Durian, the king of fruits, is a very controversial conversation topic in Singapore. You either love it or hate it; neutrality is almost impossible.
Growing up, I hated the pungent scent of durian but as I grew older and became more adventurous with my food, durian became one of my favourite fruits. I come back to Singapore yearly just to have my yearly dose of durian when it is in season.
I like durian. I like durian in everything. Ice-cream, cakes… I even like it deep fried. Here is a list of top durian dishes that I absolutely adore.
1. Durian Pengat
Durian Pengat ($9)
Durian pengat is a very old recipe that uses aged durian, your mind may protest at first sight, but you’ll grow to love it after the first mouth.
It is a semi-porridge and most commonly known as a snack amongst the Malay and Peranakan community. This durian pengat had a really consistent texture. With browned butter croutons and silky coconut ice cream, this dessert was a delight to have.
Sinpopo Brand: 458 Joo Chiat Road Singapore 427671 | Opening Hours: Sun & Tues – Thurs 12pm – 10pm, Fri & Sat 12pm – 12am | Tel: 6345 5034 | Website
2. Durian Cake
Durian Cake ($12)
This durian cake from Creatures is a melange of rich pandan and durian flavours. With pandan genoise sponge, pandan vanilla chantilly cream and a generous thick layer of mao shan wang durian paste, this dessert is heaven for durian lovers. The durian gods will definitely approve, despite the presence of pandan.
One would think that this combination is strange but the sweetness of the pandan complemented the sourness of the durian paste. The aromatic scent of the pandan also made the pungent durian smell much weaker. You’ll lick this up within a couple of minutes.
Creatures: 120 Desker Road, Singapore 209639 | Opening Hours: Tues – Sun 12pm –10.30pm, Fri & Sat, 12pm – 11.30pm | Tel: 6291 6996 | Website
3. Durian Creme Brulee
Durian Creme Brulee ($8)
A twist to the original French recipe, the durian creme brulee is perhaps better than the vanilla creme brulee. With a rich durian custard that jiggles when you shake it, a spoonful of this divine dessert will tickle your taste buds alive.
The layer of crunchy hard caramel balances the taste of the durian and contrasts the soft texture of the custard. It even melts in your mouth!
Kush: 73A Ayer Rajah Crescent, #01-36 Timbre+, Singapore 139957 | Opening Hours: Mon – Wed 12pm – 2.30pm & 6pm – 10.30pm, Thurs – Sat 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 11pm | Tel: 6834 4174 | Website
4. Fried Durian Roll with Ice Cream
Fried Durian Roll with Ice Cream ($6)
Fried durian roll was a new experience for me. The durian paste was warm and moist, encapsulated by a crunchy and thin fried layer. The durian paste was different to that of other desserts in the sense that it was slightly more bitter and more clumpy to ensure that the paste really sticks together when the roll is being deep fried.
Together with ice cream, this dessert was a hot and cold sensation that you need to experience.
Hong Kong Dessert 谢记 (Jubilee Square): 61 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8, #01-02 Jubilee Square, Singapore 569814 | Opening Hours: Mon – Fri & Sun 11am – 11pm, Sat 11am – 11.30pm | Tel: 6457 1203 | Website
5. Durian Yam Sago
Durian Yam Sago ($4.90)
The Durian Yam Sago is a durian moment that will go down in history. The puree is rich and creamy topped with fresh durian flesh and sago. Rich and creamy durian purée topped with sago and bits of yam, this dessert is an almighty version of a bubur cha cha.
This bubur cha cha 2.0 has a very silky texture that makes the dessert really easy to drink, even after a heavy meal.
Ah Chew Desserts: 1 Liang Seah Street, #01-11 Liang Seah Place, Singapore 189022 | Opening Hours: Mon – Thurs 12.30pm – 11.30pm, Fri 12.30pm – 12.30am, Sat 1.30pm – 12.30am, Sun 1.30pm – 11.30pm | Tel: 6339 8198 | Website
6. Durian Polo Bun
Durian Polo Bun ($1.80)
Hailing from Taiwan, Bing Huo Bo Luo Bao is well known for making some of the best polo buns in the world. Here in Singapore, the bakery has adjusted its recipes to suit the local food scene, especially with the pure durian polo bun.
The durian paste is kept inside the fluffy polo bun. The softness of the bun and the creaminess of the durian paste goes really well with the crunchiness of the golden egg-brushed top. This is something I would definitely have on the go if I need to satisfy my durian cravings urgently.
Bing Huo Bo Luo Bao 冰火菠蘿堡: 2 New Market Rd, Singapore 050032 (opposite the hawker centre) | Opening Hours: daily 7am – 9pm
7. Durian Souffle
Durian “Royale” Soufflé, “Mao Shan Wang” Durian & Mangosteen Sorbet ($18)
A durian souffle is not something you come across very often, so when you do, you know you just have to try it. The durian souffle was very light and fluffy. The warmth of the douffle made the durian filling all the more enjoyable.
The mangosteen ice cream perfectly complemented the durian in this tropical-themed dessert. The mangosteen cools you down after all that durian. Undoubtedly the king and queen of fruits.
DB Bistro Moderne: 2 Bayfront Avenue #B1-48 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore 018956 | Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 12pm – 10pm, Sat 11am – 11pm, Sun 11am – 10pm | Tel: 6688 8525 | Website
8. Durian Tapioca Cake
Durian Tapioca Cake ($0.80)
Another snack to munch on would be the durian tapioca cake. For only 80 cents, this snack is chewy, has a great durian flavour and small enough to curb your hunger pangs!
This is usually served hot so it melts in your mouth.
Durian History: 1 Park Road #01-28 Chinatown People’s Park Complex Singapore | Opening Hours: daily 10am – 10pm | Website
9. Durian Chee Cheong Fun
Durian Chee Cheong Fun ($5.50)
Usually a meal of its own, chee cheong fun has never been funkier with the added durian fillings. The paste was super creamy and was an interesting combination with the thick chee cheong fun skin.
A novelty indeed, perhaps the rice roll is a little too plain to go hand in hand with the durian paste but it is definitely an experience you have to have!
House of Rice Roll & Porridge: 89 Killiney Rd, 239529 | Opening Hours: Daily 7am – 10pm | Tel: 6736 1355
10. Durian Swiss Roll
Durian Swiss Roll ($8)
Founded in 1997, Rich & Good Cake Shop is known for their fluffy swiss rolls. It was only a matter of time until they came up with a durian one.
Best served chilled, the durian swiss roll is soft and creamy. The fresh cream and durian flesh is what makes this swiss roll so special. You could eat so many slices and feel as light as air despite how creamy is is.
Rich and Good Cake Shop: 24 Kandahar St, Singapore 198887 | Opening Hours: Mon – Sat 9am – 5pm| Tel: 6294 3324 | Website
11. Durian Ang Ku Kueh
Durian Ang Ku Keh ($1)
Ang ku kueh is a traditional Singaporean kueh. Handmade daily, the skin of Ji Xiang’s ang ku kueh is really soft and thin. The ang ku kueh wasn’t too moist too. It was chewy and the mung bean has a great durian flavour to it.
Ji Xiang Confectionary: 1 Everton Park, Singapore 081001 | Opening Hours: Mon – Sat 8am – 5pm | Tel: 6223 1631 | Website
12. Durian Fried Rice
Durian Fried Rice ($8.80)
Durian is something not known for in Hong Kong, but being in Singapore, Central Restaurant has picked up how loved this fruit is here. Durian flesh and fried rice is an interesting combination. Sweeter than most fried rice, the durian blends in surprisingly well with the eggs, carrots, prawns and corn. It’s something you have to try at least once in your life.
Central Cafe: 1 Vista Exchange Green, The Star Vista, 138617 | Opening Hours: Daily 10am – 10pm | Tel: 6268 9628 | Website
Related Guide: 21 Lunch Sets in CBD Below $15