Let’s face it. There are only three things on the minds of all University students – Food, Food and Food. No? Just me? Oops. However, for those that agree with me, I am sure you can relate with my eternal struggle of managing a voracious appetite on a shoestring budget. If so, fret not because I shall introduce to you my go-to list of 5 budget (and delicious) meals in NTU!
Ban Mian @ Canteen 14
Ask any of my friends and they will tell you how much of a Ban Mian lover I am. I consider Ban Mian a staple meal as I need to consume it on a weekly basis. As such, I have extremely high standards when it comes to even a simple bowl of Ban Mian. Therefore, you can imagine my surprise when I tasted the dry Ban Mian ($3.50) at the Big Harvest Noodle Stall at Canteen 14 for the first time. Having little to no expectations, I was pleasantly taken aback by the simple yet delicious bowl of noodles. The big-appeal for me was the noodles which are made in-house. Coupled with sweet black sauce and an oozy runny egg, this makes for a hearty and affordable meal.
Photo Source: Misstamchiak
Duck Rice @ Fine Food (South Spine)
As a Business Student, I often frequent South Spine for my lessons. Despite having only one canteen in South Spine in the form of Fine Food (formerly KouFu), there exists a simple option for a delicious budget meal to feed your tired and hungry soul after lessons. The Yu Kee Duck Rice Store is a renowned brand in Singapore, with stores spanning the island. A plate of Specialty Duck Rice ($4.00) comes with generous portions of roasted duck meat, hard-boiled egg, pressed tofu, peanuts and cucumber. Not to mention their renowned sauced up rice which only adds to the flavor of the meal.
Photo Source: Tripadvisor
The Sandwich Guys @ North Spine Plaza
Truth be told, I only recently discovered the gem that is The Sandwich Guys. Despite their convenient location in the center of North Spine Plaza, I never considered eating there because I always had the impression that it would be expensive. Only when a friend dragged me to get a sandwich there, did I realize that the prices are actually really reasonable. Best sellers include the pulled pork sandwich ($4), with the option of upsizing for an additional dollar. With a variety of quality sandwiches, The Sandwich Guys make for an excellent budget pitstop as you rush off for lectures or lessons.
Photo Source: Misstamkchiak
Thai Food @ Crescent-Pioneer Canteen
When it comes to having a meal with friends, there is no better way to do it than the traditional way – zichar style. Surprisingly, there is an alarming lack of good zichar options within NTU. The next best thing however, is the Thai store at NTU, which offers set meals for up to 4 pax ($30, $7.50 per pax) that is affordable and delicious. My personal favourites are the honey chicken and the green curry, but you can personalize your meal to your liking!
Photo source: Seniorsays
Bak Chor Mee @ NIE Canteen
Last but not least, my personal favorite store in the entire campus. The Bak Chor Mee at the NIE canteen is undoubtedly a hidden gem in NTU. Hidden, mainly because the NIE canteen is not frequented by majority of NTU students. Those that have been to the NIE canteen however, will definitely know of this store. The long and snaking queue immediately stands out from the other stores. A bowl of Bak Chor Mee ($2.50) comes with generous portions of sauce and minced meat that leaves you craving for more.
Photo source: Culinarytours
A special shoutout to my current favourite, the Lor Mee ($2.50). Admittedly, I was never really a fan of Lor Mee, but somehow upon trying the Lor Mee at this store, I have become THE biggest fan. Maybe it is the strange combination of the sauce and vinegar (which I do not typically enjoy) or the strong taste of garlic (which I love), but I have been completely entranced. If you have a chance, give it a try and let us know what you think!
I once heard a quote, “good food is good mood”. Till this day I don’t think I have heard a quote that I have resonated with more. Good food will indeed lift one’s spirit on a bad day. As university students however, we are often constrained by our tight budgets. Hope this article helps in some way to alleviate that burden by providing delicious, morale boosting options in NTU!
This article was written by Tok Yin Jie, who is a first-year Accountancy and Business Undergraduate from Nanyang Technological University currently interning in SNCF, Campus and Youth team. He is passionate about travelling and learning about new cultures. He hopes to be able to make a change in society in the future