The King has arrived! And by that we mean the king of fruits – durians. The true season for these thorny delights lies between June and August, and that means now is the best time for you to bliss out on the prized, wickedly-pungent fruit. Just so you make full use of the season, we’ve rounded up five popular haunts for you to buy your durians.
Ah Seng Durian
This stall at Ghim Moh Market attracts durian lovers from all over Singapore, who make the trip specially to check out his top-notch produce, sold at reasonable prices – the man himself hikes up to the plantations in Malaysia for quality checks.
The shop stocks a wide range of durians, including Mao Shan Wang ($14/kg), Green Bamboo ($8/kg), D13 ($6/kg), and Black Pearl ($8/kg) and best of all, they accept reservations for same-day and next-day collections. The selection varies based on the season, so be sure to keep tabs on their Facebook page.
Block 150A Ghim Moh Temporary Market, tel: 9465 6160. https://www.fb.com/AhSengDurian
Mr Kho, affectionately known as Botak Kho for his clean-shaven head, sets up his two-man outfit only during peak durian season. That alone should be reassurance enough of his commitment towards quality.
He specialises in the ever-in-demand Mao Shan Wang ($14/kg) and Red Star (from $10 for three durians) cultivars. Just look out for his pop-up stall outside Block 157 at Bukit Batok St 11.
Block 157 Bukit Batok Street 11, tel: 8156 2247. http://mrkhodurians.blogspot.sg/
Here, the thorny king takes pride of place with a dedicated cold room – the first of its kind in Singapore – at the Agrobazaar Malaysia. This means the durians, maintained at a cool 12 deg C, keep well for as long as 10 days compared to the average six days at room temperature.
Look out for crowd favourites such as Mao Shan Wang and D24, as well as fresh fruits and agro-based products (jams, fruit chips, honey, and even bird’s nest) from our northern neighbour.
37-43 Sultan Gate, tel: 6391 9841. http://www.agrobazaarmalaysia.com.sg/
You've tasted the Mao Shan Wang, arguably the most raved about durian cultivar, so what’s next? Consider a trip to Combat Durian at Balestier Road, one of the oldest durian outfits in Singapore. Going there is almost a pilgrimmage unto itself, and not least because of its location beside the Tua Pek Kong temple. To borrow an analogy from wagyu beef, think of Combat Durian's ‘King of Kings’($18/kg) as the grade A5 wagyu beef equivalent of Mao Shan Wang ─ the creme de la creme.
249 Balestier Road, tel: 9278 9928. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Combat-Durian-Balestier-Singapore/159016387480898
Wan Li Xiang
If you're up for exploring your palate beyond the usual big-name cultivars, then this cult favourite at the Dempsey Road carpark is right up your alley. Ah Di, the veteran stall owner of Wan Li Xiang takes particular joy in supporting local – quite literally, because his kampong durians are fresh off the boat from Pulau Ubin.
Here, it’s not so much about the pedigree, but developing a keen appreciation for the ‘wild’ durian species that flourish in our backyard. Instead of throwing out names, just let Ah Di know your preference for sweet or bitter, and he’ll pick out one to your taste.
Carpark behind Block 7 Dempsey Road, tel: 9756 2385. https://www.facebook.com/dempseydurian