep fat fryer before they end up crispy and hollow like the ones Nanna used to make.
Do well and everyone is happy and they might leave tips. You can spend your hard-earned coin on new cooking equipment, décor for your bistro, furniture, that kind of thing. As you progress, you learn new recipes, and you can add new flourishes to old ones. Eventually you get more chefs you can lead to help you out. And if you’re really struggling there’s options to lower the difficulty significantly, which makes the game quite chilled out if that’s more your thing.