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Remember the Durian Extravaganza that we blogged about? Well, 27 July saw the congregation of hundreds of durian fanatics at the Coliseum, Hard Rock Hotel® Singapore for the durian feast. And boy was it a sight to behold.
The Coliseum reminded me of the late 80s as depicted on our local television drama series: brown rustic square tables, 4-legged round wooden stools and little red lamps hanging on the high ceiling. It harked back to a time where things were simpler and the community was friendlier.
Decorations aside, I was overwhelmed by the number of durians on display. Three tonnes (yes, 3,000 kilograms) of over six different varieties of durians , from Jin Feng (Golden Phoenix) to the famed Mao Shan Wang, were arranged neatly on wooden rustic racks – like the durian stalls in Geylang. A durian lover, I wanted to sink my teeth into one of those durians immediately!
Eating durian requires some knowledge – you don’t rush into any durians, not if you want to savour the taste. We learnt from the service crew to start with the milder durians before moving on to the Mao Shan Wang so as not to mask the flavour, smell and taste of the former species. We were soon devouring all sorts of durians, satisfying our tummies with glee, flushing it down with cups of tea, before trying another variety. And the cycle repeats.
Mao Shan Wang topped the durian chart for its mini seeds and the succulent, juicy and bittersweet flesh which was nothing short of perfect for a durian lover like myself. Unexpectedly, plastic gloves were provided. I gave that a miss because for me, durians should be eaten with your bare hands – to feel the soft and mushy texture of the durians is a part of the durian experience.
There were also mountains of mangosteen to be had. As the durian is known as a ‘heaty’ fruit, the mangosteen counters that heatiness with its ‘cooling’’ effect. After the durians, the mangosteens were the next big hit – hence their moniker, the ‘Queen of fruits’.
Surprisingly, the highlight of the night turned out to be something else other than the edible durians. It was the human-sized thorny durian mascot which brought the atmosphere to a whole new level. It was a warm and humid night and I can’t imagine what the person playing the mascot must have felt. I have to applaud him for entertaining the guests, bouncing and prancing all night long.
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Catch some of the evening’s highlights here (no, taste and smell of durians not included):