It’s that time of the year again! While you can enjoy Durian just about anywhere throughout Malaysia and Singapore, the best place in the world to enjoy Durian has got to be my hometown, SS2 Petaling Jaya. You get the best prices and the best variety here, sourced from the mountainous areas in Pahang. Just for comparison, the price of the Mao Shan Wang (MSW) variety in SS2 is RM30-45 per kg, but in JB, it is around RM50. I guess the proximity to Singapore drives prices up.
Anyway, overall, there will still be some savings when buying Durians in JB as compared to buying in Singapore, and this is enough motivation for us to make a trip into JB.
This time round, i decided to check out the Durian shop at Gelang Patah as recommended here. There isn’t much information on the internet about places selling Durian in JB, much less in English. No one will be able to give a definitive answer as to where you can get the best Durians at the best prices, given that Durians are a commodity, with fluctuating quality and prices.
I noted from the Facebook page of this seller that they sometimes sell out before evening, so i decided to make the Durian meal our lunch. While we were there, there was a constant stream of customers, a good sign. The boss and all the helpers were friendly and attentive, making sure you didn’t have to pry open the Durians yourself. I must say their prices are on the high side though.
We were told the supply of Durians was limited this year due to rainy weather, so prices were higher. I thought the Tekka (Bamboo) variety was quite nice. Soft, rich, sweet and creamy. It cost RM40 per kg, quite worthwhile in comparison to MSW. MSW doesn’t disappoint as well, although there were clumps of slightly stiff flesh. I guess this wasn’t the best quality MSW. The Durians were sourced from Tangkak.
After Durian, we made our way to Tesco Mutiara Rini to load up on groceries, and thereafter, we had our afternoon ‘tea’ at 777 Coffee Time. This was our strategy for killing time and prepping the kids for their nap.
777 Coffee Time is one among the 3 more sizeable Chinese Kopitiams in Gelang Patah. 777 stays open through the afternoon and into the night, whereas GP 88, the Kopitiam next door, is closed by afternoon. I noted also, that there are stalls right in front of 777 Coffee Time that operate from evening time, so this might be a good place for dinner/supper.
I chose Chua Kee for dinner, since we have not been there before. Prior to this, we have been to Tian Lai a few times. Incidentally, Chua Kee is located very near the Durian shop.
We must have chosen the wrong dishes, as two out of the three we ordered did not satisfy our palate.
We did not order crabs, which almost all the other customers ordered, as our focus was on Durians (we were still somewhat full from the Durian meal). The price was the redeeming factor for this meal – the mussels were RM 12 (S$4), while the steamed sea bass was only RM 21 (S$7). We might just come back again, but stay away from chilli based dishes.
In comparison, the ambiance at Chua Kee was better than that of Tian Lai, but Tian Lai produced better dishes. At Chua Kee, it felt like they were rushing to get the dishes done.
We were at Gelang Patah on a Tuesday, and it happened to be the day of the week when they have their weekly Pasar Malam. There was one stall that sold Durians. We got there rather late and only managed to buy from the pile of leftovers. The Durians (D24 and the like) were going for RM 18 per kg, which was pretty cheap.
There are 3 pairs of Durian stalls along Jalan Sutera Danga and we have actually bought Durians from here 2 years ago. Ultimately, i think it is more worthwhile to get Durians from here than from Gelang Patah. Here are the the rough GPS coordinates and Google Street View links to help you locate them:
1.515728, 103.671396 #1 #2 (these two are at the extreme ends of the row of stalls just outside Sutera Mall)
1.504763, 103.657423 #3 #4 (roadside stalls near a florist)
1.500309, 103.655989 #5 #6 (it is not shown in Street View but they are there)
The area around Sutera Mall is choke full of eateries. We grabbed lunch from a random place this time, instead of going for our usual suspect, Pekin Restaurant. We were pleasantly surprised at how well the dishes turned out for a Cha Chaan Teng type of restaurant, at One 2 Eat Cafe.
I heartily recommend coming to One 2 Eat Cafe for a casual lunch. I will definitely be back to sample more food from the Sutera area!