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I was in National University of Singapore for around 3 years from Oct 2013 to Dec 2016 and I am still not a NUS alumni. It was not because I am some kind of cool university dropout like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or even Mark Zuckerberg; It was because I worked there lah! 😆😆😆
During that period, my team who was working from smart city topics to machine learning for SAP, was situated in CREATE @ NUS Utown.
CREATE, our office used to be at level 14, miss the view there!
Although NUS university town is very ulu, we were very happy to be working there and the main reason is that NUS is a food heaven (cheap yummy food!!! 🎉🎉🎉). Now, our whole team have moved to Alexandra Technopark and we are constantly reminiscing the good old makan days at NUS.
This blog post listed down all the NUS food that I miss and they are based on my P/T ratio rating (Price to Taste Ratio, almost like P/E ratio that people use to valuate companies). I also apologised for the limited and low quality photos as this blog post is kinda unplanned.
Following are the canteens that I visited the frequently as they are the most economical:
- The Deck (Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences)
- Techno Edge (Faculty of Engineering)
- The Terrace (School of Computing / NUS Business
- Frontier Phase 1 (Faculty of Science)
Lastly, there is University Town, which is our last resort when our team was in a busy period. Although that place is quite atas, you will be surprised to find undervalued food there!
Note: Following sequence does not represent the canteen or food ranking! I just list them out coz I miss them so much! 😢😢😢 Please feel free to comment which NUS food you like or miss the most!
The Deck (Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences)
This was the place that we frequent the most as it has a wide variety of nice food that caters different ethnic groups. Following are the foods that I makan the most at The Deck.
1. Yong Tau Foo
For just less than $3.50, I can have a bowl of yong tau foo filled with many ingredients! My favourite is the laksa gravy which I can smell the fragrant from far that I can’t resist. I will then go with thick beehoon or rice! Their soup is good too but I wish they put more ikan bilis & yellow beans which I know lah, for such a low price, please dun hiam hokay!
Do remember to select your items before collecting your YTF. During peak hours, both queues are very long! 😱😱😱
YTF items selling at $0.40 each! 😍
2. Japanese Bento set
My no.1 stall if I have craving for Japanese food. The best bet is to order their bento set which costs around $4.20. With this price, I have a rice bento with tempura and chicken cutlet. I always find the serving too big for me and I will definitely get after-lunch syndrome! LOL!
3. Nasi Briyani Set
For $3.50, I can get a plate of fragrant biryani rice with chicken drumstick and small portion of salad. I always top up the dish with an extra 50cents spiced potato! Ooh la la!
4. Prawn Noodles
One of the cheapest noodle options in Singapore! The noodles price starts from $2.20 and you can get to have a bowl of dry mee kia with a bowl of prawn soup! Yummy!
5. Craypot Delights
Each craypot set costs around $3 and it guarantees to have a nice piping hot lunch for me! For me, I like to go for the gong bao chicken set!
Special Mention: Juice & Drinks
The coffee here are good but for a healthier option, go for the juice here! Their ABC (Apple Beetroot Carrot) costs around $1.80 which convinced me that you can stay healthy without getting poor! They serve fast, meaning that they are not using slow juicers. But as usual, for this price, mai hiam lah! 😂😂😂
Techno Edge (Faculty of Engineering)
Next canteen that follows closely behind The Deck is TechnoEdge. My lunch group is always torn between these two canteens. LOL! I know I can’t use ‘torn between’ but these canteens are my lovers yeah! 😂😂😂
1. Small Bowl Noodles (小碗面）
Noodles price ranged from $2.20 to $2.80 max.
Tell me where you can find small bowl noodles in Singapore at the freaking price of $2.80. I swear it will only be here. For this price, I had a bowl of soup with fish cakes, crab sticks and minced meat! The cheap thrill is damn high sia! #I❤️CheapThrills 😂😂😂
Their deep-fried meatball noodles are also notchbad! 👍
2. Western Grill
Tell me where you can find western food in Singapore at the freaking price of $3.20. I swear it will only be here. For this price, I got a plate of chicken chop with bake beans and 2 sides (sausage, fries or mash potato!!)!! The cheap thrill is again damn high sia! #I❤️CheapThrills 😂😂😂 #CopyAndPasteIntended 😜😜😜 Sorry that there are no photo, just imagine typical kopitiam western chicken chop can already!
3. Uncle Indonesian Panggang
There are few Uncle P (Panggang/Penyet) stalls in NUS. Over this stall, they specialize more on panggang which is indonesian bbq style!
Nicely bbq chicken with generous indonesian bbq sauce and topped it up with sayur lodeh (curry vegetable) & sambal chilli! Perfect sinful food-coma-inducing lunch! trolololol! 😍😍😍
4. Soup Delights
Once in awhile, when I have craving for soup, I will go for this stall. For just around $3, you can have either fish soup or pig stomach soup which are very expensive outside!
5. Vegetarian Food
This is the one & only vegetarian stall that I frequent. As a fake buddhist, I always visit them during 1st and 15th of the lunar month #初一十五. This stall has a wide variety of vegetarian dishes to choose from; I always choose brown rice with kelp, mock char siew and one random dish. They also have nice vegetarian rice dumplings! Naiseeeee! 😍😍😍
Special Mention: Drinks Stall
If I dun mention this iconic drink stall at TechnoEdge, a lot of NUS alumnis confirm will cry foul! Reason is that I always have strong feel of festive season when I visit this canteen especially this Drinks Stall. During festive season like Chinese New Year or Christmas, Drinks Stall Uncle will cosplay and decorate his stall.
His level of cosplay is legendary and I won’t be surprised that he is the president of NUS Cosplay Club! LOL!
The Terrace (School of Computing / NUS Business
Although I visited this canteen for one and only stall, I still visited this place quite frequent because their vietnam food is just too awesome.
1. Vietnam Cuisine
Do not be fool by the short queue; they serve very fast! Lightning speed!
They have wide variety of vietnamese dish to go with rice just like Chinese curry rice stall. The only difference is that there are unique dishes that you can’t find in Chinese curry rice stall and they are very yummy! Same same but different yeah!
Plus there is free flow of vegetable soup. So most of the time, I will order rice with 2 meat dishes and go with vegetable soup to have my ultimate combo budget lunch! 😆😆😆
Another reason why I can visit this stall frequently is because they have daily special which serves different kinds of vietnam noodles.
One of their daily special that I like is the dry-style vietnamese noodle which goes with grilled beef or pork depending on which day. The sauce they used is almost like Thai mango salad sauce, just that this have noodle which is very very appetizing! To add to the shiokness, add some chilli powder to create a yummyliciousplosion! #酱爆
Oh yeah, plus nice dry-style vietnamese noodles is very hard to find in Singapore yeah. if you want, can try one @ Uncle Ho Tuckshop! Equally good!
If you miss NamNam Noodle Bar, grab a bowl of noodle soup daily special here. Versus the price, you will ask why you even wanna go NamNam outside! LOL! The food here is damn price-attractive! #IwannaBeAStudentAgain!
Special Mention: Drink Stall
Once in awhile, when I’m feeling a bit richer (dun forget my lunch budget is $3), I will order Teh Iced. The teh iced here is so well brewed that it can even satisfy my craving for Thai Iced Milk Tea! Plus it is cheap! 😆😆😆
Frontier Phase 1 (Faculty of Science)
At my time, the Frontier was going through a series of revamping and renovation. Few stalls has moved from the old Frontier spot to the new air-conditioned building which is known as Frontier Phase 1. 😅😅😅 When I first heard about this news, I was abit worried:
Jialat liao, got air con, food confirm will increase price! Wah building so small, hopefully my favourite stalls are in there! 😂😂😂
1. Noodles Stall
Luckily, my most favourite stall is there! Hallelujah! 😂😂😂 This is the legendary stall which i call it add-this-add-that-also-no-pain stall! 😂😂😂
Normally, I will order either their pork ribs noodles or chicken mid wings noodle, and then topped it up with shrimp dumplings (水饺). I love their pork ribs and chicken mid wings because they are very well-braised, soft and tender! If I’m feeling hungry, I will add an egg which is also nicely braised! After I add this add that, the noodles cost around $3 nia. No pain sia! add ah add ah, huat ah huat ah! 😍😍😍
2. Uncle Penyet
Ayam Penyet is another sinful craving that I love the most. For $4, I can get a smashed chicken thigh with drumstick, tempeh and some raw vegetables. Since my lunch budget is $3, I always order the seems-to-be healthier steam chicken set which costs around $3.20. Juicy tender steamed chicken topped with bbq gravy plus 2 types of chilli (nasi lemak sambal chilli and chilli belachan). I’m in chilli heaven! Yes, I loved chilli! 😍😍😍
1. Fishball Story
This is another noodles stall that I like in NUS. Since there are not much cheap option in Utown, I always visit this stall until they know me very well and always assign me with order number ‘F4’ because I am as handsome as the boy band F4! 😂😂😂 Do you know this brand “Fishball Story” is listed as one of the best hawker in MICHELIN Guide 2016? Therefore, you can’t go wrong visiting this stall in NUS yeah! 😉😉😉
This fishball noodles stall also serves yong tau foo. Therefore, I always order a piece of deep-fried yong tau foo item to go with my fishball noodles. So cool right? you can customise your own fishball noodles! 😍😍😍 The noodles are well cooked and flavoured. The fishballs are very bouncy. The fish cakes have significant amount of chilli flakes and spring onions to bring out the fish paste taste! Totally love this lunch! 😍😍😍
2. Hwang’s Korean Cuisine
Although the price in Hwang’s is higher than other stalls in NUS, the korean food quality here is really awesome. Almost every dish is worth ordering, however, I only try a few dish lah coz I no money to try everything! LOL! 😝😝😝
One special dish that I like is their beef rib soup. Always love to have it during rainy days, which will really warm your stomach!
Another dish that I find that is worth the price is their ginseng chicken soup. The ginseng taste is really prominent and this dish can be very filling as there are also glutinous rice stuffed in the chicken! Double rice combo! 😱😱😱
3. Sichuan Delights
In NUS, I do not need to go to Chinatown in order to enjoy szechuan cuisine. Over here in Utown food clique, they serve a wide variety of szechuan dishes!
During lunch time, I will order their combo meal which cost around $3.30. I always order the slice pork rice set with extra chilli (家常肉片饭加辣). #I❤️CheapThrills
Every time when we need to OT, we will always go down here and order a few dishes for a nice filling dinner before we start grinding again! Really satisfying as all the dishes are very appetizing! 😋😋😋
4. Mala Hotpot
Every time when we need to OT and have lesser colleagues, we will go for Mala Hotpot from the other stall in Utown Koufu. Like other Mala Hotpot outside, you can select your ingredients and choose the spicy level. I always select lotus root, chinese sausages, pig intestines and ramen! Another appetizing cuisine as it is also originated from Sichuan. Oh yeah, the mala hot pot here is cheaper too. #I❤️CheapThrills 😂😂😂
5. Uncle Dunno Wat (Panggang/Penyet?)
Okay Uncle P is almost everywhere, but prices in Utown stall is significantly higher. Therefore, I always go to TechnoEdge or The Frontier to have my lovely juicy tender deep-fried ayam panggang/penyet! 🎉🎉🎉
Special Mention: The Royals Bistro
When I wanna be a hipster, I will go for this cafe which serves nice western fusion dishes. This place used to be the last outlet for the fast food chain Wendy’s which I love their burgers a lot. I recorded a VLOG about this last outlet to mark their final golden days. LOL! 😂😂😂
Further Discount in NUS!
Been an ultimate cheapo, I also participated in NUS Fights Climate Change (Project Box Reward Card). After I purchased 5 meals packed in own bento box, I get to have 1 meal for free! 😍😍😍 Can save environment and save money! Why not? 😍😍😍
After our team has moved out of NUS, the biggest culture shock will be the lack of food variety and price. Every now and then, my lunch group will still talk about the foods we had in NUS. Really miss this good old makan days. I am pretty sure all NUS alumnus can relate to this blog post! 🤗🤗🤗