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 | Prices: $30 for a mini, $58 for a regular) 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 | Prices: $16.50 per tub, $4.80 per scoop) 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: 20 Ghim Moh │ Tel: 97430808 | Price: $2.50) is our choice for the works. Unfortunately they are closed for renovations till December 2014. You can get your fix at Mei Heong Yuen Dessert (Address: 63-67 Temple Street │ Tel: 62211156 │ Opening hours: Sun–Fri 10.30am–9pm, Sat 10.30am–9.30pm | Price:$6) in Chinatown, this 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 | Prices: $14 for ala carte, Lunch: Mon-Fri $38, Sat-Sun $48; Dinner: Mon-Thu $68) 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 | Price: $6) serves individual D24 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 D24 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 | Price:$5.50).
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's (Address: 22 Scotts Road │ Tel: 67301746 | Price: $8.55 for two) luxurious D24 puffs 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 | Price: Price: $12.90 for 20) 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: Sakon Thai (Address:77 Jalan Wangi │ Tel: 62840630 | Opening hours: Daily 11am-3pm, 5-11pm | Price: $4.25) stays true to their name - only using Thai durians for their creamy goodness.
9. Durian Smoothie
Say what. You heard us right, the healthy drink (for most) has been boosted with the king of fruits. A concoction of pure D24 durians blended into a drink, it’s so good, it is one of the best sellers on any menu.
Where to eat: A1 Penang Chendol (Address: #01-186 Blk 822 Tampines Street 81 | Opening hours: Mon-Fri 11.30am-8pm, Sat-Sun 11.30am-5pm | Price: $3.30 for regular and $3.80 for the upsized version ) or from the Sugar Granny Café (Address: 5 Teo Hong Road | Opening hours: Mon-Sat noon-11pm | Price: $3.90 for takeaway)
10. 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, so be patient and wait for the Mao Shan Wang mooncakes at Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant (Address: Singapore Marriott Hotel, 320 Orchard Road │ Tel: 68314615 │ Opening hours: Daily 11.30am–2.30pm, 6–10.30pm | Price: $66 for a box of eight) 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).
|Durian chee cheong fun at |
Rice Roll & Porridge
11. Durian chee cheong fun
Chee cheong fun (Chinese dialect for ‘rice noodle role’), the traditional dim sum dish, has been given a new lease of life – instead of the usual savoury (usually prawn) fillings, it is stuffed with mao shan wang durian flesh. To serve, the chilled chee cheong fun is then sprinkled with a mixture of ground peanuts and sugar for crunch. We licked the plate clean.
Where to eat: Rice Roll & Porridge (Address: 89 Killiney Road | Opening hours: Daily 10.30am-10pm | Price: $5.50 for dine-in )
Celine Asril is guilty of taking pictures before tucking in to all her meals; it’s a [good] hazard of the job – this editor of HungryGoWhere never sits down to two of the same meals in a week. Need proof? Follow her work twitter feed at @HungryGoWhere.
Victoria Lim has always believed in the power words have over one. Her ultimate dream is to rule the world with her words, but for now she will be conquering the foodie scene, one bite, one word at a time.