The Vendcafe has finally invaded our MRT stations and the lucky residents of Ang Mo Kio are getting first dibs on it, with another due to open in Lakeside.

M. Shazni  |  Singapore
Published 2017-06-14 12:05:32

[Update: 27 June] From Anchorvale Drive to Ang Mo Kio MRT Station, Chef-in-Box has opened a new vending machine cafe at Lakeside MRT Station last Friday (June 23).

The cafe, which is almost twice the size of the first one set up at Ang Mo Kio MRT Station on June 13, is open from 7am to 11pm daily.

The vending machines offer over 90 food and drink options, ranging from local favourites such as nasi lemak and char siew rice to dishes from Thailand, Japan and Italy.

The new dishes introduced at the Ang Mo Kio outlet – including fried carrot cake, Thai green curry chicken and Spanish paella – will also be available at Lakeside.

All the dishes are priced below $6 and freshly produced daily, with the machines replenished twice a day.

Chef-in-Box, purveyors of quality meals packed in a box for your convenience, has finally taken their Vendcafe to somewhere that actually matters – the MRT Station.

Ever since opening their first-ever outlet within the heartlands of Sengkang, the company has laid out plans to expand to two MRT stations and just yesterday, the first of the two has opened at Ang Mo Kio MRT.

Here’s why having a Vendcafe in MRT stations could be a fairly common sight in the near future.

A Vendcafe Is The Ultimate Convenience Store

Image Credit: Chef-in-Box

The Vendcafe is open from 7am to 11pm, and they are able to do this due to the minimal manpower needed to run it. The store is basically a collection of several vending machines after all.

Regardless of how long the opening hours are, it won’t make any sense for anyone if you’d have to wait a long time for the machine to prepare your food.

To counter this, Chef-in-Box utilises the latest cook-chill technology, instead of the cook-freeze technology when dispensing meals. With this technology, commuters can expect a wait of as little as 30 seconds before piping hot meals are served.

No Cash? No Problem.

Image Credit: Chef-in-Box

Don’t come to the Vendcafe hoping to offload all your loose change though.

That’s because Chef-in-Box has purposefully made the second outlet of the Vendcafe a 100% cashless payment facility.

The vending machines accepts cashless transactions from all sorts of contactless payment methods that you’ve come to be familiar with. These include Android Pay, Apple Pay, credit cards, EZLink, and NETS Flashpay cards.

Picture this, if for some reason you’ve don’t have your wallet with you, you can still can get a decent meal with just a tap of your phones.

More Than Just The Usual MRT Station Fare

Image Credit: Chef-in-Box

When we think of food establishments located at MRT stations, we usually have images in our heads of the fried bee hoon, chicken rice or nasi lemak, or the usual takeout sushi chains and bubble tea outlets.

Chef-in-Box is using the launch of its second Vendcafe outlet to expand on its menu with 10 additional items that hungry commuters can look forward to at Ang Mo Kio MRT.

They range from Thai favourites like Green Curry Chicken, Chuchee Curry Prawn, to Western inspired dishes such as Alaskan Pollock with Toscana Sauce and Paella with Salmon Patty.

With over 90 food and drink options at your grasp, it will take you a while to go through the entire menu.

And It’s Not That Expensive, Either

Image Credit: Chef-in-Box

Sure, those $2 chicken rice and nasi lemak stalls might do the trick when rushing to the office in the mornings, but on our commute back, we’ll usually find something else to satiate our hunger.

The budget conscious of you will be glad to know that getting a decent meal from the Vendcafe will not cost a bomb.

An average meal at the Vendcafe will set you back $4, with the more premium options only topping out at $5.90.

Third Vendcafe Opening Next Week

Image Credit: Chef-in-Box

Now, the outlet at Ang Mo Kio MRT is also drawing in the crowds as queues are formed by people hungry for some vending machine action.

Well, there’s some good news for Singaporeans residing in the West – that’s because the third Vendcafe located at Lakeside MRT will be opened next week.

If the first two Vendcafes are of any indication, Singaporeans are still hungry for them and you can be sure to see lines forming up on the sidewalks of Lakeside MRT.

We’re guessing it won’t be long before Vendcafes make their way to all major MRT stations along the red and green lines where most of the heartlanders lie.

Subscribe to Vulcan Post Newsletter

Stay updated with our weekly curated news and updates.
Read more about our privacy policy here.