Durian dessert shop on Sharp Street East

We planned to have dessert at Cao Song last Sunday. Until we saw the queue. Forget it, I said to our little group of six, we weren’t going to hang around for an hour on a pavement barely shoulder width wide. Not with three kids in tow.

The next dessert shop in the street was Dessert Playground. It was deserted, not a single customer… definitely a bad sign. Well, we needed somewhere to sit so we took the plunge. A rather confusing menu was presented.

Oddly enough, this fluorescent lit shop with bright green awnings had a list of chinese desserts but seemed to specialise in durian derived desserts. There was a lot to choose from.

Everyone else went for the chinese desserts or the western cakes… I ordered the Mau Sang Wang ice stick for HKD 68 (D24 version costs HKD 38).

The ice cream was edible, suitably creamy without any artificial under or overtones. It was well made without a high water content so you don’t get that brittle ice texture where it all comes apart with each bite. Downside was that it was smaller than I expected and the presentation on an ugly plastic plate was disappointing.

All the other desserts ordered, chocolate cake, coconut pho, the chinese soups were just awful and quite inedible. They tasted straight out of a packet. 

Verdict: great for groups needing a place for a rest as it’s almost always empty (I think I’ll remember it as desert playground). Get a durian ice cream or a drink, all other desserts are poor quality.

Beware the adulterated durians

I’ve been in Hong Kong for a while now and apologise for the neglect and shortage of durian information and experiences.

Well, I have been buying and eating but just not reporting it. The thing is, Durian in Hong Kong is pretty expensive (like 2-3x more, since they are flown in direct from Malaysia) and the quantities that we consume now are woefully small compared to our feasts in Malaysia. I have also taken my chances with Thai durian and it is a FAIL. Do not go down this route my dear durian lovers, even in times of extreme durian depravation. I opened the packet and literally after one bite (the whiff was fine) threw the entire packet away. The Thais really shouldn’t waste good plantation space on bad fruit products. I think they should throw in the towel now, do a deal with Penang and expand the cultivars from the slopes of Ferringhi.

Here’s another reason why you shouldn’t buy Thai durians in Hong Kong even if they are cheap. According to this article, durians from Thailand were found to be artificially ripened and coloured with Tumeric. Hmm… no wonder they often look a weird tinge of yellow…

Test results showed that the husks of 10 samples contain curcumin, a colouring matter, and three samples were detected to contain excessive residues of ethephon.
     “Turmeric (curcumin) is a rhizomatour herbaceous perennial plant. According to the Colouring Matter in Food Regulations (Cap 132H), although colouring matter can be added to processed food, it should not be added to meat, game, poultry, fish, fruit or vegetable in a raw and unprocessed state. Upon conviction, offenders shall be liable to a fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months,” the spokesman said.