SRC ELECTIONS 2018

Food diaries of a fucking fifth year

Alison Xiao eats and weeps

Screen Shot 2018-03-01 at 9.46.34 pm

If you’ve ever eaten on campus, you’ll know that there are a wealth of options, none of which are particularly appealing. If you’ve never eaten on campus, this is a primer of what to expect.

Courtyard Cafe

Courtyard Cafe is the USU’s crowning jewel, hosting classy cocktail events and hot tub open air cinema nights. The affordable prices and crisp interior design lures me back every time, seducing me into forgetting just how gluggy the pasta is. It is the most central  meeting point for arts degree kids, student “hack” politicians and anyone who has classes on the Camperdown side of campus.

Faves: Mulled wine, Happy Hour pizza, iced teas

Fails: All I want is nice pasta, is that too much to ask.

Ralph’s

With the  reputation of being the go-to hangout for college kids and Sydney Uni Sport and Fitness  members, I rarely ventured into Ralph’s  in my early days at university. What a mistake! Though it’s pretty hidden away, their pasta is pure perfection

Faves: Iced chocolate with hazelnut ice cream.

Fails: Probably the only venue on campus that is still cash only and has an aggressive sign to tell people not to use their phone while ordering.

Manning Bar (Lucky’s) / Manning Building

In 2017, Manning Bar rebranded to Lucky’s with a drawing card of a $5 burger with chips. It’s great, if you want a burger that tastes like it’s $5. These days, if I’m forced to eat at Manning, I’ll go downstairs and get a haloumi salad from Zabeli or subpar sushi/rice paper rolls/fried Hokkien noodles from Miso Honi.

Faves: Even though I know it’s from a carton, I’m addicted to the pineapple juice here?!

Fails: It’s a dark, spacious pub in the middle of campus. Why?

Hermann’s / Wentworth Building

The USU tried to convert Hermann’s Bar into an ad for Tsingtao beer and it failed spectacularly. The newly renovated Hermann’s is a shell of its old self, but the grassy lawn is a lovely place to soak in the afternoon sun and leech free drinks off club and societies which meet there. For food, you have an array of nearby choices, from token Indian food (butter chicken anyone?), acai bowls from RAW, and the legendary Halal Snack Packs from Unibros.

Faves: Kitsch interior design—think potplants.

Fails: It also looks like a dentist office.

Taste

If you want to make it rain, head inside and rub shoulders with academics buying overpriced quasi-gourmet meals while sunbeams shine through the windows. Grabbing a baguette to-go and eating on the law lawns with a group of mates is without a doubt one of the nicest food experiences at this university. Just steer clear of horny couples in desperate need of a private room.

Faves: If you don’t enjoy eating on the law lawns from time to time, I don’t understand you.

Fails: Coffee should not be this bad. Hot tip: go to Fisher Coffee Cart for a still subpar, but better, coffee.

Honourable Mentions

Parma: The food is reliable, but who was the architect? Don’t sit in—get take-away.

Azzuri: Don’t leave uni without trying a nutella crepe and wash it down with EasyWay opposite.

Laneway: Get a tart and tick it off your list. It gets points for being the first place on campus to do coffee in a cone (or maybe it should lose points for that).

Engo Grill: The one venue in this guide I’m yet to try, because I associate it with too many traumatic exams which always seem to be scheduled in PNR.

Fisher Coffee Cart / Carslaw Kitchen / Manning Kiosk: why would you order anything other than a drink from here? I’d rather skip the meal (don’t try that one at home, kids).