Durian History serves up piping hot pancakes | Photo credit: Durian History Facebook
You don’t sit on the fence about the durian; you’re either passionate about the king of fruits, or passionately disgusted by it. Love it or hate it, it is durian season and there is an abundance of the dastardly rich fruit. So, assuming you love it, here are 10 delicious ways to satisfy your craving for it, some of which can be enjoyed all year ’round too:
1. Straight up
This is not for the faint-hearted. You have to love the feel of the soft, dense flesh, and the smell that lingers long after you’ve licked up the last bit of durian from your fingers.
Where to eat: Known affectionately as the ‘Dempsey carpark durian stall’, Wan Li Xiang (Address: Holland Road, Fringe Car Park Lot 52/53 off Dempsey Road │ Tel: 97562385 or 84843957 │ Opening hours: Daily, some time in the afternoon to 10pm) has been around for more than 30 years. Durians can be consumed on premises.
|Tip: Durians in Geylang are more expensive|
2. Durian cake
Thick spreads of ripe durian flesh and puree are sandwiched by light layers of sponge cake. You get the creamy, spongy textures and the heady flavours in one bite. It’s best eaten slightly chilled, especially if you like your durians a little less headstrong.
Where to eat: 727 Cakerie (Address: #01-01 Highland Centre Yio Chu Kang, 22 Yio Chu Kang Road │ Tel: 64872777 │ Opening hours: Daily 9am–11pm which started out as a market stall in Punggol in 1973; or the centrally-located Durian History (Address: #01-28 People's Park Complex, 1 Park Road │ Opening hours: Daily 10am–10pm)
|A scoop of Mao Shan Wang |
durian ice cream
3. Durian ice cream
Once you indulge yourself in this rich, calorie-laden confectionery at the best ice-creameries in Singapore, it’s truly hard to stop. With a flavour so bold, complex and distinct, and a texture like velvet—you’ll never go back to vanilla again.
Where to eat: The Daily Scoop (Address: #01-78 Chip Bee Gardens, Blk 43 Jalan Merah Saga │ Tel: 64753128 │ Opening hours: Mon–Thu 11am–10pm, Fri & Sat 11am–10.30pm, Sun 2–10pm) does a Mao Shan Wang version that tastes like pure pureed frozen durian flesh.
4. Durian ice kacang or Durian shaved ice
These local desserts are must-haves. The former is a rainbow mountain of ice flavoured with gula Melaka (Malay for ‘palm sugar’), rose and pandan (Malay for ‘screwpine’) syrups, topped with a scoop of durian ice cream. The latter is a tall cliff-like structure of airy, tissue-like textured ice reminiscent of a creamy sorbet.
Where to eat: Annie’s Peanut Ice Kachang (Address: #02-36 Tanjong Pagar Plaza Market and Food Centre │ Opening hours: Mon–Fri 10.30am–7.15pm; Sat & Sun 10.30am–6pm) is our choice for the works, while Mei Heong Yuen Dessert (Address: 63-67 Temple Street │ Tel: 62211156 │ Opening hours: Sun–Fri 10.30am–9pm, Sat 10.30am–9.30pm) in Chinatown is the place for shaved ice.
5. Durian pengat
To make this, durian flesh is mixed with water, coconut sugar, coconut milk and pandan leaves and left to bubble slowly over an open fire. You can wait until this has cooled to have it, but it’s best eaten warm.
Where to eat: Those with big appetites should swoop in to the buffet at Ellenborough Market Café (Address: Level 1 Swissotel Merchant Court, 20 Merchant Road │ Tel: 62391848 │ Opening hours: Daily 7am–10.30pm) which has a durian pengat station. Peramakan (Address: #03-00 Keppel Club, 10 Bukit Chermin Road │ Tel: 62727585 │ Opening hours: Daily 11am–3pm, 6–10pm) serves individual portions, and adds steamed yams and sweet potatoes to theirs.
6. Durian pudding
It’s got the best of all worlds, really: durian pudding is indulgent but not heavy, and does not leave the eater with the infamous durian breath.
Where to eat: You’ll find these in most Chinese restaurants. We like the pud at Imperial Treasure Cantonese Cuisine (Address: #02-06 Great World City, 1 Kim Seng Promenade │ Tel: 67322232 │ Opening hours: Mon–Fri 11.30am–3pm, 6–11pm; Sat, Sun & public holidays 10.30am–3pm, 6–11pm).
You can also make your own durian dessert with these recipes
|The spread at the Durian Fiesta at |
Goodwood Park Hotel
7. Durian puffs
Durian puffs, the friendlier, more accessible version of durian itself. Purists denounce them, complaining that the pure durian experience is contaminated by cream filling and pastry puff. But many others rave about them. Most durian puffs are made of a mixture of durian and cream, but there are some made with pure durian pulp.
Where to eat: Goodwood Park Hotel(Address: 22 Scotts Road │ Tel: 67301746) during their annual durian fiesta in June/July. For all other months, hit up Puteri Mas(Address: 475 Joo Chiat Road │ Tel: 63448629 │ Opening hours: Mon 10am–7pm, Tue–Sun 9am–9pm) for their Nyonya-style durian puffs.
8. Durian milkshake
Move aside avocado. The durian, when in season, is a popular milkshake flavour, and rightly so: it’s a thick, creamy blend of ice cream, durian and milk. It’s so good and filling, it could be a meal in its own right.
Where to eat: Kiang Kee Cold and Hot Neo Bee Ting(Address: #01-38 Circuit Road Food Centre, Blk 79 Circuit Road │ Opening hours: Daily noon-midnigh; closed on alternate Saturdays) or from the Four Seasons Durians(Address: #B207-3-2 Takashimaya, 391 Orchard Road │ Opening hours: 10am–9.30pm │Three other locations) chain that is in four locations in the city.
9. Durian mooncake
We think durian works better in snow-skinned mooncakes than in traditional ones. Snow skin is lighter and softer, and encases a rich durian puree better.
Where to eat: Mooncake season officially starts in August, but you can get a headstart with the durian mooncake offerings at Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant (Address: Singapore Marriott Hotel, 320 Orchard Road │ Tel: 68314615 │ Opening hours: Daily 11.30am–2.30pm, 6–10.30pm) and Peony Jade (Address: #02-02 Clarke Quay, Blk 3A River Valley Road │ Tel: 63380305 or 63380138 │ Opening hours: Daily 11am–2.30pm, 6–10.30pm).
10. Durian tau huay
Tau huay (Chinese dialect for ‘bean curd’) is cool again, thanks to the continuing wave of bean curd stalls being set up all around town. Competition is stiff, with each seller trying to perfect their recipe for the silkiest curd. Even so, that’s not enough. Sellers also have to come up with a multitude of flavours to continue to entice customers. The combination of durian and soy bean may sound like a little strange, but the decadence of the thorny fruit blends well with the smooth texture of the curd.
Where to eat: Read our pick of the 5 best stalls to have bean curd in Singapore
Formerly food & drink editor at Time Out Singapore magazine, Celine Asril's other previous incarnations include food blogger, cook, and food photographer's assistant. The avid WWOOFer and Twitter-jointed writer has been published on CNNgo, Forbes Travel and in Asian Gourmet and Smile magazine. She is now adding edible codes to inSing.com. Follow her work twitter feed at @inSingFood.