Singapore Drydocks

26th October 2007, 15:33
Met an engineer in the pub yesterday, and we got talking about times in Singapore during drydocks. I regard myself lucky as I seemed to end up in Singapore alot. Had great times as the whole officer compliment were put up in what seemed at the time (70's) a very posh hotel. The hotel was called the Oberoi Imperial, however after about a fortnight of Lobster Thermidor and Fillet steaks it became a bit boring so the ship superintendent allowed us to eat elsewhere and be reimbursed. This money usually was spent at Newtons Circus and beer in Bugis Street. After leaving BP and getting married,my wife was curious about my salty tales,So we took a holiday to Singapore.My how it had changed Bugis street was there but only a few bars existed, the Oberoi hotel was completly run down but Newton circus still served up some of the best food in town.

offcumdum sanddancer
26th October 2007, 18:22
I unfortunately had to spend 16 days in the Oberoi Imperial once, waiting for a ship, it was hell! Only so much lobster and oysters you can take.
The world WAS my lobster after that.

26th October 2007, 18:25
Newton Circus - Many happy "long lunches" that turned into dinners that turned into suppers, and then off to sample the night life!



27th October 2007, 00:09
My wife and I had many good dinners at Newton Circus when in drydock. When I returned about a year later, alone, I went with a few colleagues to the same stall for tiger prawns, and the proprietor said "your wife not with you this time?" What wonderful place.

Tony Breach
27th October 2007, 08:58
Spent 4 months at Sembawang converting a reefer to an airconditioned sheep carrier. Had a super local rented house for the family & a car. Only went to the big city once a week. The best restaurants were local, the City Gem at Chong Pang & Bobby's Bar, No16 at the Sembawang Patio. Aggie Weston's for great scrambled egg suppers!

Before leaving spent about 10 days at the Oberoi Imperial which was superb, great lobsters & also an excellent tandoori restaurant. That was back in 1975

senior pilot
4th November 2007, 23:49
have a look at google earth sembawang has all but gone redevelopment alex

5th November 2007, 09:49
There was a great workers' canteen in Sembewang drydock. Tipped off by the Chief Engineer, a Geordie, I sampled the pig's liver with ginger. Fantastic! I had it every lunchtime. One night I asked for it in Newtons Circus and the waiter told me it was only for Chinese people, I wouldn't like it. He meant well but I told him I was from Yorkshire and we ate **** too. Actually it wasn't as good as that served in the dockyard, but have to agree that Newtons Circus is a place not to be missed - nice story Chouan. Hope it's still going.

John T.

K urgess
5th November 2007, 11:26
Wasn't there an open air market outside the docks at Sembewang.
You could get a proper local/Chinese meal for a few dollars while deciding which knock-off pre-recorded cassettes to buy.(LOL)
I don't think I ever managed to eat everything, there was so much of it.
That was in '77 while I was there on Big Geordie for a few weeks of putting her back together.
My last runs ashore before giving it away.

6th November 2007, 21:05
I was lucky enough to do 'Singers' quite a bit aswell.

Gin Slings in the Long Bar in Raffles before heading out for the night, what?

Anyone remember 'Fatties Restuarant'? We used to eat there a lot, it was in Albert Street ,I think , not far from Bugis Street . Big plates of lovely grub just plonked down in the middle of the table. The dish I remember most was deep-fried baby frogs-legs.....gorgeous!
That's also where I learned to use about 4 seconds flat.

The best fun was with the dockyard workers though. We used to play footie with them after work, and then jump into the back of their open top wagons, and go down their 'local'. Great days.

10th November 2007, 18:41
'Chili Crab' & Tiger beer on Albert street then pop round the corner for the "girls" to take care of the first trip cadets!
The expressions on those guys faces was priceless if they didn't find out "who was what" until too late!!!

Steve Woodward
10th November 2007, 19:09
Had some happy times at Keppel Tuas drydocks, the local fishing village served up some mean seafood.
The ship in the dock somewhat took the edge off things see here (

5th December 2007, 20:02
British Commodore, March '77' spent an most enjoyable 2 months in dock and staying at the 'Oberoi'...the extra month, courtesy of a c-ck-up with the dock yard,
What a ship and one of the best Grocers I’ve ever sailed with was on her (his good lady was with him at the time, Smashing baker.) and I’m beggared if I can remember his name!
That’s the only time I have been knocked for six by a right hook from a skipper…?
Nothing drastic…
Captain by the name of Gallagher…hell of a nice guy…wee bloke… but more energy in him than a pile of ‘ever readies’…
Took it on his-self to demonstrate a boxing move… (after a few ‘Tigers’ in the hotel bar) problem was I didn’t ‘Move’ fast enough ... took it right on the bl—dy chin…good times…got a bottle of scotch out of that one!!
I know I have photos someplace… Must try dig them out…
Saw a great deal of the Island that trip…and the food…!!! Out of this world…
Even found my uncles name on ‘Changi’ memorial, courtesy of an old local guy who knew everything there was to know about the Japanese occupancy…
It just doesn’t seem the same place anymore…

6th December 2007, 23:21
Had 2 nights in the Oberoi Imperial in April 1973 waiting to join the British Guardsman, good hotel probably the best I stayed in with BP. However, they would not let me and the Engineer I was joining with leave until we had paid the bill for what we had drunk during our stay. Our luggage was taken away and held hostage. Having no money in my pocket or bank account for that matter after 3 months leave this was going to be a problem. They said that the Ships Agents would not accept bills including alcohol, the one and only time I ever heard of that. Seemingly some of our predecessors had gone a little over the top with their consumption, no wonder with the Singapore Slings and Planter's Punches, they were rather good especially from room-service in the middle of the night with a small snack. Roof top bar was good as well with the all-female band. It was also where I learned Bacardi and tonic with a slice of lime was pretty refreshing but this was in a downstairs bar.
Anyway they accepted a cheque from me which I wasn't too sure my bank would honour, but they did and wrote me a couple of nasty letters about writing cheques in foreign countries.
I can also recommend the turtle soup and the potatoes they did with roasted almonds but I can't recall what they were called on the menu.
Cheers George

9th December 2007, 22:30
Did a couple of weeks in drydock here, but wasn't lucky enough to be put up ashore we had to stay aboard, but we wern't to far from the Straits Settlements and other associated bars and not forgetting Connel House to use the pool.