Showing posts with label durian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label durian. Show all posts

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Durian, from Indonesia to Singapore

Among all the sticky fingers and durian burps came the anticipated question: Should we get another one?
Our tummies were full, we seemed to vacillate but we all knew the answer: Yes.

Fruits. They're what you grab at grocery stores and farmer's markets, to be eaten as snacks or accompaniments to your meal. Garnishes, palate cleansers. But not durian. In Singapore, durian sellers have set up tables and chairs. They will open the fruits up for you to enjoy right there and then.

Butter Durian
This practice is spreading to part of Indonesia, too, like in Medan. I think this is partly for two reasons. One is that the stinky fruit is banned from public transportation like MTA and buses in Singapore, so it's harder to buy and take them home. Second, unlike berries that you'd eat as snacks, when you eat durian, you want to eat them.

You may think all durians are alike, but once you land in Singapore you'll realize you're wrong. There are as many varieties of durian as there are in the family of oranges/clementines/tangerines! One of the more popular is the butter durian (pictured above), smaller but sweeter than the durian monthong from Thailand. A box like the one above was S$10. The durian sellers can also tell you which ones are sweet vs "bitter" (they're not really bitter but has more of a subtle bitterness or more fermented taste underneath the sweetness). How? I have no idea until I eat them, but somehow they can. This isn't variety dependent but is a characteristic of each fruit.

Monday, November 22, 2010

First Time at My Family's Own Restaurant: Kogyo (Surabaya)

There's definitely a conflict of interest here since I'm actually talking about my family's restaurant. My mom opened Kogyo on the 2nd floor of Sutos (Surabaya Town Square) in January but I haven't gone home to Indonesia since then until very recently. Finally could see and taste it for myself!

I don't want to seem like I'm promoting our own restaurant, but you know, after hearing about it for 10 months, I got excited about finally going there myself.

The whole thing started when I brought blogger friends Mattatouille and Glutster to Indonesia last year, and talking about the Kogi hype to my mom, it seemed natural that with a real Korean and a real Mexican in town, we should try making it ourselves.

It's a small and casual place with mid range prices. My mom tends to say you can't find another place serving US rib eye at our prices in town (the local beef is so much tougher compared to the marbled US beef).

The menu is mostly Korean plus some non-Korean items my mom is proud of (like her niu ru mien aka beef noodle soup which seems to have a small following of its own). There are people who come a couple times a week just to have the beef noodle soup.
Photo by my brother.

Our most popular item is probably the Durian Mochi.
Durian Mochi

The chewy mochi skin is made fresh and the mochi is filled with cream and real durian monthong! I've never had anything like it before and loved it. Props to my mom for thinking up something like this.

I try helping out with the menu by suggesting some items. So far I've contributed Pat Bing Su (aka Korean shaved ice), and soon dubu is not far in the future ..

I never told my mom about the Kyochon/Bonchon hype here, but she must've known about Korean fried chicken from somewhere else, since I found these fried chicken wings with sweet and spicy plum sauce on the menu.

I didn't get to try everything, since we still ate at home or went out to other places to eat while I was there, but I really like their burrito too. Guess I'll have to wait until 2012 to try the rest.

Kogyo BBQ
Surabaya Town Square (SUTOS) unit 1-46 (2nd floor)
Surabaya, Indonesia

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Xanh Bistro: A Dessert Stop for the Slightly Adventurous

I've gone to Xanh Bistro almost everytime I'm down in the area, thanks to Wandering Chopsticks taking me and inomthings here. That said, I've never had any of their savory food. At all. It's always been a dessert stop for us.

The dessert menu is small yet offers an interesting, asian take on the "classics." Some of them just involves an unsurprising flavor infusion such as the coconut crème brulée, or a chocolate molten cake served with ginger ice cream.
The coconut crème brulée, albeit the simplest, has now turned out to be our favorite.
The molten cake is also good and goes well with the ginger ice cream, but the shot of sweet hibiscus "tea" that comes with it doesn't complement the dish and was too sweet and wholly unnecessary.

On the more interesting and unexpected side was a sticky rice dessert topped with mocha mousse and spicy chocolate sauce.
This dessert had quite an interesting texture which I enjoyed. The chewy sticky rice with the light mocha mousse worked better than I expected.

Go a step beyond people's comfort zone and you can get their Durian "Parfait" (I put that in quotation mark because it really isn't in any way "parfait"). The strong durian aroma is definitely there, though not all that "bad"/overwhelming. If you're unitiated, I advise you to avoid this dessert. If you love durian, then definitely go for it.
A bit of cake is topped with a light and airy durian mousse, served with passionfruit sauce on the bottom. The dominant flavor and aroma is of course the durian though. You've been warned.

The best part of eating dessert there?
Any of them can be enjoyed with a cup of hot lemongrass tea. Distinctly fragrant and warming, it's the best accompaniment to these desserts.

Xanh Bistro
16161 Brookhurst St
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
(714) 531-2030
Xanh Bistro on Urbanspoon
Xanh Bistro in Los Angeles

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Anniversaries, Giveaways, Fat, and Pungentness

My one year blogiversary is coming up! Is that a real word or did I just make it up?
Anyways, I decided to do not one, but TWO special things to celebrate!! (celebrating is just an excuse, I just want to do it)
I need your input and I'm turning this into my one-year-anniversary-blog-giveaway-contest.

So the background: I am planning: 1) a foie gras crawl, and 2) a durian crawl.
Am I kidding? Am I /ever/ kidding? I am totally serious. Not on the same day of course.
Well, maybe.

So here's what I've come up with for #1) foie gras w/ eggplant at Orris, and foie gras with mac&cheese and black truffles at Chaya Brasserie. What other particular foie gras dish should I include? The rule is that it has to be on their regular menu - otherwise the whole plan will go down the drain!

For #2) durian smoothie from Simpang Asia, sticky rice with durian --> where?
Fresh durian from the Ranch 99 in SGV area. Any other durian foodstuff and where can I get them?


You guys post what dish I should get for either #1 or #2 and where.
Post your suggestions in the comments section and include your email address so I can contact the winner.
You have until the date of my first post - Oct 23rd.

THE PRIZE: Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations DVD

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