It’s the season of the world’s most loved (or hated) fruit!
The King of Fruits makes a return and every durian loving human is going crazy. Yes, that includes me. 🙂
In recent years the durian eating spree in the form of buffets had steadily increased in popularity.
While this fruit is rigidly banned from major hotels and malls (and cars), some hotels acknowledge its reputation and include it in its buffets and sparingly in its pastries.
Hotels with spare outer areas such as Four Points by Sheraton in Penang takes it up a notch.
You can now feast on 4-5 variations of durians right on the beach!
A knowledgable and friendly uncle was there to serve me that afternoon. He brings the freshest durians from the farms at Balik Pulau daily to Sheraton Four Points so you are assured of the best for your buck.
Depending on your preference, he will then select the right durians for you; ensuring maximum durian-eating pleasure, for you do not have to try the ones that you might not like.
I told him I like my durians creamy, bitter and thick and he opened the Hor Lor for me.
He was spot on. While I personally preferred the Musang King or Udang Merah, these 2 are not in season yet so the Hor Lor will do for now. He informed me that these two varieties are likely to be available in 2 weeks’ time.
Looks like I have to return to Penang in 2 weeks huh? 🙂
Uncle has been in the durian business for decades. As he opened each for the guests, you are welcome to ask any questions (pertaining to durians of course) to satisfy your curiosity.
I asked quite a lot!
I got a few tips off him:
For example, if you would like to check if your durian is as fresh as claimed, take a close look at the stem. It must look “fresh“/ moist and not dried up.
That’s an indicator that the fruit had just fallen from the tree that very day.
Uncle added that a day old fruit is considered not fresh, even if its unopened.
If the fruit is opened and there are leftovers after an hour or so, the durians’ flavour and aroma are affected and thus considered stale too.
Any durians kept in chillers would have deteriorated in its aroma and flavour. Even frozen ones, he insisted, for you would need to thaw the pulp, which would certainly affect the texture and flavour.
To pick the right fruit, give it a shake.
If there is little movement with no or less sound, then it is good.
Smell it too.
Place it near your nose and take a sniff. If there is a rich aroma, bingo! The fruit should be a good one.
Below are some of the durians I sampled as we chatted at the beach :
1. Ang Bak Kia (or known as M5 to Malays) – sweeter flesh, about RM10-20/kg
2. 604 – half sweet, half bitter, approximately RM10 – 20/kg
3. Hor Lor – creamy, dry (not sticky) and bitter-ish, approximately RM20 – 30/kg
I also took the opportunity to gauge the market price for the durian this year and Uncle said it should be about RM20-30/kg for Udang Merah, D24 and Musang King this year.
However that is the price for Penang. Based on my KL friends’ feedback, it is hovering at RM50 – 60/kg for Musang King now.
RM50/kg for a durian? I can eat as much as I wish here at this durian buffet! 🙂
If I’m a hotel guest or if I’m seeking a comfortable venue to satiate my durian cravings, the convenience of having the fruits on the beach at Four Points by Sheraton Penang would certainly appeal to me.
Some may argue that a more authentic experience would be delivered to be feasting at the farms itself.
Well that would depend on individual preferences. I personally wouldn’t want to travel the distance to Balik Pulau, then wait in line and walk into the orchard and so forth in this weather.
Besides, I heard it can get really crowded too.
The sea, sea breeze, good service, unhurried feasting, personalized attention for small groups and sand between my toes, yes, that is enough for me! 🙂
Date: Now until 30th October 2015
Time : 3 – 5pm
Price: RM95 nett.
Advance booking is a must.
Water will be provided.
Contact for reservations:
505, Jalan Tanjung Bungah, Tanjung Bungah