Today, we bought possibly, the most expensive durian in Singapore. $100 for a durian!
So the story goes that Kate and I wanted to have some durian while we were having one of our foodie trips in Geylang. After finishing a dim sum lunch, we headed across the road to a durian stall at the corner of Geylang Lorong 17 – Wonderful Durian (旺德福).
As with most durian-craving Singaporeans, we wanted to have a taste of a good grade of durian but did not want to spend too much, so we approached the uncle to want to try the 猫山王 (mao shan) variety of the durian. As the mao shan wang went for $38 per kg, we wanted to choose just a small one.
So the uncle, smooth as he was, started to ask what kind of durian we wanted. Sweet or bitter (甜还是苦的). We prefer the bitter version and immediately, the uncle went on to recommend the 王中王 (aka 皇中皇 or King of Kings) which went for $55 per kg. The first durian he picked was a 2.2kg one! He even wanted to give us a discount if we picked another one!
Subsequently, he said that the King of Kings variety tasted better, with smaller seeds and he kept saying “相信我” (trust me). The uncle had a trust-worthy look and yes, we believed him…
At this point in time, we were still relatively happy with our buy, seeing that the amount of “good quality durian” was quite substantial (a huge boxful of durian) and that the uncle was confident enough to pose for the above photo. Well…we were subsequently very disappointed after the taste test…
Taste of the most expensive durian in Singapore – $100 durian!
After we got home, we realised that the durian started to “sweat” and became watery. That did not put us off, yet. The taste however, did. The flavour was not strong, neither was the taste bitter as promised. The seed though was indeed the smallest we’ve ever seen. Some were even as small as 1cm. That, uncle did not lie about…
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Lessons of buying the most expensive durian in Singapore
1. The old adage of 一分钱一分货 (you pay for what you get) does not always hold true. As seen from this episode, paying a hefty price does not necessarily mean that you’ll get the best durian. In fact, we’ve tasted much better (bitter, drier and “meatier”) durians for far less.
2. Don’t judge a book by its cover (even if the uncle looks really friendly). Much of the decision was based on uncle’s believable stance and his confidence in his durian. In addition, when the durian was opened, it actually looked really good! Take one more step, taste before you go!
3. Brave up to your mistake. Eventually, it was a decision that we made and we have learnt from this episode and would like to share it with you all – go for the cheaper mao shan wang instead! :p
To be fair, judging from uncle’s broad smiles and thumbs up, we don’t think he knows that the quality was really not up to the mark. If you have bought a (one) durian for more than $100, let us know in the comments section below on how that turned out! You might have bought the most expensive durian in Singapore!