Economy rice, better known as chap fan, is many Malaysian favourite due to its affordable price and varieties of dishes it offers. You can pair your serving of steamed white rice with vegetables, meat, and fish dishes of your choice.
Although it’s a relatively an affordable option, economic rice seems to no longer match its name. There is a conspiracy pointing out that when you get the same dish every day, it’s priced differently whereas when you opt for different dishes, it costs the same!
A Malaysian Youtuber known as ‘Goat Only Knows‘ shared a video named “4 ways to eat cheap meals” on his channel, revealing several ways to make your chap fan order even more economical to get your money’s worth and these tips are definitely still relevant today.
1. One Tablespoon Principle
First things first, it might look like a buffet, but it’s not. So do not take too many dishes or you’ll be surprised at the exorbitant price afterwards. Follow the one tablespoon principle, the boss usually calculates one portion (for example, two dishes and one meat); but if you take more than a portion, it’ll cost more. And it’s not cost-effective to take less!
Hence, follow the principle and take only one tablespoon for the same dish! The size of the spoon for each condiment is not much different, and the amount of one tablespoon is approximately equal to the amount of one serving. But remember, you don’t want to take a full spoon, about two-thirds is almost the same.
2. Mold the rice yourself
Be sure you get the rice yourself and mold it using a rice bowl, by doing this, the condiments can be placed next to the rice, and visually you will not feel that you have taken a lot. Hawkers usually try to scatter the rice onto your plate and proceed with placing the condiments on top of the rice, so that the “visual effects” will seem like you have a lot going on on your plate. Hence, charging you extra.
3. Don’t take single items
If you really looking to save money, it’s best to not take single items, such as fish, hotdog, luncheon meat, fried eggs, spiced lobak, etc.; these types of foods will relatively cost more.
4. Choose your chap fan shop wisely
According to the channel owner’s observation, he noticed that the price of chap fan speciality stores is usually more expensive than the miscellaneous rice stalls at hawker centres.
In addition, you may go to the same stall but the money-calculating bosses may vary, hence the calculated price varies significantly.
If you use the above methods and find that it is still very expensive to eat, you might just switch to another store.