Last weekend, me and my wife (actually primarily me) insisted on going to a durian buffet organised by RWS (Resort World Sentosa), which is a once a year event that I thought we should not miss. We are a member of RWS, and thus was told about it in one of their monthly newsletters. When I first heard of it, it was like, ‘Wow.. this is a dream come true for a durian lover!’ I was a bit sceptical at first, given that you can basically go to the event, and you can go wild with as many durians as you want! It was real indeed. For a discounted admission of SGD$55 each (normally $88), we paid and wasted no time to get there. Frankly, I behave a lot more like a local Singaporean these days, in that I feel the need to get there before anyone else. My wife was embarrassed that I wanted to take a photo of this:
.. but you know what? We were definitely not the earliest, with the line accumulating in front of us already. I was too worried that a ‘buffet’ is not truly a buffet, and that they may have restrictions on how many durians one can have. It’s Singapore, and false advertising is pretty common here. Luckily it was not the case.
Anyway, once we were in there, it was down to business straight away. No fancy chairs/tables, or introductions by a speaker, or any menu provided. It was straight to the stage, where all the durians are stacked, and asking for the durians you want:
Now I do love durians, but given the last 20+ years were spent in Australia, I have lost all knowledge of the different varieties available. There’s certainly been new ones since, and the name that I was told to watch out for is ‘Mao Shan Wang’ (猫山王), which is right now everyone’s favourite and most expensive. These can be anywhere from double to triple or more of the price of the usual varieties. So, my theory is… why would anyone waste there time eating all the other varieties (D24, D101 etc etc). My wife supported that idea.. and I wasted no time going for that first!
Without a doubt, it was tasty durian. We were told about how a REAL Mao Shan Wang durian has golden yellow meat, with very small seed etc etc, all the facts that should help me buy them at the market next time. The atmosphere of the ground definitely feels like that of a grand outdoors food court..
We were even given an opportunity to take photos with ‘Durian Man’!!
Yes my wife thought I have never looked happier than she has seen for a while. Sad…
And then there’s the durian eating competition that I was asked to join, but I didn’t. The objective is simple. The quickest to finish 10 x pieces of Mao Shan Wang durian wins. Seriously, how does anyone join this competition when they have already filled up their tummy with durians??
Funnily enough, there was a Caucasian in the competition, and in the end it was him that won it! Puts us Asians to shame, but it was a funny moment and good for him for winning. Not too many Caucasian would even come near durians in the first place!!
And you know what? In the end, it was just 3.5 durians in total between me and wife , before we could no longer stuff a single bit more in our stomach. The extra ‘o.5’ was due to the fact that we only finished half of the last D101 durian (with had much larger seeds). We simply could not stuff any more durians down even though we want to. We had already claimed our free coconut juice, and we haven’t even had a chance to try the other species of durian at all. Frankly, I thought we could handle 10 before coming into this! It was both a disappointment and a joy. A disappointment I couldn’t try any other species, and a joy that I could sit and eat durians so liberally without thinking of the consequences.
Yes, did I think it was a date with my wife? I did.. but for my wife.. she thinks that’s about as romantic as I will ever get. I think she secretly enjoyed it as much as I did, but just didn’t want to admit it. We were so full, we walked all the way from Sentosa to Vivocity in an attempt to help with digesting the 3.5 durians in us. Definitely plenty of lethal burps along the way to pollute the air there…
Would I come back next year? Not sure. It’s definitely not about value for money here. It’s definitely more like an ‘experience’ and entertainment for the durian geeks like me. I probably will do it again if I am still in Singapore!