D13 durians are easily identified by their deep burnt orange colour.
Durian season is here, and for all you durian connoisseurs, we have interviewed 32 year-old Wong Chu Yi (CY), the founder of Durian Kaki at Eastpoint Mall to find out the best kind of durians for your taste buds and other selection of durian desserts and pastries you can find at their outlet!
Traditional durian stores are aplenty in Singapore and in the past few years, we have seen an increase in younger individuals taking on this trade. That said, durian lovers like ourselves can rest easy knowing that we can continue our durian-eating traditions!
Founded in 2015, Durian Kaki started from a small stall in the market at Aljunied before opening its first outlet in Yishun and expanding to Eastpoint Mall in October 2018.
Putting their customers’ needs in the forefront of their operations, Durian Kaki sets out to not only provide fresh, good quality durians but also excellent service to keep their customers coming back for more.
Upon entering the establishment, you will be welcomed with bright and modern Broadway-style signage, accent industrial brick walls, chalkboard menus, glass panels and most importantly, air conditioning!
Here’s what we learned from speaking to CY!
I have always loved eating durians! My uncle used to sell durians and I started learning about the trade from him. I used to work as an accountant for a multinational company, before taking one year of leave to spend some months researching and travelling to Malaysia to learn all about durians. The time-off from work inspired me to open my own durian store.
Customers can enjoy their durians in the comfort of a cool air-conditioned space.
Many Singaporeans would agree that buying durians might be a difficult or scary experience. This can be attributed to their fear of getting cheated.
When we first opened our stall at the market in Aljunied, no one had heard about us and business was slow. In hopes of getting customers, we would cut open some durians and bring them to the nearby carpark for passer-by to try. Thankfully, this helped to instil confidence in the customers and the business started to pick up!
From the start, I knew that I wanted to open shop in a mall. I wanted to provide a comfortable, air-conditioned space for my customers to relax and enjoy their durians with their friends and family. I’m glad this was made possible at Eastpoint Mall, as the entrance for our outlet is located outside the mall, to prevent the strong smell of the fruit from entering the mall.
We are honest vendors selling good quality durians. We try our best to provide excellent service to our customers. We guide them along the process of purchasing their durians, and we ensure that they are satisfied with their purchase.
Our takeaway items are packed in a vacuum-sealed packaging instead of a traditional Styrofoam packet to minimise the strong smell of the durian. I found this to be helpful especially for customers who plan to carry the durians onto public transport or even overseas.
We also cater durians for company events or occasions. The biggest we have done so far is supplying about 3,000 kg of durian to cater for about 1,000 people.
Be sure to give their freshly-baked Mao Shan Wang puffs a try!
Besides freshly cut durians, customers can also drop by for some durian pastries and desserts. We offer Mao Shan Wang puffs, chiffon cake, and panna cotta at our outlets for now.
My wife enjoys baking and she is heavily involved in the research and development aspect of dreaming up new desserts for the store. We also have durian chendol and ice-kachang in the works, but customers will have to stay tuned to find out when we decide to launch these items.
Expect a generous and creamy Mao Shan Wang filling in the puffs.
Mao Shan Wang is known for its silky-smooth texture and bitter sweet taste. It’s also one of the easier durians to blend to create the smoothness required for the desserts.
The freshest durians will have a green stalk.
Scratch the stalk of the durian. If the stalk is green, it means that the durian has just dropped recently, and it is still fresh. If the stalk is brown or dry, the durian is probably not fresh and you shouldn’t purchase it.
When a durian first drops, the flesh is firm and creamy. After a while, it starts deteriorating. Sometimes you will see people knocking the durian to check the consistency of its flesh, if it is wet or dry. But if the durian does not pass the first stage of the scratch test, it doesn’t matter because it still won’t be fresh inside.
If you put it in the fridge, it can last two to three days, or even a week, but it’s always best to eat it as soon as possible!
Not necessarily. A lot of care goes into growing a durian tree. When it’s a hanging fruit, it requires a lot of sunlight, and when it drops, it must not rain. Otherwise, the stalk of the durian might break making it unsellable. However, if the weather is too hot, the durian might also have a slight charred taste to it.
The D13 variety is great for first-time durian eaters!
For first time durian eaters, I would receommend them to try the D13 durians first. It’s sweet, but not too overwhelming. Once they are accustomed to the taste, they can try more intense flavours such as those from the Mao Shan Wang durians.
Thanks to these useful tips, we are more than ready to kick start our purchase of durians! The fruit has been making headlines recently, and with a supply glut, fans of the king of fruits are in for a treat this season!