Saturday, October 31, 2015

Thosainomics for fun and prosperity !

Somehow I know that you like my Thosai postings...

Last week was intense but I just completed all my group presentations. We're going to start slow but over the next few weeks I should be able to come up with more postings for investors. I might book a Bloomberg terminal again and I would share my results with you guys.

SMU has changed quite a this year which I suspect was probably due to a larger student intake. Because of the increase in student volume, it became a lot more challenging to find seats at the basement Koufu canteen.

Because of high rents, the price of food has become ridiculous expensive. In the Indian stall, I ordered two samosa and a piece of tandoori chicken and it cost me $6.90. ( As I am quite an old fart, when I was in primary four, the price of a Set Lunch which includes a steak at the restaurant The Ship at Shaw Centre costs $6.90. )

As a consequence of that, I have been eating quite a fair bit at uber-hipster cafe Kickstart where for about a dollar more, I get fairly high quality fusion food ( The kong pao pork belly is awesome ! ) .

But prices had become fairly ridiculous, as I would expect that not all SMU students are well to do.

So one morning I decided to stray further from campus early in the morning at 7am and went to Waterloo Street, and found an Indian stall which sold Thosai.

The result was a nice Onion Thosai with Vadai at $2.60 shown above. With my standard Kopi-O kosong, I was able to have breakfast for $3.60. Not bad by price standards in town.

So I call my set of insights from this simple lesson Thosainomics :

a) Experiment with your hunger

You need to experiment with your hunger. When I started out, I went for a plain Thosai which was not filling enough but two Thosais or a Thosai Masala made me sleepy after the meal.

The sweet spot is an Onion Thosai at  a median price point which would last me until 12pm lunch break.

b) Go Vegetarian

The price of local food has discontinuities.

The price of economic rice or zhi char goes up quite a bit when you move from standard meat to fish to prawns and to crabs. Similarly it goes down by a fair amount when you downgrade from meat to vegetables. Tofu and beans provide proteins at a fraction of the price of meat.

You can reach your budget easily if you train yourself to downgrade accordingly.

c) Go Indian

Not sure if readers agree, but Indian food is the cheapest among all the races.

While a roti kosong is about $1, it has to be made fresh and requires a lot of labour. Chinese economic rice is hardly economic these days but the effort is made prior to the sale and the work can be batched early in the morning.

In second place is Malay food as I can't eat Thosai everyday. I look for Bee Hoon Soto Ayam every morning as well but as it is not filling enough, normally supplement my meal with a Begedil.

I am avoiding Chinese food these days due to price. A bowl of Wan Ton Noodles is actually cheap compared to Economic Bee Hoon. Just try supplementing your economic bee hoon with a chicken wing and it stops being economic fairly quickly.

The only cheap option is the industrially manufactured Chee Cheong Fun from the drink stall.

But I say yucks to that !

1 comment:

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