Best dining spots to satisfy your durian cravings

'Tis the thorny fruit season again. Here's where you can enjoy an all-you-can-eat durian spread (or indulge in these treats at home).
By Victoria Lim
Published on Thursday, 13 Jul 2017
Lime Restaurant

There are two types of people in this world: durian lovers and durian haters. The pungent smell of the thorny fruit can either induce feelings of anticipation or make you hold your breath till you feel like passing out.  If you’re a fan of The King of Fruit, you probably enjoy it in all of its glorious forms and combinatons (great: chocolate durian; offbeat: fried chicken with durian sauce). While it’s incredibly satisfying to dig into the insides of the thorny husk, eating the fruit in its many amazing renditions means you won’t have to deal with the lingering pungent scent on your fingers (though washing your hands with water streamed from the husk will rid of the smell miraculously). 

Ready to indulge? Read on to find our top picks to satisfy your durian cravings.

Marriott Cafe

A combination of savoury and sweet

Lime Restaurant’s Thorny Temptations ($88/person) offers both savoury and sweet durian dishes in its buffet lineup. The former includes mains courses such as Durian Ravioli and Butter Durian Prawns. For desserts, you won't go wrong with their failproof Mini Durian Crumble and Deep-Fried Durian Ice Cream. There's something to satisfy the purists too. Make a beeline for the station located just outside the restaurant, where a chef will personally pop open D24 and Mao Shan Wang durians for those who love the fruit in its original form. Can't get any fresher than that.

Take a breather in between with their equally tempting signatures such as the Hokkien Prawn Noodle Soup, Truffle Mac & Cheese and their Lobster Risotto with Blue Swimmer Crab Meat. Till 2 September. Level 1, PARKROYAL on Pickering, 3 Upper Pickering Street. Tel: 6809 8899

For an indulgent afternoon treat

If your durian craving hits in the afternoon, Marriott Cafe is the place to be. The hotel restaurant has gone all out with their afternoon tea offerings, including durian strudel made with D24 durian puree, durian swiss rolls, and even a durian pizza with stringy mozzarella and creamy mascarpone cheese. While there are certainly some unorthodox creations, the classic durian cream puffs will still make its appearance. These bite-size choux buns come piped with a velvety, rich durian mousse so resistance is futile. And did we say there are also fried durian balls, durian crème brûlée tarts, durian mochi, durian crêpes, and durian kueh lapis?

While durians are certainly the highlight, Marriott Cafe’s buffet ($45/person for weekdays; $48/person for Sat and Sun) spread also includes dim sum, char kway teow, oyster omelettes, and nasi lemak. Till 9 August. Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, 320 Orchard Road. Tel: 67325 5800. 

Ellenborough Market Cafe

Sweet Takeaways

If you prefer to take your time to savour those durian treats at home, swing by One Farrer Confectionery and mull through the new selection of confectioneries (pop by between 9.30am and 9pm). Freshly baked gems include the D24 Durian Tart ($8), creamy durian custard served in a buttery shell; and Durian Millefeuile ($8), flaky thin puff pastries spread with rich durian cream. If there's a birthday celebration coming up, order the sumptuous D24 Fudge Crunch Cake ($8/slice, $32/small whole cake, $58/large whole cake). There's even Durian Pengat ($6), served with fresh coconut milk and gula melaka. Owen Link, One Farrer Hotel & Spa, 1 Farrer Park Station Road. Tel: 6705 7824.

Never-ending durian feast

It’s an all-you-can-eat spread at Swissotel Merchant Court’s Ellenborough Market Cafe ($72/person, and $88/person with 200g of Mao Shan Wang). The glorious feast includes the ever-popular durian pengat – that’s decadent durian pulp with coconut milk for you. Other desserts such as the sinful but oh so good Durian Chendol and refreshing Durian Pudding are not to be missed. Take a break in between and tuck into local dishes like the ayam buah keluak and chicken rice. If that's not enough durian madness, you can go for the Mao Shan Wang (additional charge of $7.50/100g) served fresh from its husk. Till 31 July. Swissotel Merchant Court, 20 Merchant Road, Tel: 6239 1848.