It’s the time of the year again. Durians are everywhere!
It has been reported that durian harvests in Malaysia have been good this year due to quite ideal weather conditions (with rainy and sunny days) and durian aficionados have reason to rejoice as durian vendors here are seeing a drop in prices. Surely this is one good news for durian lovers, hubby and I included. However, are durians really cheaper this year? Well, this is probably true but I remember paying for pretty good Mao Shan Wang (Cat Mountain King) at a low S$12 per kg at Leong Tee, in April last year. I have been paying S$16 per kg lately. Mao Shan Wang is said to be the favourite of Singaporeans.
I love durians since I was a kid. In fact, I have not come across anyone in my family or extended family that did not eat durians. Then, we had never heard of any species name for the durians like what we have today. We just enjoyed whatever we had, mostly gifted by my dad’s friends or bought by one of my uncles, as I remember. I only learned about the various species of durians much later when hubby and I began to buy them. I also remember my mum used to make use of the less ripened durians to cook into a nice dessert – green bean durian soup. 🙂
I like durians which have thick and creamy flesh, and bitter in taste and my favourite is D24.
For this season, I have already had four rounds of durians so far, started with what I would describe as a “starter session” in Malaysia when I was there on a day-trip late last month. There was no names for these durians that I bought at a fruit stall but this is not surprising since most of the “branded” and good ones are exported to Singapore!
3 durians for the price of RM39 (about S$14). Very good deal.
The flesh was pale in colour, solid and creamy with a tinge of bitterness. So, I was really happy with them. In fact, I had 2 durians for breakfast that day! 🙂
So hubby and I kicked off our durian feasts last week, first with a visit to Leong Tee Durian at Tanjong Katong Road on Monday afternoon. The timing was good as there were not many customers during the day. We could slowly savour the durians in the shop and even chatted with the boss. We ordered one each of Jin Feng (Golden Phoenix), Tai Yuan (aka creamy Black Pearl) and Mao Shan Wang (Cat Mountain King) for the price of S$50. We had been to Leong Tee a few times last year, and never once left feeling disappointed or dissatisfied.
Then on Friday, hubby and I decided to head down to this famous durian stall, Combat Durian, at Balestier Road which we had been once in 2009. The experience at Combat that day was rather different from that 6 years ago. There was a long queue when we arrived there in early afternoon. That speaks of the popularity of this stall and obviously business must have gotten so much better over the years. Given the hot sunny weather and the anticipated long wait, we decided to walk to a nearby food centre for some light food first, and hopefully the queue would be shorter by the time we got back. Alas, durians were all sold out when we returned to the stall at about 3:50pm and we were told that the new stock was only expected to arrive in about half an hour. Though a little disappointed, we decided to wait or it would be a wasted trip for us to go all the way to Balestier.
Queue at Combat Durian at about 4:30pm, 26 June
The boss (in white shirt) busy serving the customers
A change of price for Mao Shan Wang from S$16 to S$18 per kg, while we we queuing. Reason? Supplier has upped the price!
The workers were all very busy and in fact, things seemed a little less organised at the stall. Tables were all occupied. The worker who attended to us was perspiring profusely and I was so worried that his sweat would drip into the durians we ordered when he was opening them! I had to remind him to be watchful of that. Phew…. Then our durians were left on a table which was not very clean. The worker moved on quickly to attend to another customer, without even caring that there was actually no chair for us to sit. So, service wise, it was a far cry from what we had experienced 6 years ago. It was obvious that they were really busy but in my opinion, that should not be the excuse in compromising their service standard.
Quite stuffy here!
We ordered a D24 and a Hong Xia (Red Prawn) that costs us S$29 in total. The D24 was good but the Red Prawn, a little bit too wet for my liking
Spotted at Combat Durian, seedless Japanese mangosteens and seedless lychee from China.
Japanese mangosteens? Aren’t mangosteens a type of tropical fruit? S$10 per packet.
These seedless lychee costs S$70 per box. Too expensive to try them!
Our durian feast continues this week with yet another visit to Leong Tee Durian two days ago. We really ate till we dropped! 😀 😀
Leong Tee @ 264, Tanjong Katong Road
This is definitely a lot more comfortable for eat-in customers though not air-conditioned.
Lots of photos of eat-in customers on both sides of the wall
This is a vacuum-packed equipment for customers who pack the durians for bringing overseas. They have quite many overseas customers, as I understand.
The boss (uncle Leong) with the first two durians that we ordered – Jin Feng and Mao Shan Wang.
Can you tell which is which? Jin Feng (left) is pale in colour and Mao Shan Wang (right) has yellowish flesh.
Seeds of Jin Feng – really small
Seeds of Mao Shan Wang – a little flattened but bigger in size
We had a XO durian too! Softer flesh, bitter with a bit of liquor smell.
Seeds of XO durian
We were really satisfied. We had over-eaten that afternoon but that was not all. We decided to pack some home too! Two Mao Shan Wang that costs us about S$70.
Uncle Leong’s worker packing the durians for us
Nicely packed and now kept in our freezer. These shall be our treat this weekend!
Surely these are not all that we are going to have. 😀 When my uncle rang me from Ipoh (Malaysia) last night, he told me that he is going to get us some Mao Shan Wang when we spend the Hari Raya holiday there in the middle of this month. What a delight! Surely we are looking forward to the treat! 🙂