Written by: Carissa Aletha Liem (21-I1), Lian Zhi Qi (21-I1)
Designed by: Rakshita Murugan (21-E1)
Photography: Carissa Aletha Liem, Lian Zhi Qi
Want to try new kinds of food but only have the canteen, café and ATO as your options for lunch? Fret not, for we have the perfect solution for you! In this article, we compile and review a list of different restaurants, cafés and hawker centre stalls in the vicinity which offer a wide spectrum of food, from Korean corndogs to ice cream, and even Hong Kong egglets! With this list, you can spice up your meals with greater variety without going over a budget of $10. Feast on!
82BUNSIK: Korean Street Food (corndogs, croffles)
82BUNSIK is a snug café nestled in the heart of Ang Mo Kio, and is part of a franchise set up by KPOP boy band member EunKwang. It specialises in Korean soul food — namely corndogs, croffles (croissant-waffles) and tteokbokki (korean rice cakes) — with prices ranging from $4.50 to $10.
You can get a small snack to satisfy your Korean food cravings here while staying comfortably within your tight budget! However, takeaways may be your only option on days when all 3 tables of the café are occupied. This compact layout thus adds to the cosy vibes of the café.
The route from campus to 82BUNSIK only requires taking a bus (74, 88) and walking the rest of the way. Thus, the short and simple journey makes the café pretty accessible for Eunoians.
Our verdict: As one of the few restaurants in Singapore selling corndogs that look and (probably) taste the same as those that Korean mukbangers stuff in their faces, this is definitely a café worth trying out.
$1.30 Dim Sum: 24Hrs stall
Kuai San Dian Xin, or $1.30 Dim Sum, is a dim sum joint located under a HDB block that can be substituted for Din Tai Fung’s dishes at a much cheaper price! Hence, you can still get your dim sum fix without having to worry about splurging. At $1.30 per dish, you can order up to 7 baskets for yourself and trust me, they are enough to fill up your stomach.
Having visited twice, we can confidently say that the service is fast and the staff here are extremely friendly. The ambience of the coffee shop is nothing out of the normal — some chattering and banter amongst coffeeshop patrons, the uncles and aunties — although the smell of smoke could get a little overwhelming at times, so be sure to sit at a distance away from the smoking area.
You only need to take bus 88 and walk the rest of the distance, and with the aid of Google Maps, this stall should not be hard to find. However, the journey from campus could take about 20-25 minutes, which can be a little long.
Our verdict: At such an affordable price, you can indulge in traditional Cantonese cuisines worry-free, and hence, this stall is not to be missed!
Bishan North Shopping Mall: Dim Sum, Bubble tea
Bishan North Shopping Mall is a familiar name for many Eunoians, especially for those who take the bus from Junction 8 to campus every morning. The mall is more like a cluster of neighbourhood provision shops, traditional bakeries, affordable snack shops and coffee shops. Filling your stomach with a variety of food and drinks without spending more than $10 is therefore pretty easy.
Kimly Dim Sum is one of the coffee shop stalls that sells freshly made traditional dim sum, albeit at a higher price than what the $1.30 Dim Sum stall offers. The char siew chee cheong fun (pork rice roll) at $1.80 offers quite a largeg portion and is sufficiently filled with minced pork. Another must-try is the siu mai (steamed pork dumplings) which are huge and firm like a hard pillow. Each bite is bursting with the flavour of pork and is complemented with thick wonton skin, making you crave for another basket — which you can probably afford, considering it’s priced at a simple fee of $1.60.
After the savoury dishes, treat yourself to something sweet and refreshing like an inexpensive cup of bubble tea from SKY Bubble Tea. They sell uniquely named items, like “Love is Love”, with interesting concoctions of different ingredients like lime and orange juice from a secret recipe they came up with on their own! The average price of the drinks are about $2-$3, which is really wallet-friendly compared to other outlets like KOI and LIHO.
With constant chit-chatting amongst the mall goers, the place is quite vibrant and exudes a certain homeliness.
Our verdict: Located a walking distance from school, this is definitely somewhere to go after school or CCA, at least once in your EJ life! The opportunity to devour a variety of food and drinks at a relatively modest price is one to cherish!
Tucked away in a corner of Bishan Sports Hall, Good Bites is an atmospheric café which serves healthy and halal-certified fusion Western dishes at an affordable price. What is especially eye-catching about this café is its magical and homely atmosphere, one which is enhanced by the fairylights, indoor plants and vintage decorations surrounding the dining area!
Its extensive menu ranges from dishes like Laksa Pasta to Sambal Goreng Chicken, which you can order in a set meal, and is inclusive of a drink and a starter, all at a low price of $9.90. When we ordered their $10 original waffle, we were pleasantly surprised by the friendly waitresses who alerted us to a promotion that they had, whereby we were able to choose an additional two flavours of ice cream totop ouralready sizeable waffle at no additional cost.
Although the café is only a 10 minute walk from Junction 8, it might be a little difficult to find as it is nestled at the back of the stadium. It took us a few extra minutes to navigate the entrance, but the food that came afterwards was definitely worth the effort!
Our verdict: Their ala-carte menu might be a little pricey, but the set meals are definitely worth getting, especially with their substantial portions. The ambiance is also Instagram worthy, so it is definitely worth a visit!
Apiary is a local ice-creamery that recently opened their second outlet at Jubilee Square. Their ice-cream is priced at S$4.20 for a single scoop, with an additional fee of S$0.50 for premium flavours. At first glance, the price might be a little off-putting, but its rich and decadent ice cream is definitely worth splurging for.
We tried four flavours, including two of their most popular ones, blue milk and Sicilian pistachio. They were both verycreamy and the flavours were delightful, especially the blue milk scoop, which tastes were reminiscent of sea salt ice cream. Although the decorations were pleasing and pretty, there were only a few bar seats in the store for a dine-in option. The space was rather cramped and we chose to snack on my ice cream while walking around the mall instead.
The store is definitely accessible and easy to find as it is at the very entrance of Jubilee Square, which is only a few minutes’ walk away from the Ang Mo Kio MRT station.
Our verdict: If you are a dessert lover, this store is definitely worth a shot for their unique flavours and great quality!
AMPM Cafe: Ice cream with Hong Kong egglets
Located in the heartlands of Ang Mo Kio, AMPM Cafe serves a variety of colourful ice creams and freshly made Hong Kong egglets. The ambience is modern and light, and the café is full of bright splashes of colours and fun decorations for cute photos!
Their ice creams are available in the form of either Cup ($4.50), Handmade Cone ($5.50) or Freshly baked Egglet ($9), and considering the portion, it is quite economical. You can even choose your own combinations of ice cream flavours, toppings and sauces to go on top of the egglets. The possibilities are seemingly endless! The ice cream that we tried was smooth, very creamy and was not too sweet. while the egglet was pillowy and dense, reminiscent of a cake!
A 15-minute bus ride from college takes you directly to the café, and it is rather easy to locate after a short walk. It is definitely a must-have for Eunoians as it is worth the price!
Our verdict: If you love sweet treats, you definitely should pay this cafe a visit. Not only is the atmosphere pleasant and relaxing, the food will also give you an extra boost of energy after a long day at school!