It was brought to our attention that a little durian cafe quietly opened along Temple Street in Chinatown last month.
We had to check it out immediately.
Owned by Four Seasons Durians, Mao Shan Wang Cafe is dedicated to the premium variety popular among Singaporeans, serving everything from the fruit itself to all sorts of desserts and snacks flavoured after it.
As expected, the smell of the king of fruits hits you even before you walk into the shop.
Once inside, the rustic setting with damaged concrete walls and hanging light bulbs will remind you of a durian stall.
There are items for both dine-in and takeaway.
The dine-in menu touts the Mao Shan Wang Ice Cream Delight ($15.80) as the cafe’s signature item, so we went for it.
Served shrouded in dry ice fog, the dessert makes for a cool Boomerang video.
We liked that the ice cream tasted durian-y enough without being overly sweet. But we felt it was just a wee bit overpriced for what it contains – ice cream, a chocolate cake beneath the ice cream, two small chocolate rice crispy bars, and an almond pastry stick.
There’s also Mao Shan Wang coffee ($5), which took us by pleasant surprise. The dominant taste of durian made the odd-sounding combination work.
D24 makes a cameo on the menu as mochi and as a dipping sauce for French fries and chicken nuggets.
Of course we tried the latter.
We enjoyed it mostly because the puree was good – so good that we ate some on its own.
We spotted Durian Napoleon on the menu, described by the waitress as containing whipped cream and durian paste. Sadly, it was not available when we visited.
One of their bestsellers is Mao Shan Wang Pizza, but we gave that a miss since Pezzo already convinced us that durian pizza can be awesome.
Mao Shan Wang Cafe is located at 49 Temple St, Singapore 058594. It opens from 1.30pm-10pm on weekdays and from 11am-10pm on Saturdays. It’s closed on Sundays.
AsiaOne paid for the meal reviewed.
This article was first published in Asia One.