Wed, Jan 31, 2018 - Page 6 News List

Singapore durian-themed cafe serves up winning combos


Durian-flavored ice cream, waffles and pizza are pictured on Wednesday last week at Mao Shan Wang cafe in Singapore.

Photo: AFP

A Singapore eatery centered around the pungent durian fruit has caught a whiff of success as patrons flock to the cafe in droves for a bite of its exotic offerings.

The spiky fruit long regarded as a delicacy in Southeast Asia has left a divisive trail — you either love it or hate it — and its odor means it is banned in most hotels and metro trains.

Detractors often describe its intense smell as a mix of gym socks and onions, while enthusiasts liken the creamy texture and intense aroma to blue cheese.

While the bittersweet fruit is usually eaten on its own or as dessert, the Mao Shan Wang cafe in Singapore’s Chinatown has a special menu with durian in all dishes, even savory ones.

Customers can opt for chicken nuggets with a durian dip, pizza topped with durian flesh, fries with a side of durian sauce, all washed down with coffee — durian-infused, of course.

“We will be looking to expand the offerings as well, with maybe rice, pasta and other things,” company spokesman Lance Lee said.

When reporters visited the cafe on a weekend afternoon, business was brisk.

While many opted for durian ice cream to beat the muggy tropical heat, the more adventurous customers, most of them tourists, were seen trying the strong-smelling fruit — while wearing gloves.

Many were also waiting in line to buy durian-flavored confectionery and even freshly cut up fruit conveniently sealed in vacuum packs for their plane journey.

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