By Dayrius Tay
Despite its altruistic aims, the Healthy Meals in School programme by the Health Promotion Board (HPB) often lead to a mass exodus at 1pm as students flocked to nearby eateries in droves to seek out a greater variety of food. As of 2016, there were 4 fully operational canteen stalls in NUS High School. The initiative to distribute fruits with every meal, ostensibly aimed at promoting healthier and more balanced meals, only contributed to the price hike across the canteen along with increasing food wastage. To add insult to injury, food often ran out before all students could have their lunch.
On the contrary, 2017 saw a drastic improvement to both the quality and variety of dining options within the school. Currently, the canteen is operating at full capacity, with all six stalls occupied, though, ironically, the chicken rice stall, which was the most popular option in 2016, is temporarily closed. The latest additions are a Vegetarian Stall, a new Western Food Stall, and a Nasi Padang Stall. Continuing to do business in NUS High Canteen are the Economic Rice Stall and the Noodles Stall.
A personal favorite, the Vegetarian Food Stall offers a meat-free option for those who can’t stomach the idea of sacrifice innocent animals or simply love consuming this unique fare. They offer a variety of dishes, including an assortment of vegetables and faux meat. The author recommends the fried bean skin, with its crispy texture and savory taste.
The Western Food stall provides a halal (probably) option for Muslim students and Staff. Their fare includes pasta, pizza, mashed potatoes and more. Another Muslim-friendly stall is the Nasi Padang Stall, which serves the ever popular nasi lemak; coconut-infused rice with an array of toppings. Some of the more popular ones include Dried Ikan Bilis (Anchovies) with Peanuts and Fried Kuning Fish.
In a nutshell, if you haven’t given the revamped canteen a try this year, you should. The standards and diversity of food has improved by leaps and bounds, certainly a welcome improvement from 2016.