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Food for Thought?

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We know that a student in pursuit of a college degree must be in want of good food. While given the freedom to choose what we eat, it is imperative that we do so without turning a blind eye towards our health. The university, well aware of this fact, offers to its students a plethora of messes to pick from. Making an informed decision has never been easier, as we list out the parameters one might want to consider while making this choice.

Here are the various messes that the MIT campus harbours.

FOOD COURT

Courtesy: Manipal Academy of Higher Education 

Vibrant and happening, the Food Court offers the best atmosphere compared to all the other established messes. The air conditioning, which becomes akin to a basic human necessity in Manipal come the even semester, is a bonus. Regular food quality checks are performed to make sure that all health regulations are adhered to. The menu is fixed for each day of the week with minor tweaks here and there on special occasions. The Food Court offers non-vegetarian food on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Consequently, the cost per day including all the meals is Rs. 177.

The main advantage of the Food Court is its location on the campus. Situated opposite the Student Plaza, this mess is easily accessible to all the hostel blocks as well as the academic area. It is also well-equipped to handle the large crowd that it attracts.

Although efforts are made to keep the menu fresh and diverse, the food can get a little monotonous. For times like these, the ‘Chef on Wheels’ stalls situated upstairs offers a variety of dishes including pizzas, pasta, Chinese food, North Indian, fresh juices, milkshakes, and bakery products. Only the milkshakes, juices, bakery products and pizzas can be paid for with the Mess Card.  So, considering all the parameters, the Food Court is considered a convenient option for most students.

USP:  The pasta, kebabs, shawarma and biryani from the stalls are highly recommended.

FOOD COURT 2

Courtesy: Manipal Academy of Higher Education

Food Court 2, situated close to the 16th Block, is a boon for boys living in the 14th, 15th, and 16th blocks who don’t wish to walk up the steep road to FC1 for dinner each night. With a centrally air-conditioned area to dine in, FC2 also boasts of a lot of variety in the buffet menu for all meals. It can serve 1100 students at its maximum capacity with a menu that changes weekly and tries to include a few popular dishes from all the various states in India, to appeal to every palate.

Non-vegetarian food is served at dinner on all weekdays but not on Saturday. On Sundays, a non-vegetarian dish is served during lunch. The cost for three meals and high tea is around Rs.168 per day. Although FC2 is not a feasible option for the girls because of its distance from the academic blocks, many students who don’t eat there opt to pay to eat the month-end special dinner. Moderately priced, this special dinner includes a few scrumptious desserts, like gajar ka halwa, that no other mess in campus offers.

While many attempts are made to beat the monotony, students seeking a break from the mess food can order dishes like burgers, pasta, and sandwiches at the Live Counter on the ground floor. There are a few stalls that serve Indian chats, fruit juices, and milkshakes as well and are very popular with the students.

USP: The month-end dinner that many students look forward to and juices from the stalls on the ground floor.

ANNAPOORNA MESS

Courtesy: Manipal Academy of Higher Education

Situated near the ninth and tenth hostel blocks and opposite to the cricket ground, Annapoorna mess offers a wider variety of food choices when it comes to breakfast. Although the location is a little better suited to the boys’ blocks, it can be quite a long walk on a full day to this mess from the academic area. According to general consensus, the food offered here comes closer to a home-cooked meal as compared to the food at the Food Court. However, the disadvantage of this mess is that there is no air conditioning provided here. It is a general misconception that this mess is only available for boys. Although it may seem inconvenient for many girls (given the distance between the girl’s block and Annapoorna mess), the mess is actually open to everyone. Non-vegetarian food is offered on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturday afternoon and it’s served for dinner on Wednesday and Friday.

USP:  The varied food with its homely nature adds to the appeal of Annapoorna.

ADITHYA MESS

Courtesy: Manipal Academy of Higher Education

Adithya mess lies between the fifth and sixth blocks. The location is well-suited for the residents of this boys-only mess. It is to be noted that high tea is not served at this mess and has to be eaten at the Food Court. Although this mess does not have air conditioning either, it offers non-vegetarian food on all days except Tuesdays and Saturdays.

USP:  The mess is not usually overcrowded and is comfortable to dine in.

ARADHANA MESS

Aradhana mess is reputed to be the best, from among all the others, established solely for the girls. Given its position in the 12th block, it is used by first-year girls residing in the 11th and 12th blocks. The staff is extremely warm and friendly. Much smaller than the others, this mess has good food and a pleasant ambience. The freshly made chapatis lend a homely feeling to the food. Given its accessibility, many students who live in the 11th and 12th blocks choose to dine here, especially during the exam time as it can be rather time-consuming walking to the Food Court.

USP: With only first years eating here, the atmosphere is comforting and compels all the freshmen to feel part of a close-knit family.

ANANYA MESS

Courtesy: Manipal Academy of Higher Education

Ananya Mess for girls is found in the space between the first and second blocks. It only serves vegetarian food. Generally, it draws small crowds, making it ideal for those who like to avoid the hustle and bustle of the Food Court. The proximity to the blocks and the academic area is an added advantage. The staff here is extremely friendly as well. For those looking for healthy additions to their meals, this mess also serves fruits including bananas, watermelon, papayas, and pineapples, five days a week.

USP:  Dosas, served twice a week, are considered to be the highlight of the menu.

ASHRAYA MESS

Courtesy: Manipal Academy of Higher Education

Located within the 13th block campus, this is the definitive non-vegetarian mess for girls, especially those staying in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 13th blocks. Like the other block messes, this mess also offers a cosy ambience. The food, which has the same menu as that of the Food Court, consists of hand-made chapatis and is quite delicious. With it being very close to the academic blocks, the location is very convenient for those living nearby.

USP: The chicken kebabs, served occasionally on Tuesday nights, are a wonderful treat.

SINDHI MESS

Courtesy: Manipal Academy of Higher Education

Located on the road leading to Kamath Bookstore, the Sindhi mess serves lunch and dinner only.  It is open six days a week and closed on Sundays. Non-vegetarian food is available all days of the week, except on Saturdays. Although this mess falls short on the ambience scale, it definitely makes up for it with its food. The meals are delicious and the quantity is unlimited. It is reasonably priced too, with a vegetarian meal available for Rs. 85 and a non-vegetarian meal for Rs. 100. If one joins the mess on a monthly basis, the cost comes up to about Rs. 140 per day.

USP: The dal is considered delicious, and the lemonade is reportedly unlike any other on camp.

MANNA MESS

Courtesy: Manipal Academy of Higher Education

With full-fledged meals priced at around Rs. 50, Manna mess is where you eat to satiate your hunger even when you’re on a tight budget. They have unlimited meals for lunch and dinner with vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. The students that opt for this mess get a card from which money is deducted only when they actually eat there. So, if a student feels the need to take a break from Manna they’re free to do so, without any guilt. It’s located right next to the Sindhi mess.

USP: Non-vegetarian dishes are served often and their chole is a crowd favourite item on the menu.

13th BLOCK NIGHT CANTEEN 

Operating from 4 pm to 12 am, the night canteen is a great place to rely on for some evening snacks or midnight cravings. The menu contains many items, from the college-goers’ beloved Maggi to Chinese, and Indian main courses. During the end-semester exams, they serve food up to 1 am which works out well for the students. Since the mess is on the ground floor of the 13th block, the residents of the block can just order their food from their rooms and go down to pick it up later. The downside to this canteen is that it doesn’t deliver food to any other blocks and only benefits the students who stay in the 13th block.

USP: The chicken biryani, ginger tea, and cheese Maggi are some of the frequent orders during the exams.

POORNIMA 

Courtesy: Manipal Academy of Higher Education

Located opposite to the football field and right next to the basketball court, Poornima is a canteen of sorts with a menu that’s quite vast. They serve various kinds of fruit juices to accompany the rest of the delicious items on the menu. With tables and chairs arranged close to the canteen, it’s a good place to stop by for a quick dinner. The service is fast for a few popular items like noodles, Maggi, and parantha.

USP: The aloo-cheese parantha with an icy lime slushy, is a combination made in heaven that’ll definitely lift your mood.

A few other bits of information one may find useful:
  1. Students can change their mess only on the last date of every month. The food court and mess staff can be approached for any queries. (Click here for a complete list of mess rules and regulations.)
  2.  Students can buy snack items such as chips and packaged juices using the Mess Card (or Combo Card) in most messes.
  3.  It may be a good idea to check the Mess Dues regularly on the SIS portal, to avoid a nasty shock at the end of the year by having to pay an extra amount.