ALSO FOR DURIAN PANCAKES Unnamed stall at People’s Park Complex
The area is too crowded for these guys to offer seats, or pre-orders for that matter. But large styrofoam packs of durians go from $4 per pack (Sultan aka D24) to $12 per pack (Mao Shan Wang). Along with the Queen St stall, this appears to be one of the best-priced stalls around for durian. Coincidentally, its durian pancakes (thin wafer-crepes made fresh and filled with chilled D24 durian puree) at $1.20 are also heavenly. We like that the stallholders are as quick with their hands as they are with their smiles.
Address: #01-28, People's Park Complex | Opening hours: Daily 9am-10.30pm
FOR HELPFUL SERVICE Fruit stall at Block 34, Upper Cross St
Patient and helpful service is always a plus, and they have it here. The stall sells red-flesh, sweet durians from Malaysia. No seats are available, neither is pre-ordering.
Address: #01-160, Block 34 Upper Cross Street | Opening hours: Daily 9am-10pm
FOR GOOD QUALITY BOXED DURIANS Metro Trading
This no-seating durian stall hinges off the fruit stall of the same name, and is only set up for durian season. Whole durians are brought here, but they’re quick to transfer them into a box, so get here early. We found the gem of the Butter durian here, along with Mao Shan Wang and a few other cultivars. Always remember to bargain the prices down, especially when it comes in a box. Pre-orders can be taken.
Metro Trading | Address: Block 531 Upper Cross Street, Hong Lim Complex | Opening hours: Mon - Fri 8am-5pm
MUST PRE-ORDER Wan Li Xiang
With over 40 years of history, this carpark stall with seats (formerly at the carpark at the entrance to Dempsey) has gathered a faithful following, not just with residents nearby. The friendly mobile stallholders usually hawk Segamat durians (around $10 per kg). Other durians sold here are the Hong Xia (“Red Prawn”) durians at $10 per kg, the Mao Shan Wang (“Cat Mountain King”) durian at different prices for different season, as well as four or five other types of durian. The durians normally get sold out by around 8pm, so make sure you pre-order.
Wan Li Xiang | Address: Carpark behind Block 7, Dempsey Rd | Tel: 97562385 or 94394578 | Opening hours: Afternoon to 10pm
FOR TAKE-HOME ONLY Teo Boon Teck
Durians are sold whole and start from $10 per kg, with prices for Hong Xia, D24 and Mao Shan Wang durians varying according to the season and supply. Owned and manned by the elderly and very genial Teo Boon Teck and his daughter, who guarantees that they will choose the best durian for the customer. No seats are available for dine-in although pre-orders are possible.
Teo Boon Teck | Address: Albert Street, along Short Street | Tel: 98738466 or 63966321 | Opening hours: Daily 11am to 10pm
FOR TAKE-HOME ONLY Unnamed stall in Toa Payoh
The boss of this stall is a veteran in the business who cracks and empties durian into boxes at top speed. The no-seating stall is generally bustling with people looking to buy durians, and is manned by friendly, smiley staff. The packed durians look ripe, rich, succulent and yellow.
Address: outside #01-306, Toa Payoh Central Blk 183 | Opening hours: 5pm till late
FOR DINE-IN TOO Durian stall at 261 Balestier Rd
It was at this stall with over 50 years of history that we had a lovely, rich and potent Mao Shan Wang durian at $25 per kg. Mr Ang stocks a whole array of durians such as the Golden Phoenix ($20 per kg), Hong Xia (Red Prawn, $12 per kg), small-seed durians ($12 per kg), XO and Sultan (D24). He also claims that his good service has won him celebrity fans such as Fann Wong, Christopher Lee and even Chow Yun Fatt. Perhaps it’s the added convenience of a toilet too?
Address: 261 Balestier Road, in front of the Chinese Tua Pek Gong temple | Tel: 81430495 or 90292837 | Opening hours: 1pm-midnight
NOT YOUR TYPICAL BENG STALLSeasonal Durian Stall
Young punk-looking boys are the sellers here – they don’t own this Balestier joint, but work for the owners, so they might not be as friendly or as ready to give you a discount. Still, they’re largely honest and will keep opening durians until you’re satisfied with the fruit. Pre-order your Hong Xia Wang (“Red Prawn King”) and Hu Lu Wang (“Gourd King”) to dine on the premises – they provide free water.
Address: 279 Balestier Point | Opening hours: Daily 2pm-midnight
HONEST AND AMICABLE SERVICE Kean Lye Fruit Trading
The stall is tiny, perched in between a shop and the side lane of a flyover. If you do take the time to pull over (parking’s in the back), in the early season you’ll likely findD13 Mix at $12 per kg. You’ll also be dealing with sellers who are happy to sell them to you because they love their fruit and job, not because they’re desperate to peddle. There are no seats available, but you can try asking.
Kean Lye Fruit Trading | Tel: 766 Upper Serangoon Road | Tel: 62844007 | Opening hours: Daily noon-midnight
CRITICS’ PICK Ah Hung Company
The seller was extremely accommodating to our requests, opening as many durians till we found the perfect one. What was especially thoughtful was his willingness to share his vast knowledge on durians. With service and honesty like this, you’d want to dine in at the tables in the lane. You can pre-order the Mao Shan Wang at $18 per kg, XO Durian at $15 per kg or Shan Ba Durian (“Kampung Durian”) at $5 per durian, or just wing it; it’s open 24 hours so there should be enough fruit to go around.
Ah Hung Company | Address: 204 Geylang Road | Tel: 67433509 | Opening hours: Daily 24 hours
FOR WELL-PRICED PACKED DURIANS Unnamed stall at Sims Avenue
This stall sells its packed durians at the best prices, ranging from a huge selection of $2 packs, to the premier $18 ones. They’re all pre-packed and shrink-wrapped in Styrofoam boxes, which is not ideal but very convenient if you're buying for folks at home. Which is just as well: there are no permanent seating available, although the shop owners will not mind pulling up a chair for customers in the evenings. Don’t be afraid - the men tending the stall are gruff but good-humoured. They may not give a discount on the already very well-priced durian, but they definitely know their fruit. Do pre-order.
Address: 280 Sims Avenue | Tel: 68426828 | Opening hours: Daily 24hours
MODEST ESTABLISHMENT Hoe Seng Heng Durian Centre
Durians range from the Segamat to the D24, with the Mao Shan Wang hidden at the rear. Prices at this It's a modest establishment range from one for $2 to three for $20. Premium fruit can fetch around $15 each. Sellers are easy-going and don't mind giving you a discount if you are nicely insistent.
Hoe Seng Heng Durian Centre | Address: 216 Tanjong Katong Road | Tel: 97505886 | Opening hours: 1pm till 12.30am
GENEROUS SEATING SPACEWonderful Fruit Enterprise
Among the many durian shops that line Geylang and Sims Ave, this must be one of the better ones. Rumours has it that its prices are exorbitant: starting for $10 for three Segamat durian to $10-$15 per D24, to $25 for three for the XO, and $28 per kg for the Mao Shan Wang. What sets the stall apart is the service: it’s pleasant to dine on premises because of the generous seating space, interesting durian selection process and free dispensed water.
Wonderful Fruit Enterprise | Address: 147 Sims Avenue, along Geylang Lorong 17 | Tel:68429011 or 84373888 | Opening hours: 5pm till late
Find out which stall (not listed here) made it as our "worst stall in the city" Read here.