Eating, Drinking & Cooking
BBQ facilities are provided for the enjoyment of residents at Monash Residential Services.
Monash Residential Services accommodation fees do not include the provision of meals. The fee covers accommodation only. Meals can be cooked in the self-catering kitchen facilities, or on-campus at Clayton meals can be purchased from the Halls Café.
Self-Catering Kitchen Facilities
Monash Residential Services also understands and accepts that some residents want the freedom and flexibility to cook their own meals. As such, each residence offers extensive self-catering facilities, enabling residents to cook for themselves should they wish to do so. The self-catering facilities and meal areas throughout the residences have proven to be great places for social interaction between the residents. Further, the self-catering areas provide residents with the opportunity to become involved in the preparation, cooking and sharing of many different styles of food from a very large variety of cultures. At last count there were more than 76 different nationalities represented by the residents at MRS.
Items left unattended in the kitchen will be disposed of as per Conditions of Residency 6.5
For those who wish to gain more knowledge on safe food handling, a free online food handler learning program endorsed by Department of Health can be accessed through http://dofoodsafely.health.vic.gov.au/
Owing to fire and health risks, the cooking of food in any resident room is absolutely forbidden, unless your accommodation design includes a designated kitchen area (as per Section 7.3 Conditions of Residency)
If you are found cooking in your room, the matter will be dealt with in accordance with the conditions of residency.
In order to provide a clean environment for all residents, food that has been left out in communal kitchens on benches, stoves or in microwave ovens will be disposed of when the kitchens are cleaned.
It is your responsibility to remove food, grocery items and cooking equipment from the kitchens when you have finished cooking. Please be aware that other residents will use the communal kitchens after you, so please be considerate of them and clean up your mess.
Kitchen Fire Safety
Following fires in kitchens, findings indicate that the most likely causes was residents leaving materials on the cook top, leaving food unattended or overheating oil which can result in a flash fire or spontaneous ignition of oil vapour.
Please watch this kitchen safety video from the Queensland Fire Service and Emergency Service:
Residents are reminded that you must:
- Never utilise the cook top surface as an extension of the kitchen bench top
- Supervise cooking at all times
- Always carefully check that all kitchen appliances are switched off before leaving the kitchen
- Super-heated oil can ignite. Please read carefully the hazard alert for cooking with oil.
Note: If the fire alarm is set off, this may trigger the attendance of the Fire Brigade (as per Section 3.1(c) Conditions of Residency)
Disposing of used cooking oil
Used cooking oil should be correctly disposed of. MRS offers a Collection Station where your used cooking oil is taken away to be refined and recycled. More information can be found here under Environment and Sustainability Expectations.
(Deakin, Farrer, Howitt, Richardson and Roberts Halls)
Some locations in MRS have induction cooking or will be converted to induction cooking in the near future. (Currently Deakin, Farrer, Howitt, Richardson and Roberts Halls)
Induction cooktops are the latest in cooking technology, and work by using electromagnetic energy to generate heat directly within the pots and pans you are cooking with. This is different from regular gas or electric cooking, which heat pots and pans indirectly from the outside.
As such, there are several advantages to induction cooktops:
- COOKING EFFICIENCY & SPEED: Heat is produced within the pan, making it hotter faster, which results in faster cooking.
- CONVENIENCE: Induction cookers are built into ceramic or glass cooktops and are easy to clean with just a quick wipe down.
- CONTROL: You can turn the heat up or down as you need, just like a gas cooker.
- SAFETY: Heat only appears when the cooking pan is in place, and the cooktop never gets any hotter than the pan sitting on top of it. They can also detect how much heat they’re producing and automatically cut off power if they are mistakenly left on.
- ENVIRONMENT: Induction cooking doesn’t create indoor air pollution like conventional cookers do. The cooking efficiency also means your cooking time is reduced, saving energy use.
INDUCTION COOKTOPS REQUIRE SPECIFIC POTS & PANS
Induction cooktops do, however, require the use of specific pots and pans, such as cast iron or stainless steel (not aluminium). The majority of pots and pans sold in stores now are induction suitable. To test whether your pots and pans are induction suitable, you can easily use a magnet. If it sticks, it will work on an induction cooktop. If your pots and pans are not induction suitable, they simply won't heat up on the induction cooktop.
The tap water at MRS is safe to drink. Monash University also provides free drinking water through the many water fountains installed outside and inside buildings on campus.
Monash University supports initiatives to reduce bottled water consumption.
Remember that your communal and/or personal fridge is your responsibility. For those using the communal fridges in the self-catering kitchens, please note that any time you vacate your room for semester breaks, fridges must be cleaned and turned off. Failure to defrost your fridge completely before vacating your room may incur cleaning charges.
You should also be aware that you will be invoiced for any damage caused by your fridge to the carpet or floor. In the past, the type of damage that has occurred has come about owing to incorrect defrosting or placement of the fridge i.e. worn carpet tiles, twisted, worn, torn, stained carpet tiles, damage to the flooring beneath carpet tiles.
Please ensure care is taken when placing a bar fridge in your room. If you have your own personal bar fridge (permitted to be stored in bedrooms only) please make sure that on departure this item is moved out of the residences. Personal fridges should not be left in the corridors/hallways/common areas. MRS accepts no responsibility where personal items go missing from corridors/hallways/common areas.
Food preparation & service at events
At MRS, we promote an environment where residents are actively involved within the community. In addition to events and functions organised by Monash Residential Services on and off site where the meals are prepared and/or provided by the MRS Food Service (at the Clayton Campus) and/or an external catering contractor, each residence often organises smaller events where residents prepare and share food with each other. These events range from ‘suppers’ where groups of students work together to provide baked goods for their community, to events such as BBQs, ‘pot luck’ dinners and ‘international food nights’, where residents cook their favourite cultural foods and share these with each other. If a resident has food allergies and/or dietary requirements, it is important that they inform their Residential Support Team at the start of their residency so that accommodations can be made where possible.
It is also important that residents with special dietary requirements enquire about the ingredients in the pre- prepared meal that is being served to ensure that it satisfies their dietary needs. At any event where the Residential Support Team or Social Committees (Hall Societies) cook and/or serve meat or other protein sources, supervision of the preparation and serving of the cooked (hot) meals will be done by a member of the team who has completed the appropriate Food Safety Training Course.
MRS Halls cafe is open to all MRS residents, staff and visitors prices are kept as low as possible to try and fit into the average student’s budget. Owing to the fact that residents have not prepaid for their meals as part of their accommodation fee, as in other institutions, residents of MRS are able to obtain their meals from a variety of outlets. This gives residents the freedom to choose where and when they eat.
The Halls Café opens six days a week. During the academic year, meals are available on a cash or EFTPOS basis from the Halls Café on the ground floor of the buildings between Howitt and Deakin Halls at the following times:
For opening hours please visit the Halls Cafe section of the web page
Follow the Halls Cafe on facebook to view the menu and updates.
To maintain the appearance and atmosphere of the Halls Café, all residents are asked to clear their plates, crockery and cutlery to the specified area within the dining room. This will ensure that the Halls Café remains a pleasant environment.
The Halls Café kitchen produces halal, gluten free and vegetarian meals six days a week.
- Alcohol is not allowed in the Halls Café unless special permission is given.
- Smoking is not permitted in the Halls Café.
- Footwear must be worn at all times whilst in the Halls Café and the Function Room. Persons without footwear will be requested to leave.
The Halls Café does close at certain times of the year. Such times, however, will fall outside of the academic year. For example, there is a period over the summer vacation when the Halls Café is closed for an extended period for maintenance works to be carried out.
Throughout the year, free dinners known as dine-ins are held for Monash Residential Services residents in the Function Room. These dine-ins are organised by the Residential Support Teams, and are often themed.
Leaving food unattended
Residents are advised never to leave the kitchen while cooking as this is how several fires have started in the past.