New durian dessert shop on Queens Road East?

The Tai Tai Pie Pie shop on Queens Road East by Swatow street just left in November and this sign went up.

Durians noted on the right. Let’s see if this retail concept works better.

  

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Duria – brand of durian mooncakes

Late post. I had this information in early September, now putting it down for posterity.

The fruit stall that I’ve purchased Malaysian durian from on several occasions had a fridge put out during mooncake season this year.

A special fridge for those precious pastries

A special fridge for those precious pastries

Each dark mysterious box contained 4 Frozen mooncakes. I had a look inside the fridge, curious as to the size of each mooncake, but the tins were individually wrapped in shrink wrap.., to prevent tampering I suppose. A freezer tells me that it’s snowskin.

At 380HKD per box, that would be equivalent to the cost of one fruit. Well, roughly the same price as what I would have to pay in Singapore… Maybe I’ll try it next year.

Durian mooncake tin

Durian mooncake tin

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.

Malaysian durian at Taste Supermarket

It was a nice surprise when I went to Taste last week and saw that the fresh fruit section had a whole display of Malaysian Mao Shan Wangs for sale. All already in packets ready to go. It looked good and smelled pretty good.

They were placed side by side with the Thai durians. No comparison eh.

I would estimate that this is about 4-5 durians worth of fruit. Quite nice and ripe judging by the color and texture.

Price wise, it’s easily 2x the price of the Thai durians. It was 11am, a little too early for me to buy durians to consume. I planned to head back later to pick up a packet for after dinner dessert.

This is the scene at 8pm… Where did all the durians go?!?

Liebster Award

Liebster Award

Liebster Award

Thank you DCEM for my Liebster Award 🙂 All the way from Mongolia!

It was a most unexpected blog hug and the first I’ve received since starting this blog in 2009.

My answers to your questions below.

What started this project?

Seeds so small you have to pick it out of your mouthMy often excessive durian consumption and the thought that so many more people could come to appreciate this wonderful fruit… if only they knew more about it and where to buy it. There is no other fruit which can create such an emotional connection (addiction) to its consumer.

 

What’s your favorite part of blogging?

It takes me and my family on adventures that we might never otherwise embark on.

What have you learned along the way, and would you give this advice to others?

Use your blog to make friends. Both online and offline. People love to see themselves featured, so use this to extract the best from them. Yes.

Do you have a particular audience in mind?

Baby having a taste of durian

Baby having a taste of durian

 

Durian fanatics, babies, those interested in this exotic fruit and people trying to find the elusive good stuff. All must have a good sense of humor.

 

 

 

How do you use structure in your blogging – a set of guidelines for posting, or as things arise?

No prescribed structure, free flow conversation and sometimes breaking wind oops, durian news.

What particular image or memory best captures the spirit of your blog?

The fragrant aroma of a ripe Malaysian Mao Shan Wang and the sensation of its silky, pliant and warm flesh on my fingers. Then licking them clean but never quite getting rid of the scent which is transferred in every fingerprint.

If you could go anywhere in the world and share the experience through the blog, where would it be?

Delicious Mau Shan Wang

Delicious Mau Shan Wang

Hmm. This is a tough one. Durian hunting around the world- Hawaii, Sri Lanka, All of South America. To see if any of these places have durian species which might usurp Malaysia’s mighty position (or require an introduction to this delicacy).

 

Whom from your past would you go back to and thank?

Past, present and future – Mum and Dad. They still buy durian and put it in the freezer for me now. Yuuummmmm…

What about you might we not know from reading your blog?

Envy apple

Envy apple

I eat other fruits too. My favorite apples are sold under the label envy and jazz. I don’t like grapes with seeds because I have to eat them without the skin, so this becomes a very involved and untidy process.

What makes you feel better after a hard day?

Hugs, smiles and hot double boiled soup with vegetables. If it happens to end with a cream bath, massage, and blow-dry; that will do too. (DCEM, you are invited to join me for the latter)

Do you have an end in mind for your blog?

I can’t fathom the day when there are no longer any durians in the world. Or if I develop some sort of unfortunate durian allergy. NOOooooooo……

 

My nominees for the Liebster award go to:

Cracked Pepper

Pepper has lived in more places than me and her blog is a nice snapshot of cross-cultural east-west living. She is busy with a permanent new project but I hope she will find the time to continue blogging.

Culinary Adventures in Hong Kong

CAHK is an honest, fun blog about restaurants and general eating by a Malaysian living in HK and traveling to and fro. It also covers fairly exotic foods that CAHK dares to try which I find interesting. I can relate to both these aspects.

 My Travel Plate

MTP is an Indonesian food blogger student who is enjoying life in several countries. She’s a food and agricultural food scientist and it’s interesting to follow her life experiences. Nice pictures and well presented.

 Fresh Food Festival

If you ever wondered what Fruitarians do in their spare time, check out this blog. It’s hard to believe that there is a convention on the subject, but if you want to be in the know, that’s where you’ll have to go. I think tickets are still available, July 17th -20th if you happen to be in Scandinavia for the summer.

 

My 11 questions to them should they care to share are as follow:

What is your favorite fruit?

What is your favorite food?

What is your favorite drink?

What would you cook if a friend (eg. me ha ha!) was coming over for dinner?

What website(s) do you visit most often?

How did you choose the name for your blog?

What/Who inspired you to start and keep writing?

How many countries have you been to/ lived in in your lifetime?

How many more (which ones) do you intend to visit in the next 2 years and why?

What was the biggest life changing thing/event that happened to/ for you thus far?

What was the craziest thing you did with a friend/ family member recently?

 

🙂

 

 

Wait until July for the good Durians

While in KL, we were craving for some durian. We were short on time and decided that Imbi was our best bet. It looked like durian uncle had renovated his booth again and this time there were nice bright yellow chairs and the concrete was better cast. Or it might have been the better lighting that made the floor look smoother.

We were very disappointed when we were informed that there were no MSW’s. What little they had were sold out. "Best to come next month or July" uncle said. The MSWs are going presently for an eye-popping RM50 per kilo

We settled for a 101 but it was nowhere near what we wanted. As I said, very disappointing.