I am Lester Leong, a Term 6 student from CSD, and welcome to my food review of some of National University of Singapore’s (NUS) canteens and cafes! As an exchange student at NUS, I have spent a lot of time trying out different dishes from various food establishments on campus. In this review, I will be sharing my experiences and opinions on some of the dishes which stand out the most. Whether you are a new student looking for a tasty meal or a seasoned campus foodie, I hope my insights will help you navigate the university’s dining options and discover some hidden culinary gems!
CHOP CHOP by Putien at NUS UTown
Putien, the restaurant chain well known for its Fujianese cuisine, opened a casual eatery in NUS UTown named CHOP CHOP. The eatery offers a small variety of dishes which can also be found at Putien.
I ordered the Fujian Seafood Lor Mee, which goes for S$7.90. I did not order the sides, but if you’re feeling a little, you could add a dollar for a drink and an appetizer! It is a little pricey, but that is to be expected for the price of food at NUS UTown. Overall, the noodles were firm, and the soup was tasty, well-balanced and not too salty. Despite being a little pricey and having a limited range of items, I would still recommend this eatery if you’re craving soup noodles in NUS!
The Tea Party Cafe @ NUS Sports Centre
Located at the NUS Sports Centre, this café specializes in Western Food and is a convenient place to dine and chill for the sporty ones who frequent the area. On a first glance, it appears to be a more budget friendly version of SUTD’s d’Star Bistro. They offer a wide variety of pastas, such as the Aglio Olio, Cream and Marinara pastas with different toppings such as Mushroom, Bacon and Seafood.
Being a fan of Aglio Olio pastas, I ordered the one with prawn for S$6.80 and topped up a dollar for an ice lemon tea. The pasta was firm, not very oily and the prawns tasted fresh. However, the pasta lacked flavour, and the mushrooms absorbed too much water. I also did not like that they added green peppers to the dish. Overall, I feel that d’Star Bistro’s version of the Aglio Olio was executed much much better.
Ayam Penyet @ NUS Frontier Canteen
Located at the Faculty of Science, the Frontier Canteen is a huge canteen that seats up to 700 people and has as many as 15 stalls operating during the school term. I decided to try Uncle Penyet’s Ayam Penyet (S$5.30).
Overall, the curry was tasty, and the chicken was crispy but tender. The sambal was not very spicy, but it still complemented the dish really well. This was probably one of the best meals I had during my time in NUS.
I also ordered the Iced Tea from Li Ji Coffeehouse. It was rich and sweet. I recommend asking for less sugar if you want your caffeine fix but don’t want your drink to be too sweet.
Waa Cow! @ NUS UTown
Waa Cow is probably the most bougie eatery you can find in the National University of Singapore. With rice bowls costing as much as S$25.90 (without add-ons!), this place is sure to burn a hole in your wallet.
Upon entering, I was greeted with a strong aroma of truffle oil. Waa Cow, I thought. It’s probably going to be good.
Feeling like a baller, I ordered the Truffle Wagyu Beef Don (S$25.90) and the Truffle Fries (S$12). I would argue that despite the steep price, Waa Cow served an amazing beef bowl. The beef was tender and well-seasoned. The truffle sauce added extra complexity and flavour to the already delicious, melt-in-your-mouth beef slices.
The truffle fries were also great, with grated parmesan cheese and the same truffle sauce used in the Truffle Wagyu Beef Don. However, the fries seemed to be fairly standard, like the kind you can get from the supermarket.
I would probably come here again once I get my first paycheck.
In conclusion, after trying out various dishes from different canteens and cafes at the University of Singapore, I can confidently say that the campus offers a wide range of options to satisfy your cravings While some places may have impressed me more than others, overall, I found (most of) the food to be tasty, affordable, and convenient. The variety of options and the quality of the food make the university’s dining experience an enjoyable one for me.