“Everyone knows that the place to buy durians in Balestier is that stall by the temple” said one of my friends who resides in Novena.
Which stall is that?
After a rather disappointing teo chew porridge buffet dinner at the Quality Hotel ( it’s very Chinese to give a name to make up for what it lacks), we took a stroll along a nicely renovated sidewalk along Balestier road to check out this stall. COMBAT DURIAN. What a name. I wonder what they are lacking……
There is no way you can miss the stall. It is lit up like a Christmas tree with signboards hanging from every aspect, giving instructions on where to park your car to all the news features on their stall.
Right up front and center are the durians for sale in baskets on a table. We decided to go for the Mau San Wangs. 2 please.
Durian price lists indicate what’s premium and in season… all the stalks look quite fresh.
I thought this signboard depicting the founders was pretty funny. It’s a strange thing but I guess buying durians requires a high trust factor so knowing that the owners seem reputable is important. (But why COMBAT? Was he fighting with his wife? Did they use durians as weapons? Were they in the army?)
Our Mau San Wangs were opened and quickly pried out of their husks and into take-away boxes.
Looks nice and richly yellow right?
Many durian stalls are now gearing up for customers who want to take their durian with them in planes, trains and automobiles. So it’s the stink-free packaging that is now standard.
If you aren’t an expert and don’t trust them enough to select the durian, they also have open prepackaged fruit on offer at not-too-expensive prices.
Of course Chinese people will tell you that Durian is “heaty” and that if you are planning to consume lots then you should balance your yin-yang with a “cooling” fruit such as the mangosteen. They usually come into season together. I don’t know if it’s really true about the balancing, but I can assure you that the mangosteens remove the taste of the durian and is quite refreshing.
These are more crazy signs at the stall.
The following picture is a picture of the competitor durian stall next door. It just has one LED flashing sign but no one was in sight of the stall. An uncleared table of durian husks, some mangosteen husks and with a name like “Sindy”, I am not sure who and what sort of patrons this stall targets. Combat durian is definitely fighting to stay on top, and they are clearly the winner along this street and neighborhood.