You know durians are in season when you walk along any random street in Chinatown or Geylang, minding your business, when suddenly thereâs an assault. On your olfactory organs.
That sudden stink in the air means The King of Fruits is back on the scene, bringing with it an onslaught of durian-centricÂ food and drink.
We saw so many of these popping up thatÂ we decided to taste test a selection of the weird durian drinks we could find. Yâknow, the kind ofÂ unusual combinations that make you go, âbut why?â
And so,Â driven by the potential glee of bombarding our durian-hating colleagues with that familiar stench, we rounded up five bizarre durian concoctions from across the island.
Durian coffee, durian tea, durian pandan, durian avocado, and durian red bean ice â bought everywhere from old school dessert shops to hip new drink stalls. Even our CoconutsÂ chihuahuas couldnât resist going in for a curiousÂ sniff.
After we successfully made our entire workplace reek of durian, we buckled down and got to ranking the five drinks from best to worst. Take a look below andÂ live vicariously throughÂ our mixture of joy and suffering.
By far the favorite of the lot, this clever blend of an unlikely pairÂ went down smooth and easy, with the fragrant pandan slightly overwhelming the pungent durian. Perhaps thatâs why it got the most votesÂ â the taste of durian wasnât strong enough to offend, and it simply reminded us of durian chendol, with little chewy chunks of durian flesh in each sip.
Weâd definitely go back for more to satiate mild durian cravings, butÂ our next order will probably request a reduced sugar level to keep the sweetness to a minimum.
#B1-45 Wisma Atria. Daily 11am-10pm.Â
Coming in a close second, the mix of durian and avocado unexpectedly meshed well together. Taste-wise, it was lighter than the pandan drink; but texture-wise, definitely richer. Nearly straw-jamming, even. Not surprising, given the creamy nature of the two fruits. Just think of it as a thicker-than-usual durian shake.
So itâs a thumbs up for durian avocado, whichÂ one of ourÂ Coconuts crew likened to drinking pure durian (with added durian chunks). However, itâs so indulgent than you may or may not feel like youâre way in over your head by the time youâre halfway done with the drink.
#B1-45 Wisma Atria. Daily 11am-10pm.Â
Homegrown fruit tea brand Hi Tea recently jumped on board the durian bandwagon with its D24 and jasmine tea concoction, which claims to be the worldâs first of its kind. Itâs basically a mix of durianÂ purĂ©e and cold brew thatâs topped with a layer of durian cream for floral and creamy notes, so youâre supposed to drink the cream straight from the cup first, then sip the rest of it through a straw. But, the drink got mixed reactions from our group.
Sure, it was fragrant and sweeter than regular durian flesh, and yeah, the jasmine tea flavor lingered without being overtaken by durian. The beverage didnât disgustÂ non-durian lovers, butÂ someone commented it had a hint of chemical sweetener and tasted more like thick, sugary tea sans the fruit.
In conclusion: Thanks, we appreciate the seasonal offering, butÂ weâll stick with the storeâs fruit teas instead.
#01-27 South Wing, Northpoint City. Daily 11am-10pm.
Weâre not entirely sure what happened here. It seems our cup arrived sans durian entirely, and by the time we discovered the blunder, ourÂ colleague was already back in the office with the order. Guess weâll never know whether the staffers at the stall forgot toÂ add in the fruit, or if the drink is just milk and red bean with a scoop of durian so subtle, itâs practically non-existent.
Howâd it not get placed last in the list, or disqualified altogether? Funny you should ask. Read on to find the answers you seekâŠ
Two outlets, including #01-10/11 Liang Seah Place, 1 Liang Seah St. Mon-Thurs 12:30pm-midnight, Fri 12:30pm-1am, Sat 1:30pm-1am, Sun 1:30pm-midnight.
As much as we wanted to love this strange-sounding combination, it was every bit as awful as we expected. Not quite coffee, not quite durian â just an unholy intersection of the two that nature never intended us to artificially engineer. And yet, here we are.
The drink left a bitter aftertaste and was reminiscent of durian syrup or essence, instead of the actual fruit.Â One person described it asÂ plopping a chunk of fake durian ice cream into coffee and leaving it there to wither, while someone elseÂ commented that itÂ tasted like how their toilet would smell if gunk built up after a month of no cleaning.
Maybe we shouldâve gotten the hot version, but it wouldnât have mattered â everyone was in total agreement on how these two sacred, independently beautiful things should never again come into contact with one another.
49 Temple St. Mon-Fri 1pm-10pm, Sat 11am-10pm.