Malaysian Genting Durian available in Singapore

When I was at the Paragon Supermarket (in the basement of the shopping center), I spotted durian in the chilled fruit section, which is unusual as the smell is quite strong and most supermarkets don’t put them with most other fruit. There was a nice young man who stood by the durians as their promoter and cheerfully asked me where I was from. When I told him KL, he said “Oh, I’m also from Malaysia, JB actually!” and when I whipped out my camera to take a quick shot, he encouraged me and told me that his durians were from Genting, probably on the Pahang side.

Fresh Durians Chilled at Paragon Singapore

Fresh Durians from Genting Highlands at Paragon Singapore Supermarket

I thought it was great packaging, prior to Chinese New Year. Firstly the bright red stripe which says “Guo Wang” as in King of Fruits in Mandarin Chinese. The yellow flesh of the durian in the background makes for a good backdrop for the red stripe and the black box which acts as a frame.

You can also see that each of the durian pellicles are neatly packaged in a disposable paper boat which separates one from another.

Best of all.. the price! Buy 2 get 1 free!

Well, I was tempted once again but resisted the urge as to eat it would have been anti-social as none of my siblings actually like durian and they hate the smell.

Come to think of it, there wasn’t much of a smell and perhaps the durian was opened and packaged prior to ripening. Not great, as durians should be eaten exactly ripe when the fruit just falls of the tree the day before. Otherwise the flesh is either too firm or too soggy. But hey, the biotechnology of durian cultivation is getting better every day. Just wish I could say that about my own experience….

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Durian Cakes and Pastries at Pavilion Mall, Kuala Lumpur

Durian Booth Stall at Pavilion Mall, KL

Pavilion Mall is one of the places that we go to regularly for food, whether its to the Crystal Jade Kitchen or the Republic food court, or to La Bodega for some tapas once in a while. If you check out the booth type shops opposite JCo Donuts, the shops have had some turnover, for example Polar Pastries (famous for Singapore Cream Puff) has left. Lavender Cake Shop from Johor Bahru does a fairly roaring trade, more so than BreadTalk just across the walkway. Behind Lavender, you will notice that there is a shop selling assorted pastries made of Durian.

Called “Durian Durian” (could this be related to the shop in Singapore..? I thought it would be useful to document the items that they sell since they were kind enough to let me examine their products and take my photos.

It’s a nice and clean booth and you can see them making the durian pancakes fresh on the hot plate.

I didn’t try any of the durian goodies so please don’t take this as a recommendation but it is a good reference to know where you can get some of these goodies if you have a craving to satisfy.

Durian Pancakes

Now for close ups!

Durian Pancakes freshly made upon order, but I have no idea about the mochi.

Durian Puff anyone?

Fresh Durian Cream Puff

Durian Traditional Kueh Kueh

Durian Swiss Rolls - Chocolate, Vanilla, Pandan etc

Note that they specifically tell the consumer “We use only original pure durian”.

I haven’t tried any of these yet as I prefer the fresh fruit any day, but if you beat me to the taste test, do let me know…

Durian Muffins

Assorted Drinks to Cool Down After Durian

2 Durian Saplings are Thriving in Bristol

Durian Sapling in Bristol

3 year old Durian Sapling in a Bristol Flat

Thank you Chris for sending us a photo of your durian sapling (btw, definition: sapling = young tree) which is absolutely beautiful.

Notice that its grown very tall (would you say 1 ft a year Chris?) and the leaves are very well formed and lush green.

A note from Chris on his Stinky Spike:

“This Durian sapling is about 3 years old. I planted the seeds from a fruit I bought in China Town, London. Because I am in the UK and winters here are cold, I germinated the seeds on a heated pad, like the ones they use for reptiles and amphibians. I now keep the growing tree near a radiator (which other plants seem to hate because it dries them out!), but I water it often with luke warm water from the kettle. I also planted it in ericaeous compost (I think normal potting compost is too rich for durian plants). All in all, it seems to tolerate my drafty flat in Bristol much better than expected!”

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Chris, I have a few questions for you (hope you don’t mind!):

1. Did you start off growing this tree in the same pot as you have now or did you transplant it from a smaller pot?

2. I notice that the leaf tips turn brown, mine does too, any idea why? (is it natural?)

3. When your plant grew, did it lose any of its initial leaves along the way?

4. Did your plant grow from the base and is there a rough-ish texture along the initial stem?

5. Why is there a mirror beside the pot? Is this to reflect more light onto the leaves?

6. How long do you intend to keep it in your flat before you think it needs to be planted outdoors?

7. Do you intend to attempt at making a durian bonsai?

8. Do you love Durian fruit?

I am really looking forward to seeing Chris’s photos on his Durian Sapling’s sibling, which he donated to the botanic gardens of Bristol. Apparently, it is thriving in a heated greenhouse and is in better shape!

It would be pretty amazing if suddenly Bristol could become a European durian hub. But its going to be tough to beat the variety we have here in Malaysia 🙂

Durian Durian Cafe in Singapore

While driving around Singapore near one of my friend’s apartments, I spied this cafe called “Durian Durian” next to a junction along East Coast (Woo Mon Chew Road).

It was closed, I’m not sure whether it was closed for the day, or closed for good.

Anyone from Singapore have any idea?

Durian Durian Cafe in Singapore

For Eric – Durian Listings

This blog entry is in response to a comment and question by Eric who was asking for a durian listing. I have to confess that I thought I had one somewhere but have failed to find it so I’ll have to build it again. My sincere apologies Eric, but this is what I could find and hope that it works for you for the moment. By listing it in order of the best, I wonder if it should just be according to price, individual taste or should it be a vote? Everyone is entitled to their opinion and Durian seems to bring the best opinions out of people….

Know your durians?

Weird Ads featuring Durians

Usually when I’m traveling, I don’t really take notice of all the ads around just because there are so many of them screaming out for attention. My mind just learns to ignore them after a while and my eyes may wander over it but my brain usually doesn’t bother registering. On my way down to Singapore 2 weekends ago, I was in the queue at immigration and while waiting for the passport scanning to take place, I scanned the area for anything else to look at apart from the immigration officer. That’s when I saw this ad.

CIMB Durian Advertisement

The are funny thing about this ad is that it is by a company that has chosen to copy another company’s advertising campaign. Specifically, a local Malaysian bank – CIMB-  that is following in the footsteps of HSBC’s advertising. Well, sort of. Thing is, the HSBC ads are just a lot smarter and the ads and the copy happens to make sense. The CIMB ads however, all come across a little bit cringey (the claims!) and the copy is just plain weird. I’m not really sure what the message is behind the ad but it is always fun to see a really provocative fruit featuring prominently. One durian… one bank? I wonder if the people who dislike durian will find this ad a turn-off…

You get the picture a lot better when you see the HSBC advertisement, which then puts everything into perspective. A lot more subtle and thought provoking… featuring many durians and other interesting activities that interest a general viewer. Also seen at Singapore airport, the HSBC ad reads “HSBC recognizes that people value things differently”

HSBC Advertisement featuring Durian

HSBC Durian Advertisement

If you’re travelling around Asia, you’re bound to see these ads. Look out for them and its fun to think about what their intended message is…