Suka (like) durians? Indulge your love for the King of Fruits at SuKaWa by 99 Old Trees, an omakase-style durian experience, which includes unlimited portions of either Mao Shan Wang or D24 as well!
The durian season has washed upon our sunny shores earlier in June, with many durian-lovers travelling to our neighbouring country of Malaysia for their fruit fix. With 99 Old Trees, a trusted retailer of quality durians, you won’t have to leave the country for a feast of Mao Shan Wang! The shop brings in fresh durians daily from its parent company and farm, Fook Gor Durian Farm, located in West Pahang, Malaysia. Offering durians both online since late 2017, and at its brick-and-mortar shop in the Balestier area since June 2018.
Aside from durians ranging from Mao Shan Wang, D24 and Tekka varieties, 99 Old Trees offers desserts such as a creamy home-made Durian Mousse (S$5 for a la carte) made with fresh D24 puree; and pastries like the Durian Choux Puff piped full of a mixture of D24 puree and fresh cream.
Of course, the highlight for this year’s durian season would be the special omakase-style durian experience that 99 Old Trees is offering, called SuKaWa! Available until 31st August 2019 at $60 per person; these intimate one-hour-long sessions are great not just for durian-lovers, but for those who want to dip their toes into the wonderful of the King of Fruits, but aren’t quite sure where to start.
Led by the friendly durian experts of 99 Old Trees, including the humorous Kelvin Tan, Director of 99 Old Trees, each session will include savouring of at least 6 different durian varieties as well as unlimited portions of Mao Shan Wang or D24 durians (depending on availability), accompanied by homemade drinks and desserts. Satisfy your cravings while learning more about the delicious, thorny and iconic fruit – Kelvin explained that it’s a great way for durian “newbies” to find out more about which durian cultivars they enjoy, without having to fork out money for an entire fruit, lest they not like it.
At our SuKaWa session, we enjoyed seven cultivars of durian: the D101, which is most commonly mistaken for the D24; the sweet and “dry”-tasting D1; the fibrous and creamy D88; the floral and bittersweet Tekka, which was our favourite; the bittersweet and creamy D24; the wonderfully fragrant and fruity D13 – which Kelvin tells us is not actually the Red Prawn cultivar it’s often mistaken for; and of course, the gorgeously rich and mildly alcoholic-tasting Mao Shan Wang!
For SuKaWa sessions, 99 Old Trees aims to bring in durians that are not grown commercially, so as to allow guests to taste a wider variety of the fruit, as well as gain a better appreciation of it. Indeed, we’d never heard of the Tekka variety before, but we’ve just found our new favourite durian cultivar!
In between bites of durian, sip on the refreshing palate cleanser drink provided; a “cooling” mixture of mint, cucumber and lemon water that will “dispel heat” that eating the durians cause. At the end, you’ll also get a whole fresh young coconut to sip on; sweet, cool and perfect for the hot sticky weather!
And if you’re wondering what that yellow popsicle stick beside your plate is: it’s what Kelvin playfully terms as a “paiseh stick”! Simply put, when it comes to the “durian buffet” part of the omakase, and you’re a little too shy or embarrassed to ask out loud for a second (or third, or fourth) helping, just put this stick into your cup, and the durian experts will subtly serve you another round – no judgement!
The SuKaWa sessions have been immensely popular – in fact, the next round of sessions will only be held from late July onwards! You can make your bookings online via 99 Old Trees’ website. Sessions will be from 29 July till 15 August, on Tuesday, Wedesday and/or Thursday between 4pm and 5pm. 3 days advance reservation is required, so do book early!
99 Old Trees
#01-277 Block 46 Owen Road, Singapore 210046
Opening hours: 11.30am to 9pm daily; 11.30am to 11pm during durian season