After a six-month refurbishment, the Shell station at Tampines Avenue 2 is ready to welcome customers with some brand new features well worth shouting about.
It’s not just piecemeal improvements like a new coat of paint, a new facade, a new look for the pump islands – although the station does boast the above and is now so pretty it will make you gasp. The whole station has been thoughtfully revamped from the inside to outside, and you’re bound to be pleasantly surprised when you drive, cycle or walk in.
From the retail outlet, food and beverage offerings, customer experience, and eco-friendly fittings, everything inside the station has been futuristically zhng-ed.
Here’s what you should look out for when you visit. We’ve thoughtfully ranked the new features in descending order of excitement level:
- First McDonald’s Drive-Through within a petrol station in Singapore
McDonald’s has a total 16 Drive-Thrus islandwide and this is the newest, as well as first to be situated inside a petrol station. The architects have made full use of all 4,000 square metres in the petrol station, and the queue can accommodate up to 15 cars. If you have large orders, there are three parking lots in the station where you can park and wait.
Let’s say you drive to Shell Tampines Ave 2 just for McDonald’s and do not need to refill your tank. You can simply take the dedicated lane for the Drive-Thru, and drive out of the station after collecting your order. The full McDonald’s menu is available. Not to fret, if you do need to refill your tank as well, you can also order your McDonald’s from a takeaway counter inside the Shell retail space.
And if you’re a cyclist, you can park your bicycle and sit down to eat your fast food. There’s a booth where you can secure your ride – which leads us to the next exciting new feature at Shell Tampines Ave 2.
- “Take A Brake” bicycle shelter with dedicated bicycle air pump
If you are a Tampines resident, you would probably already know (and be proud of) the fact that your town was made Singapore’s first “cycling town” in 2010. This means that cyclists and pedestrians are legally allowed to share a footpath. Tampines was also the first town to have a completed cycling path network under the National Cycling Plan. So, if you visit Tampines, you might notice that it feels like almost at least one person in every household appears to be out on two wheels. And a lot of them like to pump their bike tyres at the air pumps located at petrol kiosks. (This includes my own mother, a Tampines resident.) Shell Tampines Avenue 2 happens to be a popular location with cyclists because it lies on the Tampines Park Connector, and is only a couple minutes away from Tampines MRT station.
To serve these avid cyclists, Shell decided to build a shaded bicycle bay complete with parking and rest areas. It has a bicycle hoist station, with holder bars, bicycle repair tools like Allen keys, and a dedicated air pump for bicycles. Usage is free of charge. When I told my mum this, she whooped with joy because bicycle shops in the neighbourhood actually charge ($0.50 or $1) if you want to use their air pumps.
- Freshly baked pastries, yummy Ready-To-Eat meals, and special Wall’s ice cream desserts at Deli by Shell
In place of the 7-11 convenience store which used to be at Shell Tampines Avenue 2 is Shell Select, which will eventually replace all the 7-11 outlets across Shell stations in Singapore when Shell’s contract with the convenience store franchise ends this year. Other than the usual items you can pick up at a convenience store, you can find proper hot food here. There’s even a refreshment corner with seating.The main unique selling point about Shell Select is Deli by Shell, its on site deli, where one can pick up delectable pastries such as Firecracker Sausage Roll ($3.50), Chocolate Roll ($2.40), and Banana Puff ($2.40). I tried all the above and give them two thumbs up! They were served piping hot, crispy and flaky on the outside and soft and flavourful on the inside. They don’t stint on the filling and a puff or pie would serve as a substantial snack. Prices range from $1 for a cookie to $3.50 for the Firecracker Sausage Roll.
Deli by Shell also serves ready-to-eat meals ($3.50 to $5.50) to satiate cravings. They have Homestyle Mee Siam (stir-fried dry mee siam with prawns, egg and veg), Singapore Laksa Pasta (the sauce is great and it comes with prawns and fishcake), Maharaja Tandoori Chicken with Biryani Rice (the basmati biryani rice is rather fragrant and not too hot), Classic Spaghetti Bolognaise (didn’t get to try this, but sounds like a predictable non-spicy noodle option for a picky child), Hong Kong Fragrant Steamed Rice (didn’t get to try this, but sounds good, has chicken, mushrooms and lup cheong).
If you want dessert, you can even get freshly-scooped Wall’s ice cream in the form of four special ice cream based desserts created as a result of an exclusive collaboration between Wall’s and Deli by Shell. They are: 1) Nanyang Brekkie (cappuccino ice cream with butter croissant, topped with pandan kaya and crushed peanuts), 2) Apple Pie a a Mode, 3) Matcha Azuki, and 4) Chocolate Indulgence. Each of them features a butter croissant, which is supposed to be toasted just before serving. All of it is put together with its toppings on the spot a la minute for you.
- Eco-friendly features like rainwater harvesting and sun tubes
The forecourt area (in front of Shell Select) is lit with solar tubing, which eliminates the need for electricity to illuminate this part of the station during the day. The station is equipped with a rainwater harvesting system, with water harvested used to water the plants on the green walls and to flush the toilets, which are, by the way, now retrofitted with child-friendly toilet seats and a child seat harness. Rainwater is not used in the car wash though.
- New air pump unit with built-in finger wash
The new air pump unit has vastly improved from the old one, with a built-in finger wash to remove grime after you’ve filled your tyres with air. The air tubes (not sure whether this is what they’re called) are no longer left hanging about all over the place but are retractable, just like a vacuum cleaner cord.
Eventually, all of Shell’s 57 stations in Singapore will undergo this transformation as well, with variations tailor-made for the needs of each station’s locale. We can’t wait.