A Durian Invite in the Post from Genting Resorts World (Sentosa)

My mum who lives in Singapore receives tons of mailers, and her technique of “glance and destroy” is quite indiscriminate. Knowing my fascination and obsession with durians, she saved this one for me. Thanks Mum!

A Durian in the Post

A Durian in the Post

Mum said she received it more than a week ago. I asked her if it smelled when it arrived as the sticker says “Warning! I Smell.” Hilarious. She said “yes it did actually”, she didn’t open the plastic and she could smell the durian aroma when she picked up the mailer. I guess the fragrance didn’t last long.

Free Smells but Expensive Durian Buffets

Free Smells but Expensive Durian Buffets

When I read the back, I realized it was an invitation to a durian buffet at the Resorts World Genting Casino Hotel. It’s a but unclear whether I am considered a RWS invites member or a non-member. I have never been to the casino and am not a member of the Genting Group.

I asked Mum if she wanted to go but she thought it was pretty pricey for a one hour forty-five minute session (not inclusive of parking which is notoriously expensive unless you spend the day), and there was no guarantee that it wouldn’t be flooded with thousands of jostling people who would trample your toes just to get to the best fruit. They have promised Zhu Jiao, D13, D24, Ang Kar and Mao Shan Wang. I wonder if there is a queue and a quota for each type. We’re not going but if you decide to, let us know what its like.

If you’d like to go, reserve your tickets here.

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Durians at GrandLucky (Update)

I can’t help surveying durians offered in the usual haunts, I think many of us durian fans are probably the same in that way ;).

At the GrandLucky Supermarket in Jakarta, they were offering both Thai and Medan Durians.

Medan Durians for Sale

Medan Durians for Sale

Medan durians featured in my last post, but in this post I’m just keeping a record of what was available and at what price (doesn’t the price fluctuate like crazy!). As you can see in the above sign, the Medan Durians were marked down 40% from their original price per kilo. It really doesn’t keep. On closer inspection of the fruits, you can see why.

Close up of the Medan Durians

Close up of the Medan Durians

Some of the fruits were already split open – which is an indicator of ripeness (or of drop damage)- and the fruit inside are exposed. The fruit guys have put rubber bands around the base of the fruit to prevent the skins from opening up completely, but this means that the fruit has to be eaten on that day otherwise it can’t be displayed for sale any longer. I noted the lack of durian fragrance from these Medan Durians as well. Perhaps this tree is related to the non-smelling trees in Chantanaburi.

While strolling the aisles, something else caught my eye.

Make Your Own Durian Ice Cream

Make Your Own Durian Ice Cream

A rather baffling and strangely unfortunate brand name, Pondan ( I’m not sure why they chose this. In Berhasa it is a derogatory adjective, you can google it). It is an Indonesian product from a company that makes mixes for puddings, cakes and ice cream. One of their flavors is the Durian flavored ice cream, each box for Rp. 14,900 (equivalent to USD1.50). I can’t imagine how this would compete with the various Durian Es sellers who peddle their carts on the street using fresh durian. Hmm. Or maybe they display the fresh durian and use this pre-mix instead. It would certainly be a lot cheaper but somehow doesn’t seem as appetizing.

A taste of Durians from Medan

After all this time that I’ve been visiting Jakarta, I’ve seen local Indonesian durians for sale (usually from Medan) but never bought any to try. Well, that all changed last week when I decided to take the plunge for the first time.

I was out to buy some peaches for a friend at the Total Fruit Store in Jalan Wolter Monginsidi and of course the display caught my eye.

Monthong and Medan Durians for Sale at the Total Buah Segar

Monthong and Medan Durians for Sale at the Total Buah Segar

We are definitely already in the midst of durian season and I’ve been eyeing the Monthong durians for sale at the GrandLucky but succeeded in holding off my purchase as it just doesn’t smell or look as good as the ones we get in KL.

But durian deprivation finally got a hold of me and I thought a good way to get rid of the craving would be to try something new. I had to take a closer look.

Small Medan Durian Fruits

Small Medan Durian Fruits

OK, not too unfriendly pricing. The one on the left is equivalent to 5.6 uSD and the one on the right is 6.3 USD. Not too bad I guess. I contemplated for a short while and picked up the one on the left because the fruit didn’t look quite as “squashed” from handling and packaging. It’s a pity that it’s just labelled as “Durian Medan”. It’s as if there is just one type… which would seem very unusual to me. Perhaps there just isn’t the breeding and cultivation industry as there is in Malaysia.

We attended a dinner that evening so we didn’t end up consuming it on the same day. I stuck it in the freezer for another evening. We didn’t wait too long.

Here’s a picture of the durian post thaw:

Nice Color

Nice Color

Color looked great but what was disappointing was the lack of the usual durian aromas which are so important to kick the saliva glands and neural connections into overdrive. Oh well, we’ll give it a try anyway.

Saving the Durian for last

Saving the Durian for last

Durians should always be eaten last or solo among fruits. The taste is usually overwhelming and even the best ripe Californian peaches and grapes will be bland compared to it.

So the taste test.

MMMmmmmm Durian....

MMMmmmmm Durian….

Verdict

Aroma: C

Flavor: C

Color (vs expectation): B-

Texture: B

Size of seed: Large (compared to pellicle)

Overall rating: C

I thought it was generally lousy compared to Malaysian durians but am open to re-rating if I get a better sample. No wonder Indonesians fly in to KL to eat durians.