SUMMER'S OUT, Guns out! For many of us local NTU students, this is the time of the year we have no choice but to temporarily bid goodbye to our beloved hall (and friends) who have stayed with us throughout the semester. It has only been a few weeks and I’m no foodie expert, but one thing I terribly missed about school are the plethora of food options that has accompanied me through my ups and downs. As such, to pay tribute to them, I have come up with a list of food that incoming freshies, absolutely HAVE to try. And for seniors, I hope these NTU delicacies will make you miss school and who knows? It may even make you want to travel back just for them!
1. Mala Is Love, Mala Is Life
Some of you NTU students might have any point in time debated, with your friends of other halls, which canteen in NTU owns the best Mala stall. As such, it is evident that the race for the Best NTU Mala title will forever be up for debate and undoubtedly, deserves a separate post for another day. However, this fact is unmistakeable: NTU students absolutely love our Mala(s). Just take a look at this non-exhaustive list of canteens selling Mala and I’m sure they will incite some form of nostalgia in you: Can 1, 2, 9, 16, Tamarind, North Spine Food Court (in ABSOLUTELY no order).
The myriad of mala options available to us in NTU is unprecedented, and is something that even our own parents and Non-NTU friends can’t understand. Freshies, be prepared for the onslaught of Mala craze that you have every right to look forward to, come August. 🤗
2.Big Harvest, Best Ban Mian
Unlike Mala, the next food on the list is something that all (or most) of us can more or less agree on..Canteen 14’s Ban Mian. Ran by a young Mainland couple who greets you with warm smiles and offers generous portions of noodles, their dry Ban Mian stall, Big Harvest Noodles, can instantly transport you to another dimension within the foodie realm and make you crave like no other. While some places around NTU has tried coming out with their own version of Ban Mian, no one has been quite able to trump their flavour nor replicate their kind of success. To some, it even tastes better than what hawkers sell outside of campus!
It acts as the perfect substitute to all the Cai Fan ‘s that you have been eating around in school, and on a rainy day, nothing else beats a homey, steaming bowl of ban mian 🙌🏼
3. Cai Fan, Always There For Us
Which brings me to my next foodie option, the unheralded MVP of foods, Cai Fan. I get it, I get it...I may get called out and be cursed upon by some of you for including Cai Fan. But I would like you to take a moment and recall the times when you genuinely ran out of things to eat. Time like this, Cai Fan was the closest thing to my Mama’s home-cooked food and my fastest form of transportation back home. Hearsay from all my friends that Canteen 1, 11, Pioneer (price-wise) and Kou Fu, shelters the best Cai Fan stalls in the whole of NTU.
Open to suggestions for more places to try!
4. Xiao Long Bao+Ayam Penyet, Perfect Combo
Next, the reason why I grouped this 2 food options together is because they are housed under the legendary Canteen 2, where foreign students ‘take hostage’ of the canteen by night. Famous for its myriad of food options, the place is normally packed with NTU students and staffs alike!
Those who have graced the canteen before probably have tried both the Ayam Penyet and Xiao Long Bao stall already and I’m sure it’s no debate that these are the only ‘decent’ food there. If you are looking for a budget Din Tai Fung, their Xiao Long Bao are the closest thing to that already. The Ayam Penyet franchise has also been featured on Food King before, so make sure you try them out the next time you are back in school! Disclaimer: Lunch and Dinner time crowds are INSANE so go there at your own discretion, though the crowd files out pretty fast.
Another shameless plug here (haha), but if you want to travel around campus to consume your food without having to worry about spending too much time queueing and enjoying these delicacies, head on down to seniorsays.sg where you can find seniors' bibles and tutorial answers that will streamline your learning process! Alright, end of intermission, continue reading the rest of the post 😬
5. Giddying Variety of ‘Exotic’ Cuisines
ANDDD the last food option on our list, fan-favourite and a highly-touted choice for students who are looking for a change in their palates - Exotic cuisines. Some of them include Hall 1/9/Koufu's Japanese cuisine, Tamarind’s Korean and Indian Food, and to all my scholar friends out there, Crespion Thai Food. Just mentioning the names above is making me salivating already!
Pardon my language but goddamn, do I miss Crespion Thai’s Honey Chicken. Pro Tip for eating Thai: Best to eat with a group of friends as their sets are more worth it, you can thank me later 😉
SUMMER BARELY just started and I’m missing school already. Talking about all these food makes it worse 😭😭 I’ve heard of NTU graduates specially making trips back just to relieve their cravings as some of these cuisines are really what you cannot find outside of NTU. I understand that I have not mentioned some of the Tze Char and Western Food stalls that some of you may enjoy (oops) but the above are just my personal take on the more popular food options among NTU students. If you have not tried them, GO TRY THEM and let me know your thoughts!
Freshies, If you are worrying that campus food is lacklustre and boring, think again. If I have missed out any food that you feel strongly for, please let me know in the comments section below and I will go and try it out once school reopens 😄 Otherwise, peace out!
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