Durian Stall in Jelatek (Part 2)

Durians for a bargain

Well you didn’t think that we’d stop there did you? How could we leave any stone unturned! Of course we had to walk over to the busy durian stall, to check out both the durians and the scene itself.

In the fifteen or twenty minutes that we had spent at stall #1, it looked as though the queue at stall #2 had not abated. People of all ages were standing by the stall appearing to be busy negotiating, pointing, sniffing, poking and some were just standing around and staring. Including us for the first minute or so. The peace did not last long. The service was just too good. Within the next minute, one of the stall keepers in a striped shirt that reminded me of “Where’s Wally” sauntered up to me and opened the conversation with a greeting and

That's my durian right there

asked me what I wanted (well, its obvious what I wanted, but what he meant was what type of durian). I asked him what he had and he said the best of the shelf was the D24. Hmm. D24 is a well known species and pretty consistent in its flavors. “How much is it?” I asked him not too loudly so that I didn’t inspire the other clients to do the same. He said “Normally it is 12 RM per kilo but I’ll give it to you for 11 RM per kilo”.

Well, I reasoned that if its RM 10 per kilo for a Kampong durian then RM 11 for a D24 is probably okay. Some people have told me that Jalan Jelatek is famous for overcharging for the durians, but hey anyone who complains should check out SS2 and Jalan Imbi where it definitely isn’t cheaper. I suppose its all about property prices and location, location, location. If you’re willing to venture a bit further out, prices drop by half or more.

3 for 10 from the bin, or 2 for 10 from the shelf

“Ok” I nodded, “How many” he asked, “how about two?”. “No, just one and make it a good one”.

“How about this one” He said sniffing then expertly slicing into the durian husk at all the right points to expose the flesh in every vesicle. I was impressed. It all looked a rich delicious yellow. “Okay” I said and he popped the durian on the weigh scale and said it would be RM24. While we were arranging the right amount of change, he popped the entire durian, husk and all into a plastic bag.

“No Encik, can you please put it into one of your take away boxes?”

Without hesitation, he took the durian round into the stall away from the crowd where there was a table and started opening up the durian to put it into the boxes.

The cause of all the chaos, cheap packets of durian

It was just starting the drizzle with a light rain. “Thank you” he said handing the bag with a two boxes inside to me, “please come again”.

So polite he was, I think I’ll have to.

Note: This stall is by the main road and has no tables or sidewalk so don’t expect to sit and savor your durian. You have to take it away or eat it standing by the road, just like how everyone else was doing it that day. 

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2 thoughts on “Durian Stall in Jelatek (Part 2)

  1. Hi,
    I am Jacob, a Durian fanatic from India.i had commented on another post of yours. Your blog is really wonderful. There’s so much of information for the durian enthusiasts here.

    I would like to know about the prices of various varieties of Durian in Malaysia. Do they greatly vary from variety to variety, or are they all somewhat the same? I understand that durian varieties like Musang King are very very expensive in Singapore!

    • Hi Jacob!

      Sorry I missed this question about the prices of durian. The prices do vary greatly, not only according to the cultivar but also the time of year. As all durians are charged by weight of the complete fruit, the husk and size of the seeds versus taste and value for money all need to be weighed up…. It also depends on the size of your appetite!

      In Kuala Lumpur, the capital city, Durians like Mao Shan Wang can go for RM 40 (USD 10+) per kilo in high season. Worse, there may be scalper stalls which may try to pass off the lousier stuff for about the same price. Less premium varieties vary between RM 10-30 per kilo and sometimes you might get “non-branded” durians by the roadside stalls at 3 fruits for RM10.

      Some durian sellers try to scam you into buying more by offering you the first durian which is an excellent fruit, then subsequent fruits are disappointing. Others will sell you something not so great first and save the best fruit if they assess that you are a real connoisseur and want to take the premium stuff. You have to assess the seller. Donald’s durian is an example of the first (often bait and switch) while the Greenwood roundabout old man seller is the latter. The durian stall in Jalan Imbi that I frequent gives you what you ask for and charges you a high price in high season. I would recommend that you go just after noon to book your durians, but consume them only at in the late afternoon when its a lot cooler.

      Hope this helps!

      S-one

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