Latest durian prices at Sogo

Musang Kings or Mao Shan Wangs are back in season.

At Sogo they have the whole durians on sale but you can also buy them already in packets. Looks good.

You can see from the picture above, a packet with just one segment will set you back HKD 170-200. Worth it?

The whole durian is HKD 42 per 100 grams, that’s 420 per kg. So according to my exchange rate calculator that’s SGD 70 per kg. That’s RM 220 per kg. Aiyo ka gui bui sai jiak (translation from Teochew: ah too expensive cannot eat la).

Unless you’re not flying to Singapore or Malaysia for Christmas break then no choice if you’re desperate for a Musang king and at Sogo.

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2016 Peak Season but no Malaysian Durians?

Perusing the usual fruit stalls in my neighbourhood, I would normally at this time of year, see durians from malaysia for sale. Pricing would definitely be exorbitant but the product would certainly be available, flashing it’s tempting yellow flesh and wafting it’s perfume at every potential durian fanatic who might stop and splurge. Not this year. It’s been noticeably dominated by Thai Monthong.

Yesterday I went to have a look at what was on offer at Sogo. Surely at Hong Kong’s most venerable supermarket, the Musang King might be found aplenty? 

Well here’s what the stock looked like.


Not promising at all.

Only 3 boxes left and they looked a strange hue of yellow-greenish-grey.


The prices are also close to what one would normally pay for a whole durian, these boxes contained about 4 seeds each. Steeeeeeep…!

So there’s a drought on in Malaysia and that’s really affecting supply chains across South East Asia.

Durian at Cengkareng Airport, Jakarta part 1

On our most recent expedition to Jakarta to investigate and inspect AR’s new property, I looked all around the roads we travelled for fresh durian but didn’t see any.

It wasn’t until I got to the airport for my flight (which was severely delayed) that I perused the shops and found some durian related items. It does look like the Indonesians are finally catching the durian commercial bandwagon and starting to process them into something other than dol-dol or frying them in nasty looking orange oil.

After verifying that the plane would eventually leave from that gate, I wandered off to explore the various shops in the terminal. This shop was nearest my gate in the “D” section.

photo 4

Looks like the usual spread of chocolates and packaged snacks.

photo 1

Then I came across these. What were they? Chocolates, Dol-dol or something else entirely? It’s called Choco-Dol and comes with different fillings…. one of which is durian. Hmmm.

Here’s a close up.

photo 3

I am not sure whether it is from the town of Garut in Java, near Bandung. Probably.

How much is it?

photo 2

Rp 12,000. That’s about 1.50 USD. It’s about the same price as a Magnum ice cream stick. I haven’t tried this dol-derivative but think I would rather have a Magnum.

Singapore branded durian chocolate

My friend O and I went to check out the Gardens by the Bay’s latest attraction, the Children’s Garden. By the time we huffed and puffed our way there from the car park, the sun had evaporated about 5% of our body’s liquid mass. Desperate for a drink of water, we entered the nice cool air-conditioned shop that was beside the Toddler play area. It was my first time in there, and the menu consisted of the usual fast (and somewhat junky) type food that most commercial vendors believe children should be eating. While I was browsing the counter, saw a little acrylic stand selling bars of chocolate.

Gardens Chocolate

Gardens By The Bay Branded Chocolate

What possessed the GBTB to brand their own chocolate slabs for sale? I guess it could be a souvenir… they should  perhaps advertise a unique selling point that it doesn’t melt in the Singapore heat. The flavors are quite different than what you would find in a normal display in the supermarket or what Lindt would consider their bestsellers. The Durian one caught my attention, and it was all with Dark Chocolate. I didn’t get round to trying this, maybe it would be better if they sold it in one of the cold domes rather than the stall which lets you out back into the hot sun when you step out of the glass doors. I was imagining stepping out into the Toddler play area with chocolate on my hands and stains on my shirt. Nooooo….

Anyone tried this yet? Please let me know if you have. I’m a fan of the actual durian more than the processed derivatives.

Jack and Jill went up the Hill……(Penang Hill that is)

My friend Jack, his wife and baby (neither of them are named Jill actually), went for a long weekend trip to visit relatives in Penang.

Of course it is Durian season and in a fit of being completely Kay-poh (busybody in dialect) I messaged them to ask how the durian consumption was going. They sent me these photos to “give me an idea” of the Penang durian makan fest that was happening while they messaged me.

Mmmmm, I could almost smell it and taste it. Here are the photos of the smorgasbord….. unedited.

A Whole Cempadak

A Whole Cempadak

Okay okay, that’s not durian I hear you say…!

Here we go… all this durian below for only 4 people. Well, it is the season and they do have excellent durian kakis (friends) who place the order ahead of time. Jack and his wife are one of the most organized durian consumers I know…. they planned this trip a year in advance.

Penang Durian by the Tub

Penang Durian by the Tub

These are 3 or 4 liter tubs…. Jack started eating at 8 in the evening and at 11pm was still going strong to finish the lot…

Fruit Cousins in Season: Durian and Cempadak

Fruit Cousins in Season: Durian and Cempadak

And the usual smaller 500ml tubs plus the cempadaks….

How many Cempadaks can Jack eat?

How many Cempadaks can Jack eat?

Seriously, I think my friend could be a contestant for a “Who can eat the most durians” competition, like the crazy coney island hot dog competitions in New York. It’s more healthy than hot dogs too (none of those awful processed meats and preservatives) and guaranteed to pass through the system without causing constipation!

Way to go Jack!

 

*Sadly, they couldn’t bring any durian back for me. I did get a small pack of cempadak though but it’s not the same is it.*

 

 

Durian Goods for Sale at Jakarta International Airport Terminal 2

While seeing AR off at Terminal 2, I spied this little shop selling some durian based confectionary and products. The shopkeepers permitted me to take some photos to share on this blog.

Durian and Jackfruit products

I am not very sure what these are exactly, maybe dodol? Anyway if anyone has tried them please tell me what it is like.

Durian dodol

Here’s the durian dodol long sticks (sticky durian cooked cake).

The stall can be found at the Departure Hall E3.

Local confectionary stall at airport

Terminal 2, CGK at Gate E3

A Singapore Souvenir: Durian Merlion Cookies

I was buying some green tea for a friend at the supermarket in Takashimaya, Singapore when I spied this very strange confectionary.

Durian Merlions

 

A box of about ten inches by ten inches of Durian flavored merlion* cookies cost SGD 5.50.

 

And if you prefer mangosteen cookies, they have that flavor too (see bottom half of the photo).

 

I have no idea how they taste, maybe I’ll buy them for a friend and then ask to share it ao that I can try a piece… ha ha.

 

What other flavors might become available? Imagine, a soursop or chiku cookie? I think durian cookies are already quite a strange thing. Why would you prefer to have a cookie over the real deal!

 

* For the uninitiated, the Merlion is a Singapore icon. There’s a big statue of it on Marina Bay, spitting water out for good luck. You can read more about Merlion history. Also, opposite the Merlion in Singapore, there is Singapore’s famous performing theatre, the Esplanade, which is also fondly known as the “Durians” because of the metallic spiky external exterior.