NTU students may grumble and complain that there is literally nothing to eat in school – at least when it comes to hipster café food and coffee.
The next nearest place to get that would be Jurong Point, and that is not saying much.
Drumroll for the good news… there is actually a NEW, legit café that recently opened within the school compound.
Connect 71 Café or C71 is located within Innovation Centre (previously SIMTech Tower Block).
For students who only go your lecture theatre and back, it is conveniently situated right beside the Arc – NTU’s latest learning hub.
For those taking 179/179A, alight at Lee Wee Nam Library bus stop and walk for about 3-4 minutes.
The café is already packed with students and staff during its opening days, which can make you convinced that NTU is finally hip.
The interior felt really cosy, and doesn’t lose out to the cafes you would find outside.
Connect 71 currently serves four different bowls as mains, including Mazesoba ($8), Lor Bak Bowl ($8), Yakitori Bowl ($8), and Gyu Don ($9).
Plus a FREE drink, and NTU Students and Staff enjoy a further 10% discount. *dances a happy dance*
The Yakitori Don ($8) is served with 4 chicken thigh skewers drizzled with mentaiko mayonnaise.
For its price, the chicken was succulent and quite evenly grilled. Mixing the onsen egg together with the rice, along with the crunch coming from the edamame and corn made a good interplay of textures.
The shaved beef rib-eye meat in the Gyudon ($9) was surprisingly well-marinated, possibly a quality I would not expect coming from a school café.
However, the bowl could be a tad greasy with an accumulation of oil from the meat settling at the bottom of the bowl.
Other bowls include the Lor Bak Bowl ($8) which features slow braised pork belly and the B.M.E Mazesoba ($7). B.M.E stands for Burst, Mix and Eat, suggesting that you break the onsen egg, minced spiced pork and soba noodles together for the best experience.
Every purchase of a bowl comes with a Free Cold Brew Tea, in flavours such as Simply Mango, Fruit Basket and Jasmine Green.
According to the staff, the flavour of the cold brew tea will change every now and then.
I had the Milky Oolong Cold Brew Tea and it was quite fragrant.
Connect also serves a basic range of coffee beverages you typically see in cafes such as Black ($4), White ($4.5), Mocha ($5) and Chocolate ($4.50).
(They are currently having a 1-for-1 promotion for drinks until 31st September.)
The White was slightly acidic, and while they claim to be the best coffee in campus (the next best coffee is perhaps from Starbucks LOL), they certainly won’t be the best in Singapore.
I foresee this place being popular among students and staff, as the quality of the food is on the better side compared to some of the stalls around (I shall not elaborate further…)
This is quite a pleasant place to chill, catch up over coffee, you know… go on a date. Like “Lets go to Connect 71 to connect”.
If you are thinking of heading here for mugging and
copying completing tutorials, there are not many sockets to connect your plugs.
Connect 71 Cafe
71 Nanyang Drive #03-23 NTU Innovation Centre Singapore 638075
Opening Hours: 9am – 9pm (Mon-Fri), By Reservations Only (Sat-Sun)
* Written by DFD’s Café Correspondent @__sy_g. Songyu is a food and travel blogger whose hobby is uncovering hidden hipster cafes. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.