Where Art Students Refuel

By Bras Basah Bugis on Feb 2017

Home to three of Singapore’s prominent art schools, Bras Basah.Bugis is full of eclectic and unique cafes, bars and restaurants, making it the perfect chomping ground for students.

When asked what they like about the precinct, most quipped without missing a beat: “Food!”

We spoke to a few current and former students who share their favourite eats around their schools:

1. Eilis, 16, a visual arts student at School of the Arts (SOTA)
2. P raveena G, 20 and Rachel Moore, 20, Film students at LASALLE College of the Arts
3. S Nivaashiyni, 21, Fashion Media and Industries student at LASALLE College of the Arts
4. Shernyne Hoe , 21 and Tian Jie , 23, both studying Design (Interior and Exhibition) at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA)
5. Vanessa Lim, 22, Arts Management graduate of class 2016 at LASALLE College of the Arts
6. Marcus Gee, 25, Design Communications student at LASALLE College of the Arts


Maki-San, a place where food, fun and art comes together (Source: Maki-San)

For when I’m feeling peckish:

1. A favourite among LASALLE students and lecturers, Geisha Specialty Coffee sits right across the school at Burlington Square and gets its name from Esmeralda Geisha, a variety of coffee most associated with Panama. Sharing a space with NEATO bakery, this cafe is said by Vanessa to be “the best coffee place around school”. Nivaa agrees, “You can head here for a quick and good fix of coffee, drinks and cake. Lecturers are often spotted marking assignments here too.”

2. It’s not hard to see why Maki-San , a fuss-free, brightly designed sushi joint , draws throngs of students on school days. Other than its pocket-friendly prices, Eilis shares, “I like that I am allowed to pick the ingredients that I like to create my own sushi roll or Japanese inspired salads, rather than choose a standard order. And everything looks so fun, from the interior to the menu board.”

Cheap but good eats if I’m on a budget:

1. Just before the intersection of Selegie Road and Short Street is a stretch of eateries that find much favour with students. According to Praveena G and Rachel Moore, popular stalls include Rochor Original Beancurd with their famous soy bean curd dessert “for a light bite or a drink”, Sing Ho Hainan Chicken Rice which offers “one of the better chicken rice dish around school” and Aroy Dee Thai Kitchen, which is “great to go to when you’re eating in a bigger group”.

2. Just as how birds of the same feathers flock together, you can find a congregation of good food at Sim Lim Shopping Centre , according to Marcus and Vanessa . “For options and value, there is Broadway food court at the basement. For salted egg yolk fans, you should make your way up to the second storey for the raved-about Salted Egg Pork Rice. On colder days, cross over to Hotspot, popular among LASALLE students for the fish noodles soup.”

I come here to chill and hang out with my friends:

The Humble Hut, an affordable hangout spot for LASALLE students (Source: The Humble Hut)

1. Nestled among the row of small cafes at 1A Short Street, The Humble Hut is an unassuming western cafe. Rachel and Marcus recommend it as “it is close to LASALLE and is a good place to chill and relax after a long day at school. In addition to affordable lunch sets in the day, the beers are cheap as well.”

2. After a hard day of school work and projects, many of us usually head to a spot to chill and relax with our friends. For Tian Jie, it’s the stretch of bars along Prinsep Street. “I come here often with my friends - it’s close to school, and there are many options here which offer affordable drinks.” Shernyne Hoe adds, “You can also head to Curious Palette, a popular cafe among students.”

More often than not, we give people, objects and places nicknames to reflect their characteristics or physical traits. While it helps that the names are often funny and roll off our tongue easily, we end up only remembering the nicknames instead of their actual names. To end off, here are two places known to students just by their nicknames. Can you guess where they are?

Places we only know by their nicknames:

1. Do not judge the quality of the eatery by its exterior, which is what we learnt about “Dodgy Thai”, a familiar nickname among SOTA students . Eilis admits, “We don’t actually know the stall’s name, but call it that because it looks shady. Most SOTA students will know which stall “Dodgy Thai” refers to. Actually, the food here is quite good and the portions are very generous!”

2. If you ever have just 5 dollars and you’re in the vicinity of Singapore Management University, have a go at locating and trying the recommended “5-dollar Pasta”. Both Tian Jie and Shernyne agree that “it is an unassuming dish that is reliable, affordable and value-for-money. It’s good for students.”