Durian lovers will agree – nothing quite hits the spot like fresh creamy durian. From its distinct pungence to its explosive flavour and bittersweet aftertaste, durian – divisive as it may be – is definitely in a league of its own. As we inch towards durian season in June, here are five different ways to get your fix of the king of fruits and make a mini-adventure of it.
1. Experience Durian Fine Dining
If you think “durian” and “fine dining” don’t belong in the same sentence, think again. At Goodwood Park’s Durian Fiesta, D24 durians are crafted into eight elegant desserts. Exquisitely combined with other fruits, creations such as D24 Lychee Blossom Cake, D24 Banana Flambé Cake, D24 Crystal Apricot Dome, D24 Strawberry Mascarpone Filo Tart, D24 Raspberry Sacher Bar and Mini D24 Roulade Trio beautifully elevate the durian’s flavour profile. Enjoy the Trio Sampler ($36++) or Quintet Sampler ($62++) after your mains at the Coffee Lounge, L’Espresso or Min Jiang, or bring your favourite creations home for special occasions.
SAFRA members enjoy a 20% discount on Durian Fiesta pastries; more info at www.safra.sg/promotions/gwp-durian-fiesta
Available at Goodwood Park Hotel, 22 Scotts Road till 24 July.
2. Go on a Durian High Tea Date
Ms Durian Cafe’s Mao Shan Wang Durian High Tea ($45) is a cool alternative to your standard platter. Though it features some regular savouries such as Crab Salad, Baked Salmon and Fried Cheese, the highlight of the tea are the rich Durian Tarts, crisp Baby Durian Craquelins, sweet Durian Macarons and flavourful Durian Cheese Mousse. If these tantalising treats leave you craving more, try the MSW Durian Pudding made with Mao Shan Wang durian and fresh coconut milk, and the Whisky MSW Durian Cake where the rich bittersweet notes of durian are balanced with woody flavoured Whisky.
11 Kelantan Road, Tel: 6962 0057
3. Savour Legit Durian Dessert
The problem with many durian desserts is that the durian gets lost in all the fuss. Not at Durian Lab Cafe, an eatery opened by Ah Seng Durian, which durian lovers will be familiar with. Offering kampong durians sporadically in the 1980s, this durian seller grew into a well-known durian retailer known for its high-quality fruit imported from Malaysia. At Durian Lab Café, try the burnt cheesecake, kueh salat durian tart, cruffins and ice cream, which use fresh Mao Shan Wang flesh, without any artificial flavouring.
119 Bukit Merah Lane 1, Tel: 9159 6160
4. Discover an Instagrammable Durian Cafe
If you love cafe-hopping, add 99 Old Trees to your list. Think: industrial chic decor, hand-painted murals and cool menu names. The Stinky Bomb is a golden choux au craquelin piped with fresh Mao Shan Wang durian flesh and cream, Stinky Chendul tops the classic local dessert with a scoop of rich D24, and the Stinky Bowl packs a punch with D24 durian mousse and puree. This hipster haunt also sells the actual fruit during durian season – carting in varieties such as Mao Shan Wang, D24, Tekka and Red Prawn fresh from Malaysia daily.
1 Teo Hong Road, Tel: 9822 2495
5. Go on a JB Durian Road Trip
Now that the Causeway has finally reopened, why not enjoy a durian road trip to Johor Bahru between the months of June and August? During durian season, you will spot many roadside durian stalls such as Ah Shui Durian Taman Sutera Utama (near Katsura Garden) and Ah Tong’s Durian Stall (near KSL City Mall) offering a wide variety of durians including Mao Shan Wang, D24, Red Prawn, Black Pearl and Black Thorn. If you are taking the kids, you could even include a durian farm visit in the itinerary. Some options include Sim Koa Yen, Zhong Cheng Durian Farm and Desaru Fruit Farm. The last of the trio offers 180 acres of tropical fruit land with innumerable varieties of fruits, including durians. It even comes with its own petting zoo.
Planning a trip across the Causeway? Check out these other must-visit destinations in Malaysia for every type of traveller.
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