The famous Ah Seng Durian at Ghim Moh Market is no stranger to durian lovers In Singapore.
During peak durian seasons, you often spot a long line of people waiting patiently for their MSW and D24 (must social-distance ah).
So good news: Ah Seng Durian has expanded with a 2nd outlet at 119 Bukit Merah, and this comes with their very first Durian Lab café next door (The shop is near Alexandra Village Food Centre.)
The King of Fruits has garnered many supporters locally, and Singaporeans’ love for durian do not stop at just the fruit itself.
These include durian desserts, durian pastries, and… durian salad. Serious on the last one.
Durian Lab is not the first durian cafe in Singapore as we had seen others such as Mao Shan Wang Cafe in Chinatown, Double Durians at Jalan Besar, and Ms Durian at Potong Pasir.
Unfortunately, only Ms Durian is operating their business, whereas the other two had closed down their stores permanently.
Both patisseries are incorporating Mao Shan Wang durians into the desserts from Ah Seng (himself).
The MSW durian desserts include Durian Tart ($8.50), Roll Cake ($8), Mille-Feuille ($11.50) and Short Cake ($8); while Keong Saik Bakery is also supplying Burnt Cheesecake ($11) and Burnt Cruffin ($6.50).
Be prepared to be greeted by the strong scent of durian the moment you enter the premise (maybe that’s when the face masks have another function).
The 25-seater premise is spacious, but you can smell the king of fruits from any corner of the cafe.
A nightmare for those who dislike the smell, plus the space is air-conditioned and so the aroma is trapped. Also a reminder not to bring your most expensive Hermes bag or wear your favourite dress to the café.
Frankly speaking, I was interested in both the MSW Durian Tart ($8.50) and MSW Mille-Feuille ($11.50) from Flor Patisserie as these are exclusive items with a Japanese twist.
But all items from Flor Patisserie were sold out within hours on their first day of operation, also due to the limited supply.
The MSW Burnt Cheesecake ($11) which is the most expensive item on their menu, is served on white marble-like plates with a golden fork, complete with dainty set-up.
It came in three different layers.
The top layer of burnt cream cheese, pure MSW durian puree with some durian pulp in the middle layer, and MSW cream cheese at the base.
The burnt cheesecake was well-executed with a texture of smooth, velvety cream with some durian flesh for an extra bite, and an ice cream-like sensation when served.
I decided to order the Burnt Cruffin ($6.50), mainly because that was the only other item left on display.
The cruffin (croissant + muffin) was flaky and buttery, exuding some sweetness to balance out the bitterness in the Mao Shan Wang.
Piped generously with MSW cheese custard filling, the Burnt Cruffin had a flaky croissant-like crust.
As a suggestion: I hope that they can warm up the Burnt Cruffin before serving, as the inside of the cruffin can be a little hard when served cold.
Apart from pastries, coffee beans are roasted by Common Man Coffee Roasters which is floral, with cherry and dark cocoa tasting notes.
For non-coffee drinkers, check out the fruit juices such as Lime & Sour Plum ($3), Mangosteen Juice ($5) and Mango Juice ($5), the former two will relieve some “heati-ness”.
Durian Lab Cafe
Blk 119 Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-22 Singapore, Singapore 151119
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
* Written by Nicholas Tan @stormscape who loves all things [NEW]. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.