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Disclaimer: this zhang isn’t made by the vegetarian stall, they purchased it from a supplier for dumpling festival and is just a seasonal item. Despite that, the pretty blue butterfly pea-coloured glutinous rice deserves a mention. The contrast of white and blue is really pretty, and the taste of the zhang is good too! The filling is fibrous and has a legitimate meat-like texture, which is enough to fool you into thinking that this is real meat and not a vegetarian zhang. It’s well-seasoned, and you can actually enjoy the rice or the fillings on their own, or together. Overall a surprise quality find in NUS Science Canteen, wish we’d known earlier so I could’ve bought some home as well.

For a quick fix while on campus, the MLXG stall in Frontier canteen is decent. Selection of ingredients is not too bad, there’s quite a lot of vegetables and enough meat choices. What I love the most is that there’s cheese tofu available as I don’t see it offered in many stalls. We ordered this bowl for two which came up to $17.70, and decided to go for medium spicy this time. They work via a buzzer system so you can just come back and collect when it’s ready.

I personally felt the medium spicy here wasn’t actually spicy. More of a 小小辣, but perhaps that’s to prevent the students or staff from having gastrointestinal issues. There’s not much numbingness either, which corroborates with the lack of peppercorns in the bowl. My dining partner enjoyed the bamboo shoots in particular, and I did find that they were fresh and crunchy.

An extra point to note is that the staff are friendly - the cashier asked if I wanted two bowls of green bean soup for free and I said yes for sure. I felt that the soup tasted quite bland, but the texture was on point as it had been boiled for a long time and the beans were soft. Kudos for free stuff though - great way to end off a MLXG meal with some cooling dessert.

1. Chinese Noodles Stall
It is a common sight to see a never ending queue to this stall that offers no frills, economic noodles. The popular dishes are the dumpling noodles and pork rib noodles, all at a starting price of $2.30! .
The noodles were still as bouncy and chewy as we remembered it to be and it absorbed the umami flavour of the soy-based sauce perfectly. The chilli sauce was not very spicy and added a nice shrimpy taste to the dish. The highlight of the dish, the pork ribs, were nicely flavoured as the meat was deeply penetrated by the marinade but it would be even better if the cartilages were softer. Lastly, the plump dumplings were stuffed generously with minced meat and prawn, and the skin was very smooth. .
2. Western Stall (Previously known as Salad Bar in the old canteen)
We went for the red wine vinaigrette chicken ($4.50) to relive our fond memory of this appetising dish. To be accurate, the sauce used for this dish seems to be a mixture of red wine vinaigrette and mushroom sauce working in harmony to give a sweet fragrance followed by a slight hint of sourness that matched the grilled meat really well. However, the chicken was a disappointment as they were not all consistent in texture and taste though the portion given was substantial. Most of them tasted overcooked and was slightly tough, while only one piece tasted juicy and had a nice crispy outer layer. .
3. Ayam Penyet Stall
The final must-try dish at the Frontier is the Ayam Penyet ($4.80) from the Uncle Penyet stall which we will implore you to forsake your dieting plans for. The deep fried, golden brown chicken leg, topped with fried batter crumbs served on a rattan weaved basket definitely brought back memories of the good old days. The standard of this dish is still maintained as the chicken leg has a nice, crispy outer layer and was tender on the inside. The fried tau kwa (pressed tofu) that accompanied it was equally well fried, was soft on the inside and had a very strong but enjoyable bean flavour to it.
Full post: bit.ly/2WiToyH

Been a while since I patronised Science canteen but I had to brave the queues this afternoon :( amidst all the long queues, there’s a few stalls that I usually head to to avoid a long wait and the Korean stall is one of them.

Upon placing my order, I paid with GrabPay for a $0.50 rebate (total cost was $4.70 as there’s an additional $0.20 for takeaway containers). I got my order in about a minute with two small containers of kimchi and candied anchovies.

Can’t say this is fantastic Korean food, but it’s seasoned pretty well (not spicy though), and I do like it for its convenience. Also, for the price, you can’t really complain. There’s a really generous portion of chicken given for just $4.50. I don’t think there’re any other stalls that can beat this amount of meat. Wish there were more veggie options in the dish too, but otherwise this is affordable and value-for-money food in the Science canteen.

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Mala from science canteen!! If you’re in NUS this is my TOP pick. This mala is much cheaper than those outside ($4.50!!!!!!!!!) and the xiao la is just enough for a mild burn without the sweaty after effects - perfect for lunch before class. The gravy is really tasty with rice too! Love love love it. Must order ingredients are the lotus root and broccoli #burpple #burpplesg

Ordered brown rice with mock char siew, Thai sweet tofu and curry veg before slathering on some chilli sauce at the cashier after paying.

The vegetarian food isn’t fantastic, but it also isn’t bad. The mock meat is moist and chewy with vibrant red colour, unlike some places with extremely dry mock meats. The curry veg is stewed so long that the cabbage is super soft and melt in your mouth, plus the curry itself is quite lemak so it’s great on the rice. The tofu was slightly too sweet for my liking - I thought it was just regular braised tofu since it was placed at the counter behind, but it was still decent too. The sambal chilli is more sour than spicy, so perhaps I might start bringing my own bottle of chilli to add to my food. I like that they offer brown rice as an option in most of the canteen stalls nowadays. The vegetarian stall’s brown rice is well-cooked all the way through, so you won’t get annoying bits of uncooked grains while eating. I love that brown rice has a bit of a nutty flavour to it, so I usually opt for that and I also find I don’t tend to get hungry after eating brown rice than white rice.

Overall, this is school food and it’s super cheap and affordable so I definitely can’t complain about the quality. I’ve patronised the vegetarian stall multiple times and will continue to do so!