The Nanyang Technological University: a tertiary education institute which appears to be so secluded that many of my friends have joked about it being an island of its own. Well, despite it being stashed away on a far West corner of Singapore, NTU is a food paradise, by itself, for all foodies. Due to the prevalence of affordable and delicious food options within the school itself, I decided that a feature of the budget eateries in NTU was needed – hey, you could save the transport money and channel it to buying more plates of food.
Without further ado, let’s feast on the 5 budget eateries under $5 in NTU!
1) Ayam Penyet @ Canteen 2
Sick of seeing an oily mess of a fried chicken thigh in exchange for your cash when you order Ayam Penyet? Well, say goodbye to an oil fest within your mouth when you patronize the Ayam Penyet stall in NTU’s Canteen 2. Beautifully golden-brown and perfectly crisp with no excess oil, the crunchy skin gives way to tender meat which seemingly melts upon contact.
If you’re a lover of fiery spices, be sure to load up on the provided sambal belachan – it will definitely wake you right up after an immensely boring lecture. And… here comes the best part: it will only set you back by $4.50. Just take my money already.
2) Bak Chor Mee @ NIE
Even if the NIE canteen can be a pain in the ass to reach from the main NTU campus areas, you can always be sure to find a devoted following of NTU students who wouldn’t mind walking a few extra kilometers to get their fix of Bak Chor Mee. The last I heard, a comforting bowl of this savory local delight is priced at only $3.50. Packed with a generous amount of sliced mushrooms, minced meat and delightful fried wantons, I think you’d be hard pressed to find any other food options which are equally value-for-money.
Other than Bak Chor Mee, the stall has also won the hearts of many a hungry NTU students’ hearts with other noodle options, such as the prawn noodles or the lor mee. Imagine a steaming hot bowl of noodles after a particularly chilly day entirely spent in freezing auditorium rooms – definitely my type of heaven.
3) Pitchstop Cafe
On days where you feel a little too made up and fancy for canteen food, don’t despair! Because there’s always Pitchstop Cafe. I know, when we all hear the word cafe, two things pop up in our minds: GST and service charge. Well, not to worry. Like I said, this is an article featuring budget eateries so, drum roll please. All prices stated on the cafe’s menu are NETT. Just think of how much easier it would be to split the bill after a bad date with someone! Just pay and go (I’m kidding, I’m kidding – at least say bye).
Give their Smoked Salmon Tomato Alfredo ($12) a go. You won’t regret it, pinky promise.
4) Chicken Rice @ Canteen 2
I always find it a pity whenever I eat an incomplete plate of chicken rice. Now, what do I mean by incomplete? Well, it may be that the meats are awesome but the accompanying rice lacks in flavor. Or the other way. When on the rare occasions where I do come across a plate of chicken rice which manages to get both essential parts right, you can be sure that I will recommend the hell out of it. And it just so happens to be the chicken rice housed within the humble canteen 2 of NTU.
Even though portions can be small, no one is stopping you from upsizing your orders: simply ask for more rice or meat as your appetite (or wallet) allows. No matter how much you order, it is highly unlikely that you’ll end up having to pay more than $7 for your plate of saliva-inducing chicken rice.
5) Dry Banmian @ Canteen 14
Even though I’m a huge, huge fan of Ban Mian, I’ve always found the act of actually eating it a chore because the soup goes everywhere. An accidental loosening of the grip on the chopsticks and you can kiss your perfectly bleached blouse goodbye. But guess what? It’s now the 21st century and there’s such a thing called dry ban mian! Retaining all the wonderful flavors of Ban Mian in its soupy goodness, the dry Ban Mian ($3.50) found at Canteen 14 is a breeze to eat.
It’s also perfect on those super hot and humid days where downing a bowl of steaming, hot soup is simply not feasible nor wise.
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