Improved Cafeteria Lunch

You know I bought some organic rice blend and suggested that I might bring my own rice to the office for lunch, right?

Well, guess what? I finally did it today.

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And I think I am going to do it more often, because I quickly discovered some benefits of doing this.

  1. I pay 50 cents less to the cafeteria operator for not getting their rice. The cost per portion for my supposedly more expensively brown rice blend is most definitely less than 50 cents. So I am making some monetary savings here.
  2. I think the lack of rice on my plate made it hard for the stall assistant to estimate how much per dish to scoop for me. I ended up getting more vegetables than I normally do when I have rice on my plate, for the same price.
  3. Brown rice has more nutrients (and is supposedly less fatty) compared to white rice, so my lunch is healthier now.
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Definitely more food than usual, the veggies are covered by the rice on top

You might think my mom will approve of my efforts, but I think her eyes will just zoom into that 3 deep fried fish balls and block out everything else. If she sees this, I can expect her call to berate me anytime soon.

But other than that… yeah, I think I’m going to do this more frequently.


  1. Brown rice is definitely much more healthier than white rice, good choice. Is the shop operator allows you to bring your own rice to eat in his shop or you tapau the dishes to the office?

    • Not shop, this is my office’s cafeteria. I only brought the rice, the dishes I got from the cafeteria. They don’t have any rule saying “No outside rice allowed” so I think it is fine. Many people do this too.

  2. good effort! I don’t like brown rice much but they do go well with vegetables, I thought brown rice usually interfere a bit too much with meat.

    • Well, the purpose of eating brown rice is for its health properties, not tastiness properties anyway. 😀

  3. I wanna laugh at you! Mama always stalked her boy’s blog and berated him. Both of you have a unique relations over blogs instead of Facebook. I never heard of someone bringing his own rice to scoop the seller’s dishes. Good savings leads to wise investments! Good try.

    • Actually I’ve seen quite a number of my colleagues do it already. I’m not the first. Maybe it is in Penang people’s kiamsiap gene. This also means I am becoming more and more kiamsiap, thanks to our “beloved” PM..

  4. Very clever. I think I mentioned this before in one of your previous rice posts, but rice that is not white rice tends to make you full faster, or is harder to digest (I’m not too sure about the latter). That is really quite a big portion of veggies 😀

    • I don’t remember that. I remember you said rice makes you feel bloated. Well, I think they are all the same in terms of making me feel full, white rice or colored rice..

  5. cafeteria rice 50 sen only ah…here already min rm1 lo.

    hey ever thought of buying one of those mini rice cooker cum steamer. Can cook at the office pantry mah like SK . Lagi bagus leh coz sure the vege u will wash clean….now got deman kepialu leh

  6. Your cafeteria is not halal? Coz some Muslims may take offense when you bring something from home (even if it’s just rice) and pour it onto the commonly shared plates!

    Oh, you forgotten one more advantage of bringing your own rice… don’t have to queue for the rice (coz I remembered you saying in an old post that the rice queue is always very long)! 😀

    • I will still join the queue to get an empty plate, because I am not the assholes that I mentioned earlier. You don’t understand why I am mad at those cut queues.

      This is office/factory style cafeteria, which works sort of like school canteen, you are served in a queue, get rice 1st, then dish 1, dish 2, dish 3 and move on. It is not like outside zhap farn stall where you just sneak into the dishes that you want. So it pisses me (and many other civilized people) to see people treating this place like outside zhap farn stall. You know, I was surprised to get some private comments from fellow readers within the company who agree with me highlighting such rude behavior.

      Ahhh nvm, let’s not talk about this anymore…

      Back to the halal topic. You will find in Penang, the Malays here are generally more tolerant. As long as you don’t force feed them pork, they don’t give a sh*t.

  7. 50cents for the rice, how you know price of the rice ya? My cafeteria here, doesn’t have the price labeling, looks like they always give the amounts according to their mood, as even I pick the same dishes almost everyday, the price also can be different one.

    • Well, I always take the same dishes, but yesterday I was charged 50 cents less. Actually here, they have a table that lists down fixed prices for rice, veggie or meat dish, so it won’t be based on mood.

  8. I ever got a packet of brown rice before, at first not so used to brown rice, so starting mixed brown rice with some white rice…

  9. I agree la, bring own rice, then “kar liew” or buy only the “soong” from the cafe.. But where do you put the rice? In a thermos? Must keep warm kan.. Or if pantry got microwave, then senang, just microwave the rice.. Am sure you won’t cook the rice in the pantry though, haha..

    • No la, I just keep it in tupperware like you see in the picture. The liew is warm ma, just mix the rice with the liew then the rice will warm up also. Lazy Man way! 😀

  10. Good for you to bring your own healthy rice to eat. Next time take some real meat instead of heavily processed meat like fish balls if you want your mom to approve. On the contrary, some chapfan operators if see no rice will charge more because they think no rice means you take more vege and meat from them.

  11. so healthy, all veggies and brown rice…the only spoiler is the fish balls…but heck cares, that 3 tiny fish balls won’t do any harm to your health…
    If comes with a bowl of soup, then it would complete the meal, as I tink rice without gravy/soup would be too dry 😉

    • I am on the contrary. I do enjoy a bowl of soup on the side, but not to go with the rice. Well, actually I’m fine with any way…

  12. yeah brown rice is good and I actually enjoy eating that.. good that you cooked your own rice and bring it to office.. I agree with you that when they see no rice on your plate, no matter how much you take for each dish, it will end up cheaper!! wise action indeed~~ 🙂

    • Trust me, I wasn’t planning on “cheating” for more dish quantity. I know first hand how stingy the cafeteria operator is. 😛

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