Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Ultimate Durian Taste Test

A month ago, a group of people gathered at Hong Lim Park. We were not protesting but......doing something "fishy". I'm quite sure anyone could smell us far away.  It's a picnic with durians, or more precisely Durian Taste Test organised by Hungrygowhere. I was excited to join in the team to help pick up the King of the King.

There were 11 types of durian. Each type was kept anonymous to the testers, only to be identified by the star stickers labeled with number. So everyone went around with a paper plate and a fork, mobilising all our sense to figure out the characteristics.
 
So here are the results of the best and worse durians, based on both quantitative and qualitative judging.  The marks range from 3.8-5.9 out of 10 (10 indicates “Definitely Recommend” and O indicates “Not Recommend”) Hence, you can see that there was a close fight between the durians.

Hong Xia Wang 3.8/10 
Clear flavours, but flat. Not bitter, moderately sweet. For durian beginners
 
$10/kg
Lian Hua Chun  279 Balestier Point Tel: 9060 6405 
Daily 2pm-midnight

Shan Ba (aka kampong/village)  4/10
Pungent, creamy, fibrous. Not very custardy. For those who like Malaysian varieties.

$5/durian
Ah Hung Company (also rated best stall)
204 Geylang Road Tel: 6743 3509
 
Mao Mao Wang 4.2/10  (funny name--cat cat king or hairy king?)
Flat. Not value for $. Too light. Little flesh. Not special.
 
$30/kg
Durian Culture (also rated worst stall)
77 Sims Avenue Tel: 6744 5232  
Daily 24 hours
 
Sultan Wang 4.3/10
Good for ice cream. Mixed review: fishy? plasticky? Bittersweet aftertaste.
Soft, creamy flesh. 
 
$15/kg
Wonderful Fruit Enterprise
147 Sims Ave Tel: 6474 0191 or 8437 3888.
 
Hu Lu Wang 4.9/10 
A hit and miss. Lack bitterness. Sourish? 
For those with a sweet tooth for Chinese desserts.
 
$10/kg 
Lian Hua Chun
279 Balestier Point Tel: 9060 6405
Daily 2pm-midnight
 
Sultan aka D24 5/10
Fail to impress despite being D24. Fibrous. Powdery? watery? 
Some felt it had not ripened. 
 
$10/kg 
Wonderful Fruit Enterprise 
147 Sims Ave 
Tel: 6474 0191 or 8437 3888
 
D13 mix 5.3/10 
BEST FOR FIRST-TIMERS 
$12/kg 
Kean Lye Fruit Trading 
766 Upper Serangoon Road Tel: 6284 4007 
Daily 11am-10pm
 

Butter Durian 5.3 /10
Price Bargain-able. Moderate bitter-sweet. Strongest aroma. Creamy
$38/ box 
Metro Trading 
Blk 531 Upper Cross Street, Hong Lim Complex
 
XO Durian 5.5/10
moderate-to-very sweet flesh, with little/no bitterness. As creamy and buttery as Mao Shan Wang. For those who do not like to feel too full after eating durians.
 
$15/kg
Ah Hung Company (also rated best stall)
204 Geylang Road Tel: 6743 3509   
 
Mao Shan Wang 5.6/10
BEST STALL / DURIAN SELLER 
Most appetizing looks. Buttery-textured flesh. Moderately sweet and aromatic
 
$18/kg 
Ah Hung Company 
204 Geylang Road Tel: 6743 3509
 
Hong Xia, CROWD FAVOURITE 5.9/10
 
Price: $10/kg  
Recommended eaten cool a candy-like taste and a "floral" aftertaste. avocado-like texture
Penang hybrid is, again, not any like red prawn 
 
Teo Boon Teck 
Albert Street, along Short Street Tel: 9873 8466 or 6396 6321 
Till 11pm daily

___
 
Overall, it was really an eye opener for me as I did not know so many varieties exist here. Furthermore, it was the first time I concentrate so hard to eat a fruit (lol...) I hope this information will be handy for durian lovers to smell out some good durian stalls in Singapore.
 
 
Just in case some might not have read about this, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has accepted the challenge issued by Singtel and some food bloggers here to compete with top 3 Singapore hawkers in a culinary contest.
 
 
If you wish to witness the cookoff LIVE between Chef Ramsay and our local hawker heroes, find out how to win tickets at : http://www.hungrygowhere.com/dining-guide/food-contests-and-giveaways/secure-vip-seats-at-the-hawker-meal-by-gordon-ramsay-*aid-0f773f00/
 
*Special thanks to Hungrygowhere for the invite
 

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