All hail durian, the king of fruit! With a literal crown of thorns, this notorious fruit is famous for its pungent scent, which will either get you loving or hating it.
Personally, I love durian, and one of my favourite times of the year is when durian season comes about. But what about the rest of the year? Where do you go when the durian cravings hit you?
Folks, we’ve got you covered. Here are the 10 best durian-inspired foods in Singapore you’ve got to try at least once in your life.
Run by the same team behind SunnyHills, FORBIDDEN is a durian-inspired concept that uses fresh durians from Pahang, Malaysia.
Its best product? The Durian Rolls, which combine our favourite love letters (arguably one of the best Chinese New Year snacks) with premium durian flesh.
The Durian Rolls are available in 2 sizes – 8 Pieces (S$12.60) and 20 Pieces (S$29.30), but these little rolls are so addictive that we’re positive you can’t stop at one.
The love letters are made using a French cookie recipe (specifically, the Langues de Chat), which results in an external biscuit-like layer that’s 5 times thicker than your typical egg roll, so that it doesn’t break into pieces the moment you pick them up.
On the inside of each egg roll lies premium D24 durian flesh that’s harvested from plantations in Pahang. No additives are used so as to create the purest durian experience ever.
Note that you can grab FORBIDDEN’s Durian Rolls at SunnyHills’ Singapore outlets, which are at Raffles Hotel and Takashimaya.
2. Cat & the Fiddle
With over 10 locations in Singapore, Cat & the Fiddle is most well known for its Asian-inspired cheesecakes, which come in flavours like Milo Dinosaur, Yuan Yang Coffee & Tea, and yes, you’ve probably guessed it— they have durian cheesecakes too!
Halal-certified Cat & the Fiddle has 2 types of durian-inspired cheesecakes.
The first is the Mao Shan Wang Durian (S$58.90), a stunning non-baked durian cheesecake that comes with a buttery biscuit bake, durian sponge cake, cream cheese mixed with durian pulp, and durian-infused sponge cubes.
The second is a playful spin on the ever-popular basque cheesecake. Cat & the Fiddle’s Durian Basque Burnt (S$72.90) might be costly, but it weighs a whopping 900g and the velvety cream cheese on the inside is mixed with real mao shan wang durian pulp!
The best part— Cat & the Fiddle offers express delivery, so you can expect to receive your cakes the very next day if you place your orders before 5pm on the previous day.
3. Dessert Bowl 一碗甜品
Dessert Bowl has been winning over the hearts and minds of durian fans since 2008.
This humble shop, located at Serangoon Garden, is most well known for its durian mousse desserts. Note that it’s located on the 2nd floor, so you’ll have to take the stairs up to reach it.
You won’t go wrong ordering Dessert Bowl’s Durian Snow Mountain (S$7). It’s served with a generous amount of durian flesh on top of creamy durian mousse, and if you’re thinking that durian mousse is rather jelak, you’d be surprised to find out that it’s more like a durian ice blend that’s completely addictive.
Not a fan of durian mousse? Try its Durian Chendol (S$7.50) or Durian with Glutinous Rice (S$6.80). Alternatively, Dessert Bowl also has Durian-misu (S$10), which is a combination of durian with tiramisu.
Sawadee Thai Cuisine is located along Tan Quee Lan Street in Bugis, and it serves up authentic Thai food that’s perfect for sharing with family and friends since 2001.
You might be asking— if this is an authentic Thai restaurant, then what durian-inspired foods do they serve?
Mao Shan Wang Durian Sticky Rice. Yes, you heard me right.
It’s no doubt that Sawadee Thai Cuisine also serves up the traditional Mango Sticky Rice (S$10), which comes with butterfly pea flower glutinous rice and mango, but durian fans should definitely try its unique counterpart.
Luxuriously creamy and robust, the Mao Shan Wang Durian Sticky Rice features lightly sweetened sticky rice with a custard-like durian paste made from mao shan wang and coconut milk, creating a fragrant yet undeniably delicious combination.
5. Ji Xiang Confectionery
Run by husband and wife, Mr Toh Poh Seek and Mdm Toh Bong Yeo, Ji Xiang Confectionery was opened in 1988 with a single dream— to sell a million ang ku kuehs.
For the past 35 years, Ji Xiang Confectionery has made every single kueh by hand, and thanks to its success, Mr and Mdm Toh’s dream of selling a million ang ku kuehs have since been achieved.
In 2021, Ji Xiang launched a new flagship store at 235 Victoria Street, under the direction of Mr Toh’s younger son, Mr Kelvin Toh.
Ji Xiang Confectionery is the king of all things ang ku kueh related.
You can expect the full range of Ang Ku Kuehs ($1.60 per piece) in a variety of flavours, such as Peanut, Sweet Bean, Salted Bean and Corn, as well as a diverse range of premium flavours that cost S$3.50 per piece. These include the luxe Durian (MSW) Ang Ku Kueh, Rainbow Peanut Ang Ku Kueh and even Pistachio Ang Ku Kueh!
When I visited on a weekday afternoon, its Durian (MSW) Ang Ku Kueh was out of stock, so be sure to pre-order before dropping by to avoid being disappointed.
6. Classic Cakes
Classic Cakes, also known as Charles Classic Cakes to its fans, was started by Charles Quek, a corporate worker turned professional baker. It has 2 outlets: one at 41 Sunset Way, and another at 52 Siglap Drive.
Its crepe cakes are one of a kind, because every single layer is handmade! Try its Original Mille Crepes (S$80 for whole, S$8.50 per slice), which is layered with pastry cream, real vanilla pods, Kirsch liquor, and topped with caramelised sugar.
Alternatively, you can consider its other crepe cake flavours, such as Durian Mille Crepes (S$95 for whole, S$10 per slice). This luscious delight is buttered with D24 durian filling, thus fusing the quintessential love-it-or-hate-it fruit with a traditional French dessert.
Not feeling so adventurous? Classic Cakes also has Apple Mille Crepes (S$85 for whole, S$9 per slice), or non-crepe cakes such as Black Forest Cake (S$55 for whole, S$6 per slice).
7. Durian Lab Cafe
Nestled along 119 Bukit Merah Lane 1 is Durian Lab Cafe, a quaint cafe that brings a whole new meaning to the cafe-hopping culture, as its entire menu is inspired by durians!
From mao shan wang cakes to ice cream, Durian Lab Cafe truly lives up to its name.
Be sure to try its MSW Burnt Cheese Cake (S$11), which uses pure mao shan wang puree sandwiched between mao shan wang cream cheese and 4 types of cheese, or its MSW Burnt Cruffin (S$7), which is a cross between a muffin and croissant, and filled with molten mao shan wang and cheese custard.
A highly recommended item is its MSW Sago (S$8.50). This icy treat comprises mao shan wang moose with a scoop of pure mao shan wang puree, and it’s completed with springy sago and chewy nata de coco.
If you’re a purist, you should go straight for its MSW Ice Cream (S$6.90 for single scoop), or pair it with a freshly made Waffle (S$11.80).
8. Stinky Durian Dessert
You can rest assured that the durian you get at Stinky Durian Dessert is of the highest quality, because this family-run business actually has their own durian farm in Raub, Pahang, Malaysia.
Their durian farm, Fook Gor Durian Farm, was started in 1982 by Chan Lai Fook. In fact, it’s home to Malaysia’s oldest Musang King tree— impressive!
This is also the same family behind 99 Old Trees, a durian specialty shop in Singapore.
It’s a true blue durian affair at Stinky Durian Dessert, because extracted durian pulp from their family durian farm is turned into delectable durian desserts, such as Stinky Chendul (S$3.30 for no durian, S$5.30 with durian) and Stinky Bowl (S$5.80 for regular additional, S$2 for extra shot), the latter of which is its top-selling durian mousse.
Prefer pastries instead? Stinky Durian Dessert also incorporates its extracted durian pulp into cakes like Stinky Roll (S$25 for whole roll), which is a mao shan wang durian swiss roll, and Stinky Bomb (S$1.90 per piece), which features choux filled with mao shan wang.
Walk past DurianBB, which is located at 462 Crawford Lane near North Bridge Road, and the intense amount of durian-themed memorabilia and decorations will definitely catch your eye.
From a durian logo to even a claw machine filled with durian plushies, DurianBB must be one of the most iconic durian shops in Singapore. In fact, it’s famous for its DurianBB Party, a seasonal event which allows you to try all sorts of durian via an all-you-can-eat durian buffet.
Apart from its seasonal all-you-can-eat durian buffet, DurianBB serves up adorable durian cakes too.
The Boom (S$9.80) is a green durian-like cake that’s filled with mao shan wang mousse with mango, while the Say Cheese! (S$9.80) is shaped like a wedge of cheese, and is made with mao shan wang cream topped with a cream cheese mousse.
If the BAO (S$9.80) catches your eye, don’t worry— it’s not dim sum. It’s actually made with white chocolate pearls in mao shan wang moose, and coated with ivory chocolate mousse.
10. Ms Durian
Have you ever heard of a mao shan wang afternoon tea set?
If this piques your curiosity, I urge you to head over to Ms Durian, a durian specialty bakery that was spearheaded by two ladies in 2019. Though most of its durian-related products are available online, you can find its flagship shop at 11 Kelantan Road.
Available only upon reservation is its Mao Shan Wang Durian Hightea Set (S$45+), which comes with savouries and sweets like Mao Shan Wang Durian Coffee, Mao Shan Wang Durian Tart, Mao Shan Wang Durian Craquelins, and fellow writer Aaron’s favourite, the Mao Shan Wang Durian Macaron.
Accompanying the entire afternoon tea is a refreshing cup of Lemongrass Pandan Tea, which I must say, is the perfect tea pairing, as the fragrant lemongrass balances out the creamy richness from the fresh mao shan wang.
11 Kelantan Road, Singapore 208604
+65 6962 0057
Mon, Wed & Thu: 9am – 6pm
Fri to Sun: 9am – 10pm
Closed on Tue
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