Culture //

Too bad you can’t eat sandstone

Christina White guides you through the culinary wasteland.


Purchasing food on campus is like the Netherlands’ drug policy – it’s all about harm minimisation. On a good day you’ll have remembered to grab leftovers from the night before, but on a bad day you’ll need to tell the difference between the edible and the inedible. Here’s the rundown on where to avoid.

Absolute desperation: Union coffee carts are good for two things alone: gum and late-night caffeine when everywhere else is shut and you’re trying to stay awake in Fisher. Their $5.15 sandwiches are a contender for worst item on campus, but they are essentially non-existent since you get $5 worth of butter and mayo alone.

Ready for a gamble: Manning presents a bewildering mix of food offerings. Aside from its name, Miso Honi on the ground floor has little to offer until mid-afternoon when they palm off everything in cheap meal boxes. The rest of the ground floor, and most of the first floor, is full of non-descript sandwich and salad shops that are supremely overpriced and never toast your panini for as long as you’d like. If you’re ever hungry, run up to the top floor where the Manning BBQ serves up surprisingly well-priced pub style food. The chips are cheap, Wagyu beef is as delicious as it sounds, and the Cajun chicken sandwich is spicier than you expect.

Willing to pay 700% of the production cost: Try Taste. And you may as well buy a macaroon and an $11.30 bottle of water from a French mountain spring because you’re already a wanker.

You want a Doctor’s Certificate: When Angela Merkel said that multiculturalism has failed, she was talking about the Wentworth food court. Like Miso Honi, Jewel of India finds itself with all its food left past lunch-time, which equals $5 curries in the afternoon. To its right, UniBros is doing its best to keep the Charles Perkins Obesity Centre in business. It’s famous for its Meat Box, which compresses chips, meat, and grease (in equal quantities) into a box for $8. They have kebabs too, but they will never taste as good as the ones at Istie’s because you’re not drunk. Tucked away in the corner, Little Asia suffers the same problems of any pan-Asian establishment. You might get excited by the look of fancy salads at Raw, but you’ll quickly realise they taste like sucking on a wet mop, and no amount of coriander or lentils can shift that mental image.

For real food: Don’t be lazy and walk to Glebe or Newtown. Or go to Ralph’s.