For the millennials – and the older Gen Zs – growing up, the menu at a Malaysian school canteen typically comprises of the usual nasi lemak and fried noodles. However, for this school in Penang, students get to choose from over 13 menu items, including pasta and chicken chop.
The impressive menu caught netizens’ attention when one of the canteen workers, Fatin, posted about it through TikTok. In her video, the canteen workers at Sekolah Menengah Pokok Sena in Kepala Batas, Penang, were preparing the menu for the students with items like spaghetti with tomato sauce, chicken chop with coleslaw and stir-fried macaroni.
Along with the western fare, the canteen also offers local delicacies like fried noodles and white rice with an assortment of side dishes. They also have lighter meal options like buns, sandwiches, and cut fruits. What really impressed netizens were the prices of the menu items, which ranged from RM1 to RM3 only, making it very affordable for students to have a delicious and filling meal.
Fatin, the secondary school’s canteen operator for eight years, said the staff discusses the menu thoroughly to ensure a nutritious yet cheap meal for the students and other faculty members. She added that the most expensive item on the menu would be the chicken chop and chicken rice at RM3 each. She also shared the students’ reactions to the menu, saying they often joke that they get impatient for their lunch break.
Netizens also reacted positively to the canteen’s fares, praising the workers for their hard work in preparing the menu. Some said that the students at the school were lucky to be able to choose from the extensive menu, and many even wished they could try the canteen’s items. A few also bemoaned not having a menu like that when they were still in school.
We also wish we had a yummy menu like this at our school canteen because that would have made going to school feel less drab.
Adleena contributed to this article.