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By Eye Steel Film from Canada (IMG_5624-CC) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Durian is a Southeast Asian fruit with a thorn-covered husk that’s about as inviting as its smell. People have likened its aroma to everything from gym socks to rancid onions and turpentine. For this reason, Singapore has even gone so far as to ban it from its railways.

And yet, diners still delight in its juicy golden pulp, which can be enjoyed in dishes both savoury and sweet. Curious about durian? Here are five sweet reasons to give it a try:

 

Durian cheesecake - Cafe de Waraku

(PHOTO: JESSICA ROBERTS-FARINA)

 

1) Durian cheesecake, Café de Waraku

Dessert lovers will adore a small slice of the notoriously heavy durian cheesecake ($8.50). The buttercup-yellow treat is made with durian flesh and three different kinds of cream cheese, yet it sits lightly on the stomach. The cake pairs nicely with an iced coffee.

Location: Parker Place, 4231 Hazelbridge Way

 

Durian mousse cake - Cafe de Waraku

(PHOTO: JESSICA ROBERTS-FARINA)

2) Durian mousse cake, Café de Waraku

This café specializes in pretty cheesecakes, but its durian mousse cake ($8.50) begs a try. The mousse is light as a feather and manages to bring a delicacy to the heavily sweet taste of durian. The fruit’s flesh and cream is mixed to perfection and broken up by layers of light yellow cake.

Location: Parker Place, 4231 Hazelbridge Way

 

Durian mochi - Mango Yummy

(PHOTO: JESSICA ROBERTS-FARINA)

 

3) Durian mochi, Mango Yummy

At $1 a mochi, this durian treat is a steal. Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made from a short-grain japonica glutinous rice. The rice is pounded into a paste and then molded into the desired shape. Mango Yummy’s durian mochi is topped with a dusting of coconut flakes and at its centre is a small dollop of sweet durian cream filling.

Location: 6564 No 3 Rd.

 

Durian sago - Bubble Fruity
(PHOTO: JESSICA ROBERTS-FARINA)

 

4) Durian sago, Bubble Fruity

You’re likely to smell durian before you even see Bubble Fruity. The popular Hong Kong-style dessert shop makes a hearty, sweet durian sago pudding ($5) that is the perfect size for sharing. Sago pudding is a sweet pudding made by boiling sago — a starch extracted from tropical palm stems —with either water or milk and adding sugar and additional flavours. A cold can of carbonated Coca-Cola is a nice palate cleanser after the sweet pudding.

Location: 8188 Saba Rd.

 

Durian dumplings - Bubble Fruity

(PHOTO: JESSICA ROBERTS-FARINA)

 

5) Durian dumplings, Bubble Fruity

Last, but not least. These dumplings ($5) are silky smooth on the outside and pungently durian on the inside. Served warm, this dish pleasantly combines broth with the rich, sugary sweetness of durian.

Location: 8188 Saba Rd.