Every few months, Singapore is bestowed a wave of spikey durians with the potency to cleave the country into half — those who adore the fruit’s sweet flesh and those who run the other direction.
Purists insist that there’s only one way to enjoy the fruit: cracking the green husks open and stripping the custardy flesh right off the durian’s seeds. For those who are unwilling to put themselves through thorny situations (or really just want to avoid mess altogether) go for a whole array of desserts. Think cakes, mousses and cream puffs.
March’s durian season is about to come to a tail end. Our advice: start hitting these spots before its too late. It’s going to be another two more months before the King of Fruits makes its fragrant return.
(Featured and hero image credit: Goodwood Park Hotel)
This traditional fruit stall scores some of the best mao shan wang durians for its stands. Behind this unassuming front, 818 also makes some great desserts from its quality produce. Its most popular pastry is the choux puff, piped to the brim with cream made from fresh durian. The shop also does durian sandwiches and simple durian cakes as well. If you’re not so much a fan of desserts, 818 also offers scoops of pure durian flesh and individually vacuum-packed durian seeds.
(Image credit: 818 Durians and Pastries)
Chalk Farm is popular for its fuss-free cakes and modern iterations of kueh. While it doesn’t have a huge range of durian-centric desserts, its Durian Salat, a decadent take on the kueh salat, is a huge hit with durian lovers. The Durian Salat goes for a thick gold custard made of durian, instead of the usual pandan and coconut milk layer, over a tier of butterfly pea-dyed sticky rice. Only mao shan wang or wang zong wang durians are used for this kueh.
(Image credit: Chalk Farm)
This popular mod-Sin restaurant is armed with a creative pastry team that comes up with interesting sweet treats with heavy local influences such as the orh nee-inspired cake. Since its opening in 2015, Creatures has been holding on to its signature durian cake. Generous layers of mao shan wang paste are heaped in between layers of pandan sponge, then wrapped in a pandan-infused vanilla chantilly. It’s available as a slice on the dessert menu or as a whole cake.
(Image credit: CreatureS)
Besides Hong Kong dessert soups and waffles, Dessert Bowl also has a few durian offerings on its menu. There are some refreshing options such as snow ice with durian puree or a cool durian crepe. But the must-order here is the durian mousse, served in a bowl with a huge dollop of durian puree. You can also add on another spoonful of puree if you’re craving for more.
(Image credit: Jonathan Lim/ Burpple)
For the true subjects to the King of Fruits, there’s Mao Shan Wang, a cafe by durian purveyor Four Seasons Durian. As the name suggests, the menu has everything to do with durian — from durian pizza to chicken nuggets with durian dip. It’s a little mind-boggling, but we’re here just for the desserts. Besides the usual puffs and pancakes, the cafe also has mochi bites and mille-feuille with durian puree. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the coffee which is infused with mao shan wang.
(Image credit: Four Seasons Durian)
It’s impossible not to mention Goodwood Park Hotel when it comes to durian desserts. The hotel has had the annual tradition of churning out a whole fiesta of durian treats since 1983. Some of the long-standing signatures here include durian puffs and mousse cakes. This year, the hotel introduces new desserts such as a D24 cheesecake, D24 matcha mont blanc tarts and mini ice cream bars coated in dark chocolate and almonds. From 4th May to 14th July, you can put your love for durian to the test with the hotel’s Dessert Buffet which sees some durian pastries.
(Image credit: Goodwood Park Hotel)