My love of durian has become legendary and I am thrilled. Sadly I can’t manage to eat quite as much as I used to be able to, (I could get through one whole fruit in a single sitting) but Resorts World Sentosa don’t seem to mind and asked me to join them for their one night only durian fest that took place at the Hard Rock Hotel last night. The first thing I reached for when getting ready? My trousers with an elasticated waist…
We arrived slightly late and it was already packed. There must have been about 500 people all sitting down and getting stuck in…and this was only the first round (7pm-9pm, followed by a second sitting from 9pm-11pm).
The stash of durian on display was overwhelming and so huge that the chap patrolling the top level of the stall could only get down by means of a slide. So far so good: there was so much here, we weren’t even going to be able to make a dent in it.
EG who had asked me along, made me promise not to show him up by being an angmoh who only pretends to eat durian. I was also very aware that I was the only angmoh here (I’m always quite pleased with myself when this happens…it invariably means I’m in the right place…it’s getting harder and harder to do these days) so I had to hold the side up. I came hungry.
There were 5 flavours to choose from – really quite different in terms of look and taste (see pic above) – all reserved from the best Malaysian plantations about 6 months in advance of this one event.
As durian is hugely calorific and rich, to the extent that the amount you can eat is somewhat limited, I’m a believer in making my calories count: if I’m going to eat them, I want to eat the best. I politely toyed with a few varieties brought over to our table (Red Prawn, D24, 101) but of course the one to go for was the perpetually superior Mountain Cat. So when I thought it was polite to do so, and not too greedy, I did just that.
But I was determined to choose it myself. This was a mistake. I broke free from the confines of our velvet roped VIP enclosure (seriously, I love it – does eating durian get any better than this? I am used to a dusty roadside in Geylang) and wandered casually up to the giant stall at the front. Only to realise that, by sheer bad timing, I was being followed a ridiculous durian mascot. People stopped talking. There was a confused murmur. Who was the freak here? The lone angmoh girl or the full-grown man squeezed in to a spiney fruit suit? I hope, if anyone had any doubts, they were at least fleeting and in my favour.
But all in all a wonderful evening and an hour of solid durian eating meant that I more than made up for my lack of lunch and dinner.
The Durian Fest was a RWS ticketed event, held on 27th July at The Hard Rock Hotel, Artillery Avenue, Sentosa, Singapore 098269
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