Gourmets on the move: A culinary journey through Singapore
Bus operator Duck & Hippo offers a moving gastronomic experience in Singapore. Guests can enjoy regional delicacies as part of a city sightseeing tour. A luxurious MAN double-decker bus houses the restaurant on wheels.
- Soon Chow built dining area seating 34 into double-decker based on MAN A69 chassis
- Operator combines city tour with local cuisine
- Total of over 950 MAN buses on road in Singapore
The GOURMETbus makes it possible to enjoy culinary delights while seeing the impressive sights of Singapore. The MAN double-decker’s upper deck hosts a restaurant with room for 32 guests, with the kitchen located on the lower deck. The driver takes the tour-goers to spots including the Esplanade performing arts centre, the National Gallery, Chinatown, the world-famous Gardens by the Bay (including a stop with a short visit), and the world’s largest fountain at Suntec City. Throughout the journey, Samsui ginger chicken and dim sum are served at midday or Indo-Chinese dishes in the evening. “The MAN GOURMETbus is a refreshing concept that creatively combines a culinary experience with sightseeing. It also shows the innovative possibilities that MAN can offer all around the world with its products in cooperation with body manufacturers,” says Tim Schuler, Sales Manager Bus at MAN Truck & Bus Asia Pacific.
MAN worked with body manufacturer Soon Chow to develop a new and customised solution for the road-bound restaurant. “The concept and execution are one-of-a-kind in Asia,” Schuler adds. A 12-metre-long MAN A69-type chassis is the structural basis for the GOURMETbus. The two-axle low entry chassis includes a 250 hp (184 kW) Euro 5 engine. Features such as the electronic brake system (EBS), along with ABS and traction control, act to provide safety and comfort. Additionally, the electronically controlled air suspension (ECAS) system ensures superior driving comfort.
Painted as it is in elegant black, the vehicle is an instant head-turner. And guests do not cease to marvel once they have boarded. “The double-decker offers all the conveniences of an upscale restaurant, as reflected in the interior layout and design,” Schuler explains. The guests start by walking a red carpet to enter the lower deck, home to the kitchen. This contains everything needed to heat and plate the dishes, which are delivered fresh before the tour. Two servers supply the two-course set meals and drinks during the trip around Singapore. A flight of stairs leads to the upper deck and its restaurant. “The beautifully laid tables and indirect ambient lighting greet the guests and create a pleasant atmosphere,” Schuler continues. The 14 projectors keep the mood lively, projecting a slide show directly onto the guests’ tables. The MAN double-decker is also equipped with wireless public announcement microphones, a sound system and WiFi access.
But for some time now, the MAN GOURMETbus has not been the only exceptional city bus in Singapore that bears the Brunswick Lion emblem. “Tourists and locals alike can discover the city in wonderful ways with the numerous hop-on, hop-off buses and two historic MAN trolleybuses,” Tim Schuler states.
122 low-floor MAN double-deckers also began operating recently in Singapore. These were created in a joint venture with Malaysian body manufacturer Gemilang Coachworks, supported by MAN Truck & Bus Asia Pacific and the local importer, STK. This followed an order placed for 60 units in 2015, making the MAN bus fleet in Singapore over 950 units strong. Christian Schuf, Sales Manager Bus at MAN Truck & Bus Asia Pacific, is pleased to announce that “thanks to our product portfolio expanding to include the new double-decker chassis rolled out in the last year, we are in a position to present the complete product range that can meet our customers’ diverse needs – from the 12-metre Solobus and 18-metre articulated bus to the 12-metre double-decker.” Vehicles as exceptional as the GOURMETbus are also among that number.