Before you start reading, make sure your belly is filled or don’t blame me for making you hungry ?. One of the things I miss the most from my exchange at CUHK is the affordable canteen food. With 30+ canteens and endless choices, I took for granted how good my life was now that I have to make my very own food everyday. Anyways, this post is dedicated to my favourite canteens and the ones I visited most frequently during my time at CUHK.
Since I lived at Shaw College, the canteen I visited the most is obviously SeeYou@Shaw. The funny thing is that local students seem to be scared of Shaw canteen due to horrifying experiences in the past. The story that goes around is that Shaw used to offer such awful food in previous years that students would not even bring the canteen up in conversations. I wonder how the previous canteen(s) were able to do such an incredibly bad job that they managed to scare away the students to this point haha. Just to help clarify, the owners changed and in my opinion, it is quite a nice canteen so you should consider giving it a second chance, if not third or maybe a last chance if you are in your senior year and one of those who has been psychologically affected by the food at this canteen in the past. Come to think of it, I ate about 50% of my meals there so I can assure you, it really isn’t as bad as rumours claim it to be, it’s actually one of the good canteens at CUHK.
Afternoon Tea Menu: Hotdog with Fries
Since I have been highly praising this canteen, I believe I should give you some very good reasons why it is worth a visit. One, it has the friendliest staff because it is one of the few canteens on campus where I was not screamed at for speaking at a low tone or taking too long to order my food (many times I am mistaken as a local or from Mainland). The second reason why I like this canteen is because of the interior design and atmosphere- it’s the cosiest eating spot on campus, and it’s also great for writing essays. Three, it has the best throwback music! You can find all kinds of music, from very old 2000 hits to popular K-pop songs. Convinced yet? ? One last thing, they are super customer-oriented and take students’ feedback very well. In the short period of my exchange, I have noticed many changes in their menu, one of them being their menu in English. Also, they have this corner where they sell different food items such as cookies and noodles. They have a popcorn machine as well, in case you feel like watching a movie ?.
Daily ABCD Menu Set: One Choice
My ideal breakfast at Shaw is a croissant or pineapple bun with cappuccino. Green light for the coffee at this canteen, it is quite good. Finding good coffee is a difficult task on campus so beside Shaw I recommend Café 330 (they also have great pasta/ spaghetti, and they are organic ?) and the C.W.C. Coffee Shop. The latter one is far but really worth visiting because of their artsy coffee (it makes very Instagram-worthy pictures ?).
For dinner, I would recommend trying the hotpot. Their curry chicken is also a safe pick. Oh, did I mention they have the best egg tarts? All my friends love it so much that I used to get a bunch of them every time I go to the library.
Chicken Hotpot for the colder days
My next favourite food place: Lee Woo Sing. The student canteen and the restaurant are both recommended, and the best part is Café Tolo. Café Tolo was one of the main reasons, or maybe the main reason ? why I visit Lee Woo Sing College so often. For those who know me, I am the biggest dessert fan so if you bring me something sugary, you have already won half of my heart. Dessert with a view, that’s my summary of Café Tolo. I do have to warn you, it is not the most wallet-friendly place since a scoop of ice cream can already cost you as much as a canteen meal. But, happiness first right?
Waffle & Ice Cream at Café Tolo
Another reason why I like Lee Woo Sing, which is not related to my sweet cravings, is that their daily items are usually good. And if you are there and don’t know what to choose, try the Chef Recommendation Korean BBQ set. It is quite tasty, but it would be nicer if they could add some more meat to the dish haha.
Korean BBQ Set
My favourite picks at the restaurant are the noodles and xiaolongbao (really need some of those right now hehe). I wish I could show you some pictures of the dishes but I recently got a new phone and something went wrong with the backup of my photos ?.
By the way, as a Lee Woo Sing student, you can get 20% off your purchase. If you are not a LWS student, then it kinda sucks. But, hey, you could consider asking your LWS buddy along with you for dinner next time you visit. Having dinner with someone is always nicer than eating alone, don’t you agree?
Moving on to my next favourite pick, it’s the S.H.H.O. canteen. This canteen has the best roasted BBQ items on campus!! If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend you to do so, because it is just the best. Another favourite of mine is the Hainan Chicken Set ?, a very popular Chinese chicken dish (note: spicy). Their vegetable curry and chicken curry are also very delicious. Since S.H.H.O is one of the popular canteens among the students, it’s crazily crowded during lunch time so I usually go for dinner instead (but check the communal dinner dates though since the canteen would be closed then). Another handy tip to save you some time is by purchasing your meal from the screens using your octopus card or an app.
Chicken and Char Siu RIce
Hainan Chicken Set
The last canteens I am discussing are the ones on the Central campus or also known as the Benjamin Franklin Centre. The Coffee Corner has my favourite sandwich – the Club Sandwich. It’s super filling and it costs only 19 HKD. Another good dish is the Spicy Wonton Rice Noodle Soup. It’s incredibly spicy and peppery though, so I wouldn’t recommend it to people who can’t handle too much spice.
My favourite Club Sandwich
Spicy Rice Noodle Soup
Right in front of The Coffee Corner, there is another student canteen. The dishes here are generally good and my favourites are the roasted BBQ items (haha, you probably noticed by now that I really like roasted BBQ meat).
Rice with Soya Chicken Leg
Downstairs near the pool, you have the Vegetarian Canteen. For all those vegetarians and vegans out there, this is probably your number one on-campus restaurant. Reasons why I like the canteen: friendly staff and vegetables of course. Only when you are a CUHK student who eats canteen food every day, you would start to crave vegetables at some point (I wonder if other university students in Hong Kong feel the same way). To increase your understanding in case you have no idea what I am talking about- if you order for example Rice with Chicken Leg, what you get on your plate are: rice, the chicken leg and one piece of vegetable (If you don’t believe me, check the photo above as proof ?). All in all, I really appreciated the existence of this canteen because vegetables can do people well sometimes (by people I mean me haha).
Can you imagine my happiness when seeing so much greens on my plate?
One last thing, the tuck shop. This is like a small food shop right in front of the swimming pool with super affordable snacks. My favourites are the red bean soup and the egg waffle. They have the popular tea-leaves egg as well and the noodles are good too, especially when you are hungry.
I will leave it to here this time, see you soon!