@227 Katong Durian - 227 East Coast Road, Singapore 428924
For some reason, DURIAN is a hot topic this year, compared to last year. Some say it's because of the excellent crop yield this year. It's so hot, that people are actually queuing for durians. Since when did we need to queue for durians?! Since there's hardly any land for agriculture here, durians are imported from Malaysia. They are seasonal and are available from June to August. Well you either hate or love durian. And you don't really have to taste it to decide whether you like it or not - all it takes is just a whiff of it. If you don't feel like running off in the other direction when you smell it, then chances are you would take the next step to taste it. If not, bear with it - while your friends enjoy the thorny fruit.
When the durian is pried open, the flesh is wrapped around individuals seed. You can find about 8 to 12 seeds on average per durian. For apples, there are the gala, fuji, granny smith's apples and so on - the same goes for durians. The renowned and crowd favourite durian used to be D24 (yes, it's like a model number). D24 however, has been dethroned by Mao Shan Wang (MSW) (known as Mountain Cat King translated from Mandarin). MSW is priced at a premium between $12 to $25 per kilogram. It's flesh is a deep yellow, the texture is creamy and the taste thick and bitter with a tinge of sweetness. The flavours are strong so just a few durians seeds would satisfy you. There are other durians which are excellent as well including the Golden Phoenix, Black Pearl, Red Prawn, Green Bamboo, so you can take your pick depending on your preference of creaminess, bitterness and sweetness.
The durians can be differentiated by looking at its shape, colour of the husk and the star pattern at the bottom of the fruit. Unless you have eaten tons of durian to be a pro, it's better to get the durian uncle to select the durian for you. He will pry it open for you to see if the flesh is good, and sometimes for you poke your finger in the flesh. Your finger should make a slight dent on the durian flesh. If your finger is coated with durian when you pull it out, then maybe you should get him to pick another one for you. (If you reject the durian, all the best to the next buyer who comes along.)
Most durian stalls have seating available. You will find a basket or box next to each table for your to dump the husks and seeds when you are done eating. Some stalls offer mineral water free of charge - you definitely need to drink water after durian because you will feel thirsty and to lessen the lingering durian breath in your mouth. Durian stalls now also have plastic disposable gloves for customer to use when they eat durian. The smell of durian lingers on your fingers for 1 day or 2 (even if you wash it with soap). So for some people (like Elyn :D), they would use gloves or a spoon or fork. The classic way though is using your good ole' fingers, so you can lick the last bit of durian off them when you're done eating. Lol~ If you want to get rid of the smell in your breath, you can grab a piece of an empty durian husk, fill it up with water and gargle.
The durian is the king of fruit. The queen is the mangosteen. People say that durian is a 'heaty' food (food that in Traditional Chinese Medicine says 'heaty' foods causes coughs, sore throats, constipation, fever and so on). So to neutralise it, have some mangosteens, which is a 'cooling' type of food. To maximise the durian experience, have as much as you can stomach with other durian lovers at a durian buffet which a handful of durian stalls offer. Some Singaporeans take a day trip across the Causeway to Johor in Malaysia for durian in a durian plantation itself. Lol~ Smell on!
Where you can have some durian:
1. 227 Katong Durian
Address: 227 East Coast Road, Singapore 428924
Tel: 9751 4828
2. 717 Trading
Address: 22 Yio Chu Kang Rd, Singapore 545535
3. Ah Seng Durian
Address: Blk 150A Ghim Moh Temporary Market #01-64