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Durian delights: Enjoy omakase-style tastings and S$1 durian hotpot

Durian season is upon us, and whether you like it sweet, bitter or in your soup stock, there's a special dish out there for you.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year once again – for durian lovers, that is. Yes, ‘tis the season to crack open some ripe ones fresh off the back of the truck, so why hold back? There’s no better time to enjoy the stinking fruit than now.

But if you’re bored with just traipsing down to your usual dealer – erm, we mean supplier – for a few kilos of the fruit, the good news is that this season brings with it a bunch of new ways to experience durians.

There’s something adventurous to tickle your tastebuds, whether you like your durians bitter, sweet or in a S$1 hotpot. Yup, you read that right.


Sit at the durian bar for your tasting session at 99 Old Trees. (Photo: 99 Old Trees)

Confused about the exact differences between Black Thorn, Golden Phoenix, Red Prawn and Millennial Pink Hedgehog? Okay we made the last one up – but as much as we love the imaginative names given to durian varietals, they don’t really help us keep track of all their distinct characteristics.

If that sort of thing interests you and you’d like to become a more discerning connoisseur, then you’ll want to make a booking for a “SukaWa” session at 99 Old Trees, a year-old durian store by parent company Food Gor Durian Farm, located in West Pahang, Malaysia. At each session, durian experts will present six or more durian cultivars based on availability and quality, from the lightest taste profile to the most intense, and share interesting facts about each. The durians are paired with “cooling” drinks and desserts such as mint, cucumber and lemon water; whole coconuts; palate cleansers of hot tea; and homemade durian puffs.

Care for an hour of durian tasting and appreciation known as "SukaWa"? (Photo: 99 Old Trees)

Each 45-minute-to-hour-long session is open to a maximum of eight persons, as that’s how many the counter seats, and is limited to one session a day, so you’re required to make your reservation three days in advance. From now until Jun 20, it’s available at a special price of S$48 per person. After that, it’ll be S$60 per person until the season concludes at the end of August. The best part, if you ask us, is that you can also ask for unlimited extra portions of Mao Shan Wang or D24.    

99 Old Trees, Block 46 Owen Road #01-277 Singapore 210046


Durian hotpot is a great idea, isn't it? (Photo: ShopBack Go)

Okay, this one is for really adventurous palates only. Durian Hotpot is exactly what it sounds like: A soup stock boiled with durians, into which you dip your beef, chicken, fish, oysters, clams, cabbage, tofu, noodles – everything. The fruit apparently lends a sweetness and fragrance to the soup. And at Four Seasons Durians Restaurant, you can even pick the freshly-opened durians you want for your table.

The dish is available on the regular menu for S$35, but for the weekend of Jun 15 and 16 only, you can have it for just S$1 if you have the ShopBack Go app – just flash it at the restaurant to enjoy the deal.

While you’re there, you can also check out the other eyebrow-raising durian dishes on the menu such as Kampung Mao Shan Wang Durian Fried Rice, Mao Shan Wang Durian Charcoal Pizza, Durian Dome Mirror Cheesecake and Durian Lava Cake with Gelato. Again, you must really love durians to have a go at all of these – but you do, of course, if you’ve already read this far.

Four Seasons Durians Restaurant, Jewel Changi Airport, 78 Airport Boulevard, #B2-227/228


Durian Matcha Mont Blanc tarts (Photo: Goodwood Park Hotel) ​​​​​​​

If you’re not a durian purist – and indeed, durian can and ought to be enjoyed in a myriad of ways – you’ll know you can always count on Goodwood Park Hotel for sweet durian treats.

This year, there are six new offerings in their durian dessert lineup. These include the D24 Pandan Lapis Coconut Cake (S$16 per slice, S$88 nett per 1.2kg cake) featuring durian mousse and pandan sponge layers frosted with cream and coconut flakes; the D24 Royale Cheesecake (S$28 per 350g cake) that blends durian mousse with cream cheese; and the Matcha Mont Blanc Tart (S$14.80++ for two tarts, dine-in only; S$42 for six tarts), a creation of matcha and chestnut mousse, D24 durian pulp, matcha sponge, pistachios and white chocolate tuile.

These sweets and more are available until Jul 14 at Goodwood Park Hotel’s Dessert Buffet at Coffee Lounge, as well as The Deli.

Goodwood Park Hotel, 22 Scotts Road

Source: CNA/my