What is this Chef in a Box?

By Kiana Koh

Do you have nights when you end work late, you’re so hungry, and then you go home to an empty fridge? Or maybe you’re a housewife and there’s no one to eat with because your husband is tired of you (just kidding), and your kids already ate outside.  Perhaps you’re just too lazy to cook for yourself? Here’s where the vending machine ‘café’ comes into picture!image02

Picture credits to: www.deepjapan.org

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Picture credits to: www.essential-japan-guide.com

It is a widely known thing in Japan because of it’s creativity and convenience. Finally it has reached our shore and right there’s only one place in Singapore that has it. 

This vending machine ‘café’ in Singapore is located at Sengkang. The exact location is block 320C Anchorvale Drive.

It serves meals with a couple options: frozen (so you can heat up at home), or hot meal. There’s even a table and some seats for you to eat right there!image05

Picture credits to: sg.style.yahoo.comimage03

Basically, all you have to do is to select what you want on the screen, then decide if you want it frozen or hot, and then insert the money! The cutlery is then provided in a small compact rectangular box together with a tissue inside. The machine is also able to accept NETs Flashpay, so you don’t have to worry about going to the ATM first to withdraw your money ☺image

Picture credit to: Travis

Some food selections include our local dishes such as Hor Fun, Beef Rendang with Biryani rice, and if you’re preferring something a little more Western, there’s also spaghetti! The perfect balance between our local cuisine and Western cuisine would have to be the Salted egg yolk spaghetti. As you know, salted egg everything are selling really fast right now!unnamedPicture credits to http://www.herworldplus.com

Taste wise, it is nothing out of the ordinary really. There’s nothing too special about it and honestly, in my opinion, maybe you’re better off buying food from an actual real store itself BUT, this scores points for convenience!  The portions itself aren’t that large so if you’re still hungry, you can head over to the snacks section just right beside it and get yourself some snacks! They have potato chips, chocolate cake and even potato salad!image06 Picture credits to: Travis
I believe this vending machine ‘café’ is a really interesting and fresh idea that has been made available to us. It’s convenient because it only takes about 180 seconds (3 minutes) for your food to heat up and 3 seconds if you chose the frozen meal.  I do think that if you were to compare quality to price, it is a tiny bit pricier than hawker centre food and the food doesn’t really taste as good as hawker centre.  At the end of the day it comes down to convenience and the novelty of this cafe. 

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