Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Prima Revolving Restaurant over Singapore's Harbor

Today, our professors took us to a revolving restaurant overlooking the shipyard and harbor of Singapore. The Port of Singapore is apparently the largest transhipment point in the world, connecting the east and the west by sea. It was really interesting to see real-life port operations, especially after simulating the ports along the coast of East Africa for my Senior Design project. Though I'm fairly certain that the Singapore port operates much more efficiently than Mombasa, Djibouti or Dar es Salaam :) And it definitely has more berths, just look at all those cranes down the side of the port!

The restaurant was only on the 9th floor, but it was definitely high enough to provide a great view of the Port and of some of downtown Singapore. Professor Chen Zhou warned us that it would look like a warehouse from the outside. In this picture, you can barely see the little round part on top of the building, thats where we were!

On the way in, some of our group posed with the cut-out of the famous chef in the lobby. One of the local NUS students remarked that Bill (in the yellow shirt) sort of resembled the chef.

Then, the guys tried to pack the elevator over its full capacity, or should I say FCL? Can you tell we're all Industrial Engineers?

It turned out to be a really fancy restaurant... they served all 30+ of us a 6 course meal with Peking duck! Here is the girls table(plus Chris and Adi): we're still at LTL because we were waiting on a lady from DHL to join us.

This is me, Doris and Michelle! Doris is our friend who actually attends NUS, she is from China and super sweet. She was our tour guide around campus the first day and just finished up her supply chain internship at Apple here in Singapore.

We started out the meal with shark fin soup. It was kind of strange, the shark fin was very stringy and the soup had a thick consistency like egg drop soup.

The place setting on the table was a bit interesting, your tea cup sits on the left instead of your right. So much for learning the "b and d" technique with your hands in Total Person.

After the soup, we had a dish with 2 tiliapias. Annie loved the fish heads.

Next was a shrimp dish (they were the biggest shrimp that Annie had ever seen).

Our next course was the Peking duck wraps. I think these are like the tacos of the Chinese culture, with duck skin, meat, and a green onion inside a rice flour wrap covered in real duck sauce. Duck sauce should not be that orangey sweet and sour sauce that people always ask for at Rusans.

We also had some vegetables with scallops and a noodle dish. I think the noodle dish had duck meat in it as well.

For dessert, we had fruit (of course)and some sort of fried pancake with red bean paste inside. We always have fruit after the meal at home, I suppose this is one aspect of the asian culture that I am already used to!

During the course of the meal, Joe came over to show off his newly acquired skills of pouring tea without touching the hot teapot.

Seeing the port from above was really cool, especially since you get a much better sense of how big their operations actually are. Just look at the size of these yellow cranes, and how the white offices on top of them look so small. Those offices probably have the standard 10 ft tall ceiling.

Each container vessel will dock at a berth and wait to be unloaded and reloaded by these cranes. The vessel will be loaded with cargo depending on its final destination or next transhipment point, so that it will carry a full container load. After being loaded with cargo, the vessel will u-turn (assisted by tugboats) and head back out of the port. There are not really any warehouses in the port, except these few warehouses that break-bulk the containers for more optimal loading. These are probably the most aesthetic warehouses that I've ever seen (the blue buildings with glass windows and roofs).

There are a ridiculous number of containers at the port. Talk about an absolutely ridiculous queue.

The contemporary white building on the right is the Vivo Mall, the crazy 4 floor shopping mall that we went to our 1st day in Singapore! It doesn't look that tall in this photo but I think there are some basement floors. And the island on the left is Sentosa Island, where we took our first field trip.


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