Another sweet durian treat in Times Square, Causeway Bay

There is simply an infinite number of ways that you can conjure up a slightly different dessert using all the same ingredients. Agree?

Well I certainly thought so when I saw this.

A Danish Durian Bar.

No, no not a bar in Denmark… although that’s what initially popped into my mind. Were they eating these Danish bars in Denmark?

As it turns out, NO. Danish Bar is a Japanese bakery concept started by the Mermaid bakery.

They had all sorts of sweet and savoury flavors wrapped in a sort of crepe type exterior which looked partly crunchy and partly chewy… one had a D24 filling. Interesting. It looks a little lewd, (but I guess the sausage one is the most lewd) and I’m not sure you want to be seen eating it while walking around.

I plan to go and try it, though if you get there before me, let me know if the D24 is worth it. A Mao Shan Wang might have greater appeal.

Find it at the corner near the escalators by the City Super Food Court in Times Square, right by Mermaid Bakery.

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Mid-Autumn Festival: Durian Mooncake in Hong Kong

It was the mid-Autumn festival last weekend. Quite drizzly in parts but it did clear up to a full moon on the day itself.

The day before, that is on the 8th of September, I was in Tsing Yi and in the Maritime mall waiting to meet up with a friend. In the concourse area was a typical exhibition booth space where many bakeries, restaurants and candy shops were hawking their wares. Of course, most of it was festival related and moon cakes were the main feature.

As I strolled around the booths, I was hunting for something very specific. Guess what…? It wasn’t durian moon cakes. I really like the piggy in the basket moon cake biscuit. It’s essentially the dough skin of the baked moon cakes which is crafted into the shape of a piglet. Most of the time, it’s the dough all the way through but sometimes they include the lotus seed filling which is super delicious. Anyway, it’s getting harder and harder to find a good one. I used to love the ones that the Shangri La in Singapore made, shaped in lions or goldfish (they no longer do this).

Would I have more luck in Hong Kong, I wondered….

Well, quite suddenly, I halted in my tracks. I spotted a stall selling moon cakes with durian. It was the only stall I had seen in the entire exhibition. Just to make sure that this was the case, I walked around twice more and confirmed that this was indeed the only stall.

Durian mooncake pricelist

Durian moon cake price list

This was certainly the most attractively designed price list among all the stalls (to me anyway). You can see how the price escalates to almost double between the D24 and the Mao Shan Wang fillings. All these are snow skin chilled durian moon cakes only, no baked ones. The price on the left indicates the per box cost, while the price on the right indicates how much it costs per cake, if you wish to buy them individually. Interesting that the most expensive one is a durian which I think is called the golden phoenix (last on the list).

Only 2 boxes of D24 mooncakes left

Only 2 boxes of D24 mooncakes left

Now, a peep into the fridge to see the goods. The fridge looked empty except for 2 boxes of D24. These boxes came in a yellowy green hue. Not looking that festive to me, but I guess business was brisk.

See before you buy

See before you buy

A check on the other side of the booth revealed similarly good business for the more expensive varieties. A lady had just purchased a box, which you can see the sales person closing the box. I think it’s great that you need to see and check that you’re getting the right ones, and that they let you. It appeared that some of these boxes had been booked and bagged already, awaiting collection.

Durian mooncakes in Hong Kong

Durian mooncakes in Hong Kong

Clearly these durians are from Malaysia. It says 100% Malaysian Durians on the of the brochure. But WAIT. On the bottom of this brochure, it says “Product of Singapore”. Quite creative, sneaky and probably at a good profit… but that’s food globalization for you.

Did anyone have durian moon cakes this year? Please share your experience.

Ps. If you’re wondering if I managed to buy that piglet, I did, but it was the very last one, retailed at 22 HKD. It was from another booth but I wasn’t that impressed with the flavor. Sigh.

Can you find durian at Hong Kong International Airport?

Well, this is probably the closest thing I found to it.

Durian drink anyone?

Durian drink anyone?

On a refrigerated shelf opposite the payment counter.

Drinks to go

Drinks to go

All of this at the 7-11 (Seven Eleven) in the open arrival hall when you exit customs. This 7-11 is perpetually crowded with queues snaking all the way round the back of the shop. But if you need a quick liquid durian fix….. pick up a bottle and get in line!

Seven Eleven at HK Airport

Seven Eleven at HK Airport

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.

Spotted at Taste Supermarket, Hopewell Center

As I was perusing the aisles at the fancy Park’n’Shop in Hopewell Center, I happened across this durian product.

At first I thought it was freeze dried durian which is usually sold in this type of packaging. So I was a little surprised to find that it was actually a durian flavoured sandwich cookie.

Hmm. With a “recloseable” ziplock seal. Yes, I suppose that might be the attractive feature….. Can’t complain about the price though. It’s less than RM2.

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.

Durians at GrandLucky (Update)

I can’t help surveying durians offered in the usual haunts, I think many of us durian fans are probably the same in that way ;).

At the GrandLucky Supermarket in Jakarta, they were offering both Thai and Medan Durians.

Medan Durians for Sale

Medan Durians for Sale

Medan durians featured in my last post, but in this post I’m just keeping a record of what was available and at what price (doesn’t the price fluctuate like crazy!). As you can see in the above sign, the Medan Durians were marked down 40% from their original price per kilo. It really doesn’t keep. On closer inspection of the fruits, you can see why.

Close up of the Medan Durians

Close up of the Medan Durians

Some of the fruits were already split open – which is an indicator of ripeness (or of drop damage)- and the fruit inside are exposed. The fruit guys have put rubber bands around the base of the fruit to prevent the skins from opening up completely, but this means that the fruit has to be eaten on that day otherwise it can’t be displayed for sale any longer. I noted the lack of durian fragrance from these Medan Durians as well. Perhaps this tree is related to the non-smelling trees in Chantanaburi.

While strolling the aisles, something else caught my eye.

Make Your Own Durian Ice Cream

Make Your Own Durian Ice Cream

A rather baffling and strangely unfortunate brand name, Pondan ( I’m not sure why they chose this. In Berhasa it is a derogatory adjective, you can google it). It is an Indonesian product from a company that makes mixes for puddings, cakes and ice cream. One of their flavors is the Durian flavored ice cream, each box for Rp. 14,900 (equivalent to USD1.50). I can’t imagine how this would compete with the various Durian Es sellers who peddle their carts on the street using fresh durian. Hmm. Or maybe they display the fresh durian and use this pre-mix instead. It would certainly be a lot cheaper but somehow doesn’t seem as appetizing.