Written by: Carissa Aletha Liem (21-I1), Lian Zhi Qi (21-I1)
Designed by: Leanne Soh (21-E6)
Photography: Claire Lee (21-U1), Lian Zhi Qi (21-I1)
If you have ever found yourself standing in the middle of the canteen unsure of what to buy for your next meal, or you have realised that you gravitate toward the same stall ordering the same dish everyday, this guide is for you!
JAPANESE & KOREAN CUISINE: TERIYAKI DUCK RICE
This bowl of goodness ($3.20) is made up of soft Japanese rice topped with a generous serving of duck slices coated in teriyaki sauce that delivers both umami and sweetness. To prevent taste fatigue, there is also a portion of raw cabbage on the side for you to munch on so that the saltiness does not overwhelm your tastebuds!
Picture credit: Lian Zhi Qi
DUCK RICE STALL: DUCK RICE
A favourite among Eunoians, the duck rice from the Duck Rice stall is a must-have in the canteen. The smoky, roasted duck topped with a generous amount of rich, delectable gravy is reminiscent of the dishes you would find in BBQ food stalls outside the school.
Each generous helping of roasted duck is cooked perfectly well and the added cucumber with each serving ensures that you would not feel “jelat” [an expression of being sick of something due to overindulgence] or overwhelmingly full after eating such a rich dish. The fragrant and darkly coloured gravy is amazingly flavourful and when paired with the succulent duck, gives off an incredibly mouth-watering visual.
A typical bowl would cost you around $3 to $4, which considering the generous serving of food that you get, is great value for money. For those who are still hesitant about what to try in the EJ canteen, this is definitely a dish worth ordering!
YONG TAU FOO: MALA (Soup/Dry)
Craving malatang on a rainy day? Fret not, the Yong Tau Foo stall got your back! If you don’t know what malatang is, it is a rich, nutty broth that is both spicy and numbing. This insanely flavourful and addictive dish has taken the local food scene by storm in recent years, causing people to ache for it every so often.
Although the malatang served in our canteen does not provide as much of a spice kick compared to those served outside, it can satisfy your cravings just fine as it is still relatively flavourful.
“Malatang makes me feel loved on a cold, tiring day at school,” Claire Lee (21-U1) expresses. “[Eating it] feels like stepping into the gates of a heavenly compound. Simply spellbinding.”
Picture credits: Claire Lee
Another mala dish you can find here is malaxiangguo, which directly translates to spicy stir-fry hotpot in English. This dish is served with a multitude of ingredients, including meat and vegetables, are handpicked, fried and heavily seasoned with mala seasoning.
It is important to note that the stall only provides one standard level of spice, instead of the usual three spice levels offered by most stalls outside. The spiciness is tolerable for most, so do not be afraid to try it!
One ingredient I would strongly recommend is the sweet potato wide noodle which is extremely chewy and offers a healthier alternative to instant noodles.
A typical bowl varies from $4 to $5. While the dishes are on the pricier side, they guarantee satisfaction.
YONG TAU FOO: LAKSA
A spicy-savoury dish that rivals hawker-quality laksa is another student favourite in the Eunoia canteen. The rich and fragrant red stock, flavoured with creamy coconut milk and dried shrimp, is frequently sought after by our students to bring warmth and comfort on a cold, rainy day.
For those who wish to alleviate the spice of the broth, I would recommend the egg tofu and tofu fishcake, which both dampens the spice well without taking away the richness of the mouth-watering soup. However, also take note that the spice would not overwhelm ormaski the strong flavours of the soup, so do not hesitate to try it!
The price of each bowl depends on the toppings you handpick, but a typical bowl with 3 to 4 toppings would cost you around $4.20, which is a relatively reasonable amount for the portion that you get.
YONG TAU FOO: TOMATO
Though less popular among students, the tomato soup is still worth a mention as a nourishing comfort food. It is aromatic, tangy and delicious, with a mellow tomato flavour that is not overwhelming at all. Hence, even if you would usually steer away from tomato-based sauces, don’t hesitate to try this soup!
An important note is that an additional $1 will be charged if you were to add a soup base, which I highly recommended as the tomato base on its own can be slightly salty and acidic at times. Hence, lots of leafy vegetables or mushrooms would be suitable options to go with the soup, in order to neutralise the acidity
Similar to the laksa, the price of each bowl depends on the amount of toppings you choose, but on average, it would cost about $4.20 to $4.50 for 3-4 different toppings.
FRUIT & DESSERTS STALL: ICED LATTE
The iced latte ($2) was recommended to me by a friend one day and I’ve had it once every few days since then. The cup is filled with equal portions of foam and coffee and one can either stir the foam in or enjoy it as it is. I like that the coffee is not too strong, leaning more toward the sweet side.
Picture credits: Lian Zhi Qi
Do not expect to be instantly energised by this though, as the caffeine level is probably quite low.
DRINK STALL: CHOCOLATE WAFFLE
These waffles ($1.20) are perfect for breakfast, an afternoon snack in-between lessons or as a reward for yourself.
On a lucky day, these waffles will be pandan flavoured, warm, soft and slathered with a generous layer of chocolate.
Occasionally, the waffle may be disappointing as it maybe dry and dissatisfying.
Picture credits: Lian Zhi Qi
A little tip would be to order a waffle in the morning as it is freshest at this time of the day!
These waffles are significantly thinner than those outside of EJ, they definitely are the most accessible for Eunoians especially when the waffle cravings hit.
DRINK STALL: TEH PENG
Teh peng (iced tea with milk) ($1.20) is definitely a crowd-pleaser, with its smooth texture and coldness that gives us respite in our unbearably hot weather. Our drink stall’s teh peng has the right amount of condensed milk without being too overly sweet, and can be compared to those in the coffee shops!
WESTERN STALL: ASSORTED FRIED SNACKS (Fries, Potato Wedges, Spring Rolls, Prawn Fritters)
For Eunoians who are in the mood for warm, savoury snacks, fret not, the Western stall provides a multitude of delectable options to choose from. The tasty snacks ($1-$2) are freshly made each day and are flavoured just right, without being too salty or overly bland. Though sometimes they can be rather oily, as it is not far from the normal expectations for fried foods. Hence, if you are in the mood for a warm and quick snack, pop by the Western stall and grab a bag of fried goodies!
CHINESE RICE: OVEN BAKED CHICKEN & FRAGRANT RICE
The oven baked chicken is incredibly aromatic and cooked till tender, paired with rice that gives off a hint of chicken-oil fragrance, making a well-balanced and mouth-watering dish. The crispy, golden chicken skin gives a nice variance in texture and the rice can be further drizzled with light soy sauce to enhance the umami flavours of the dish.
The stall also offers a drizzling of spicy curry sauce which provides the dish with an added dimension. The chilli here is also especially fresh and biting (though it makes a delicious pairing with the chicken), so for those who might veer away from spice, choose your condiments carefully!
Each plate would cost you an average of $3.50 to $4, depending on the number of sides you add. Do come down to the canteen early if you are keen on patronising this stall as you might end up queuing for more than fifteen minutes, which is a testimony of the quality of food sold here!
With the diverse range of food options available in our canteen, you will no doubt find something that you love. Each stall offers something different and just as delicious as the last, so do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new daily!