Written by Therese Soh
New semester, new menus! With the second semester in full swing, here are several new eateries, including Halal options, to satisfy those back-to-school cravings in between lessons! These six newly-revamped eating facilities promise to offer students a greater variety of options – read on to find out where to hunt down the only Korean army stew stall, the newest mala stores as well as bubble tea joints in NTU!
1. Hall 1 Canteen (Fusion Spoon)
Decked out in neon signage and lush plant decor, Hall 1’s revamped canteen is more than just a pretty place to unwind with your kakis against an insta-worthy backdrop. While Fusion Spoon is awaiting its Halal license, this canteen provides a good mix of local delights and Western delicacies that even come in combo sharing platters – perfect for a meal with friends! Not to mention the neighbouring FS Café, which serves an array of baked goods and pastries for those with a sweet tooth.
However, the highlight is none other than the brand new Chinese cuisine diner, Mama Spin Pot, where diners can enjoy a personal hot pot with ingredients served on a conveyor belt.
2. Hall 2 Canteen
Not to be outdone by its neighbouring Canteen 1, the newly renovated Canteen 2 boasts an equally vibrant atmosphere and a sumptuous selection of food choices from international cuisines such as Japanese and Korean, to local favourites closer to home – namely the mini wok noodles and economic rice.
Halal-friendly options may be found at the Thai food stall, which is currently awaiting its Halal license. Bubble tea fans are also in for a treat with an updated drink stall menu selling Pearl Milk Tea at a mere $1.80 per cup! And of course, no canteen is complete without the staple mala xiang guo stall.
3. Connect 71
Connect 71 might well be the closest thing NTU has to a hipster café. Located at the NTU Innovation Centre (just beside The Arc), this quaint café is nestled away from the crowds at North Spine, making it a great place to relax and catch up with friends over a refreshing cup of freshly brewed coffee.
Besides its minimalist aesthetic and cosy ambience, Connect 71’s hearty menu offers an array of Japanese Donburi rice bowls at affordable, budget-friendly prices. Not to mention, students and staff get 10 per cent off their total bill by flashing their NTU student or staff card!
4. North Hill Food Court
Thanks to the newly renovated North Hill Food Court, North Hill residents no longer need to go over to neighbouring halls to fill their stomachs. This newly renovated food court hosts a wide array of cuisine that is sure to satisfy any cravings one might have – be it for mala (originally from Canteen 1), Japanese bento sets, Korean kimchi ramen or even Taiwanese food!
It also offers notable local dishes from famous stalls like the Old Airport Road Wanton Noodles as well as other comfort food like minced meat noodles or good ol’ chicken rice. Not to mention, Halal options are available at the Ayam Penyet stall, as well as Western food stall and chicken rice stall – both still awaiting their Halal license. To top it all off, be sure to check out the drinks stall’s sweet treats such as waffles with ice cream, or its delectable breakfast sets serving fresh soy milk and youtiao (fried dough).
5. Fine Foods
Fine Foods is the ultimate go-to eatery for students who have classes around the South Spine! Located at the site of the previous Koufu Food Court, this canteen houses old favourites such as Pasta Express and the dim sum stall, alongside exciting new additions that are budget-friendly as well as tasty. Here, you may enjoy a nutritious bowl of ABC soup from the Steamed Rice & Soup stall at just $3.80, or a hearty plate of Yu Kee Duck Rice for around $3.00 to $4.00.
There are also halal-friendly options at My Kampung Chicken Rice, the Nasi Padang stall, as well as the Japanese and Korean stalls (do note that because this is a newly-opened canteen, these stalls still have their Halal licenses pending!). Bubble tea enthusiasts should also keep an eye out for the soon-to-be opened CHICHA San Chen, a famous Taiwanese bubble tea joint which will stand next to the drink stall.
6. Pioneer Hall Canteen
The Pioneer Hall Canteen also welcomed several exciting new additions over the holidays, including a brand new chicken rice stall that specialises in local delicacies such as braised duck rice and roasted pork rice. Pioneer Hall’s Korean food stall also released a spicy new item on its menu – Korean Army Stew, otherwise known as Budae Jjigae ($5.50), which is a popular hot pot dish known for its spicy broth and tasty ingredients.
Not to mention, it’s fully customisable – you get to pick a broth type of your preference (normal/ spicy) as well as have your choice of meat (chicken/ beef/ seafood) and type of carbohydrate (rice/ vermicelli/ noodles).
With so many new eateries in NTU, school might just be a bit more bearable!
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