Durian attempt at Malaysia’s Agrobazaar in Singapore

The Malaysia Agrobazaar in Jalan Sultan launched with a lot of fanfare and press. A plaque on the wall bearing the signatures of two current prime ministers (Malaysia & Singapore) hangs on the wall by the door. 

  
Occupying four shop lots, the signage can only be described as discreet. The logo is printed on the rain canopy’s edge which limits the size of the font. The signage at the back of the shop is larger but you can’t enter the shop that way. 

One shop lot is a Malaysian style restaurant, the menu proposes several fancy dishes which I don’t think I’ve had in KL before, but they were mostly rice based with a twist. All quite inexpensive. 

  
Anyway. We had come for the DURIANS! 

Inside the shop (totally empty on New Year’s Day), there was a cold room with shelves that held promise. And these two very informative posters.

   
 But aside from the faint whiff of durian in the cold room, I couldn’t see any. Just melons and neatly packaged star fruit.

  
How disappointing.

A wander around the store really was a time warp back into a mini-mart in some backwater Malaysian town. The air conditioning wasn’t on so it felt rather warm and humid. One of the aisles also smelled a bit like sewage. 

Rather obscure brands and a range of processed food were displayed for sale on the shelves. It was hard to see anything that looked vaguely appetising. 

Our 10 minute reconnaissance tour was up. I was just about to walk out the door when a lady clad in a black hijab approached me and asked if she could be of any assistance. 

  
“Ah durians, now don’t have, maybe next week.” And she produced her name card. “Please call us to check before you come”.

Hmm. She was friendly enough sales person and wore a big easy smile. But what’s really going on here…?

This is supposed to be managed by the organizer of the largest farmer’s market in Malaysia (front page of website). The farmer’s aspect of it is notably and disappointingly missing. I didn’t even see a raja banana for sale. Back to the local distributors for our fruit fix.

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