5 of the best durians this season: Musang King (D197), Green Skin (D145), Tembaga (D118), XO, D7

1. Musang King (Mao Shan Wang/D197/Raja Kunyit)

Musang King

This beauty is from a very old tree. That’s important as older trees produce a more complex flavor profile, often described as chocolate. Like all Musang King, this durian has absurdly creamy and sticky flesh that coats the mouth with intense sticky bittersweet goodness.

D197 Musang King

The characteristic saffron like flesh is wrinkled and you can see the seeds peeking through the skin. It’s very flavorful and not for the faint hearted – the concentrated flavors of the durian lingers long and the seeds are flat and tiny.

Raja Kunyit

I got this for RM 25/kg at a new stall I discovered. It has a lot of unusual durians e.g. Durian Tembaga but their smaller selection of Musang Kings are surprisingly good grade. Me and my better half totally devoured this 1.3 kg fruit and left two seeds for her dad. It’s RM 32 for just a few seeds but definitely worth the price. I’ll go back to this stall again.

2. Green Skin (D145)

Green Skin

This is a good example of Green Skin Durian. It’s shaped like a melon and has bright green skin (thus the name). It’s designated as D145 and other popular names include Cheh Poay, Cheh Kak, Durian Hijau and Tuan Mek Hijau or Durian Beserah. It has creamy yellow flesh which is slightly dry (in a good way). This particular Green Skin only had 4 sections, each having two (2) very uniform seeds for a total of 8.

Cheh Poay

I got this for RM 15/kg at a new shop I discovered near SS6. This particular specimen weighed 1.4 kg which comes up to a total of RM 21. Green Skin is a Penang durian (cheh poay literally means green skin in Hokkien) and this place specializes in bringing down durians from the northern states (while others do Pahang, Johor etc).

Green Skin Durian

I think a lot of new durian connoisseurs would love Green Skin – it tastes a lot like Mas Selangor. The flesh is ultra creamy and very, very sweet with little to no fibre. It’s just pure sugary goodness that melts in your mouth, and there’s a lot of flesh. Yum.

3. Durian Tembaga (D118)

Durian Tembaga

I’ve never had this durian before but I know it’s very popular in Indonesia. Durian Tembaga is called such due to the color of the flesh. Tembaga means copper. It has a strange shape with five (5) distinctive sides.

Tembaga Durian

I wanted to try something different and this seller came up with three (3) durian tembaga he was keeping for another buyer (who didn’t turn up). I ended up buying one at RM 18/kg (bargained down from RM 20/kg).

Tembaga

Durian Tembaga is an official clone (D118) but you hardly ever see it around coz it’s one of those lesser known cultivars. That means it doesn’t have the “brand power” of something like Black Thorn, Musang King or Red Prawn (Ang Heh).

D118 Durian Tembaga

That doesn’t mean it’s not good though, if you like thick fleshed durians with a rich and bittersweet profile, you’ll love Durian Tembaga. This durian breed isn’t small though, it’s a medium to large sized fruit – the one I selected weighed 2.7 kg and cost me RM 48. The seeds are small and flat though.

4. Sweet XO

XO Durians

I thought this was a rather weird experience. I bought an starfruit shaped XO and it tasted sweet with little of the alcoholic aftertaste you usually associate with an XO durian. It still tasted good and it was cheap at RM 12/kg and I just assumed it was from a younger tree.

Durians XO

XO Durians are one of the larger species out there – this one weighs 3.3 kg and came up to RM 40. I asked my dear if she tasted an alcoholic aftertaste and she did so maybe it’s me who has a left-of-center palate. I tasted bittersweet notes where she tasted sweet on more than one occasion too.

5. D7 Durian

Durian D7

D7 is a very old durian clone. It was officially registered in 1934, before there was even a Malaysia, which makes it among the first batch of registered durian cultivars. However, throughout the ensuring 81 years, it has waned in popularity (at least among the mass market) which is a bit of a shame. There were only 2 when I went yesterday.

D7 Green Skin Durian

The D7 durian is recognizable from the yellow shell and spikes of the fruit. This is in complete contrast with the Green Skin Durian (which I bought at the same stall). BTW, the color does not denote ripeness, it’s just a breeding characteristic. It’s sold at RM 15/kg for this 1.2 kg fruit. It’s a steal at RM 18.

D7 Durian

It’s very tasty and the seeds are beautiful and appealing, with the flesh pulling back from the seeds slightly. D7 durians tastes slightly moist (not the bad kind of wet like old durians, it just has more moisture than the dry durians) and bittersweet. It’s a great durian for the price.

Yee Leng & Wing Fei’s 9-course Wedding Dinner @ Jaya Palace

Jaya Palace

I’ve been to their pre-wedding dinner, become a heng tai (brother) at Wing Fei’s Chinese wedding door games, and now it’s the night of the actual dinner at Jaya Palace.

Jaya Palace Restaurant

My better half and I actually went really early coz she had to do registration and I had to help her with the corsages and ang pow collection (sounds more glamorous than it is, I was little more than a glorified bodyguard at a place which didn’t really require it smirk).

Jaya Palace Wedding

Seriously though, I didn’t know there was actually a “money room” at the restaurant where you count ang pows.

Wedding Money

There’s actually a very good reason for this – bigger cities like KL has a larger element of crime, so the point is to tabulate the money quickly and pay immediately so you don’t leave with the cash. There has been robberies in the past so people just settle the bill with the ang pows on the spot. Learn something new every day.

The 9-course dinner at Jaya Palace was quite impressive:

Palace Four Season Combination Platter

Palace Four Season Combination Platter

There’s actually four (4) items in this classic starter despite the five (5) indentations in the platter. It came out with all the bells and whistles which is becoming standard nowadays – the dimming of the lights, the procession of waitresses etc. The sweet and sour pork was nice, as well as the fishballs flanking it. I also liked the fu chuk (beancurd skin) in the middle, but the most popular item was the baby octopus – it was yum!

Double Boiled Soup with Cordyceps Flower, Scallop & Fish Maw

Scallop Fish Maw Soup

I loved the large dried scallop inside. You don’t usually get ones as big as this from retail shops unless you’re willing to pay a hefty price tag. There were also two pieces of fish maw inside, a classic Cantonese double boiled soup with premium non-controversial ingredients. The broth is based on chicken, I was pleased to see it was dark meat from the thigh.

Roast Whole Suckling Pig

Roast Whole Suckling Pig

The best dish of the night! This is a *whole suckling pig*, but you only eat the crackling and a little bit of the meat underneath. The skin of a suckling pig is deep fried to perfection and re-arranged in the general shape of a porcine being on the plate. I picked up a piece with my chopsticks and dipped it into the plum sauce – crispy, crunchy and full of flavour. I wanted to have another but by then it was gone. Seriously, that was how good this was. I did get to eat the face of the pig though (it’s quite delicacy in my hometown, not so much here).

Steamed Estuary Grouper Fish w/ Fungus

Steamed Estuary Grouper

One of my favorite fishes for steaming. I’ll order RM 22 bowls of estuary grouper fish noodles when I’m craving for some. Estuary grouper (loong tan) is a very nice fish for eating – no bones to content with and a thick layer of collagen between the skin and the flesh. Jaya Palace slightly overcooked the fish but it was still a great dish.

Pepper & Salt Fresh Prawn

Pepper Salt Prawns

The obligatory prawns after the fish dish. I didn’t get to eat this as I was walking around taking photos for the groom and although a table-mate saved one for me, I unwittingly changed my plates for the next course (each course comes with new plates) so I didn’t know what it tasted like. I would have liked prawn.

Braised Sea Cucumber with Pork Knuckles & Mushroom

Braised Sea Cucumber

Lovely! People say sea cucumber don’t have a taste of its own, it absorbs the flavour of the gravy. This is partially true, but I know people who can tell where a sea cucumber comes from (Indonesia etc) so there’s gotta be a taste element in there as well. I’m quite partial to sea cucumber and they do it very well at Jaya Palace.

Steamed Glutinous Rice with Chicken & Mushroom

Steamed Glutinous Rice

This is lor mai gai – a rice dish to fill you up if you’re still hungry. It’s individually portioned and tasted pretty good to me although I noticed a lot of people didn’t touch theirs coz they were quite full from the previous dishes. It was also quite late at this point and one table beside us just tapau their food with them.

Special Fancy Pastries

Special Fancy Pastries

These are nostalgia inducing edibles – I remember dessert being a foreign concept in Chinese restaurants back in the day, this was all we had. It’s sweet red bean paste encased in flaky pastry and deep fried for a satisfying and sentimental course. There was also a kuih made with the squiggly green bits you see in cendol.

Sweetened Soya Bean with Gingko & White Fungus

Tong Sui

I liked this one too, probably coz I didn’t eat much during the previous courses. I ended up drinking more than my fair share since most of my table mates have left and it was just the 3 of us at the table. The white fungus works very well in this sweet tong sui style dessert. It’s very Cantonese to have something like this to mark the end of dinner.

Wedding Photo

Congratulations to Yee Leng and Wing Fei on their wedding! We managed to take a photo with them after everyone had left and we had settled everything. :)

My teeth stopped hurting!

Ill Fitting Aligners

I’ve been having problems with my teeth lately…or more specifically, my gums. I’ve been on Invisalign for several months now and I noticed that the back of my jaw hurts whenever I put the aligners on.

I chalked it down to the Invisalign treatment working its magic and ignored the pain each and every time I had to put them back on after I finish my meals.
It makes sense that aligning your teeth would sting (at least a little) right?

Cutting Aligners

However, it started getting worse and the next time I was at Imperial Dental Bangsar, I told my orthodontist about the discomfort. She told me it doesn’t sound normal at all and after showing her where it was tender, she immediately isolated the problem. cosmetic dentestry is dentistry aimed at creating a positive change to your teeth and to your smile. To know more about westcobbdentistry.com/cosmetic-dentistry/ here.

It wasn’t the Invisalign treatment that was hurting my gums after all – it was due to the very back of the aligners pressing *into* my gums! It turns out that everyone’s teeth is sized differently and the standard set was a little too large for my molars so it impacted the gums. visit the website to know more.

Cutting Invisalign

I didn’t even realize it was my gums that were sore, I thought it was my teeth!

Thus, the good people at Imperial Dental Bangsar helped me to custom cut my bottom aligners. The back of the bottom right side was taken off quite a bit – scissors were used to make a sideways L cutaway so it won’t touch my gums. I tested it and found out that the ache on my right was gone but my left side was starting to smart.

Cutting Invisalign Aligners

Heh! It turns out that BOTH sides were in contact with my gums but since the right side was much more painful so I didn’t even realize that the left side was in distress!

It takes a very good orthodontist to be able to isolate and treat conditions like this. I felt comfortable talking to the people there, or I wouldn’t have brought it up. I’ve always thought I had a high tolerance to pain and tend to suffer in silence.

Fixing Invisalign

Good thing Dr. Salma and Dr. Stephanie (my orthodontists) diagnosed what was wrong and fixed the bottom aligners on both sides by cutting it to my teeth size and sanding it down so the edges aren’t sharp. They helped me cut and sand the next few aligners too, so I don’t have to do it myself – they all fit properly and painlessly now.

Invisalign Fix

It’s little details like this that gives Imperial Dental Bangsar the good name they have (really, ask anyone who’s been there about their service) and I’m glad they’re the ones taking me through this 2 year journey to a perfect smile. :)

Wing Fei & Yee Leng’s Chinese Wedding Door Games from a Heng Tai perspective

Groom Entourage

I was part of Wing Fei’s heng tai entourage for the day. Being a heng tai (the term means brother) involves having the groom’s side get his bride from her parents’ home. There will be ji mui (literally sisters, but more like bridesmaids) blocking the way and presenting challenges.

Cantonese Wedding Games

This is all done in good fun. Chinese wedding door games is a Cantonese tradition and since the groom is Cantonese, it’s as essential a part of the wedding as the tea ceremony.

Pilot

We woke up bright and early and got into costume. The theme is Triumph in the Skies – a Hong Kong drama series and involves us wearing pilot uniforms. Unfortunately, one of my buttons came off and my better half had to sew it on before we left.

Sewing Button

There was also a large roasted pig (which I promptly dubbed the wedding pig) that we had to carry to Yee Leng’s (the bride) house. I thought that was hilarious – we actually ate the pork belly from this very pig during lunch. I think the middle part goes to the bride while the head and tail is taken back to the groom’s family.

Wedding Pig

They even hired a Master of Ceremonies (don’t know what else to call her) for the day. She’s in charge of etiquette and all things wedding related, and we have to defer to her for everything. She’s also a very good singer – we called her tai ka che (big sister).

Tea Ceremony

Here’s the show of respect to the parents of the groom in a tea drinking ceremony. This is done before we all departed for the bride’s place. The bride’s family does not follow in this entourage.

Heng Tai

This is the group of heng tai flanking the groom Wing Fei before we hit the road. There is also one female brother in our group, it’s not usual nowadays to have mixed groups. The bride’s ji mui team also had two male sisters.

Bride House

Here’s us arriving at Yee Leng’s place. The bride’s house has been setup with firecrackers and the ji muis were all waiting for us inside.

Wedding Games

Let the (wedding door) games begin!

Writing On Panties

The first game involved all the heng tai putting on disposable underwear while the groom wrote “I <3 Yee Leng” on our rear-ends.

Disposable Underwear Game

It’s a classic Chinese wedding door game. I’ve seen this one (and variations thereof) many times before, it’s become a bit of a standard.

Wasabi Sandwich

The second game was eating a wasabi laced sandwich. I had two coz I was so hungry and I didn’t mind the spiciness at all. I thought it was a pretty good sandwich, which defeated the purpose of the Chinese wedding door game (it’s meant to be a challenge). smirk

Blindfold Game

I’m glad I didn’t do the third one coz I did the first two. Three guys were blindfolded and a ji mui is assigned to each one and they’re supposed to guess who kissed them.

Kissing Game

Or something like that, I totally lost the plot coz it was so funny. It turns out that there were TWO male ji muis (which we haven’t seen to this point – they were hiding in the house) and they only came out to kiss the heng tais.

Ji Mui

The fourth Chinese wedding door game had us drawing lots. I got one that said “TONGUE” with a drawing of a tongue. That didn’t bode very well.

Wedding Door Games

I also saw armpit, stomach and sifatt (technically asshole but we’ll use buttocks for the sake of propriety).

Sifatt

The person who drew the lot had to put whipped cream on that particular part of their anatomy while another heng tai licked it off.

Chinese Wedding Door Games

Our hero female heng tai did the stomach one…

Whipped Cream

…while one of the heng tais did my tongue. The ji muis made sure there was enough so no contact will be made. Haha. I spat out the remaining whipped cream.

Makeup

The fifth game had the ji muis drawing on our faces with make-up.

Chinese Wedding Games

I was transformed into a very old man.

Balloons

The sixth game had the groom using a cucumber held between his legs to pop (crotch shaped) balloons we held between our thighs. It had to be done within a minute.

Popping Balloons

Me and our only female heng tai.

Female Heng Tai

Some ang pow was also given to forgo the more extreme ones – you can buy a pass if you don’t want to participate in a game but it comes out of the groom’s petty cash.

Wedding Games Penalty

Thus, with the games done, we went into the bride’s house!

Wing Fei Singing

Wing Fei had one last challenge to go through before the door to the bride’s room was opened – he sang a song, and the obstacles were all finally overcome.

Bride Groom

This is the bride and the groom in their room.

Wedding Car

I thought it was very sweet that Wing Fei and Yee Leng has been together for so many years. They’re childhood sweethearts and I believe this is the only relationship they’ve ever been in, and now they’re married.

Wing Fei

Demystification: The bride is called Yee Leng while my better half is called Yee Ling. Wing Fei is the younger brother of my partner. I felt like I had to clarify due to the similarities in the names.

Fei HB

In a lot of ways, I am a “brother” in the truest sense of the term to the groom. Perhaps “future brother-in-law” would be a more appropriate term, since Yee Ling is his older sister. I’m glad Wing Fei gave me the honor of being one of his heng tais. I even wore his personal pilot uniform! I had a lot of fun on that day, not just at the door games but helping out at the wedding with my dear.

Wing Fei Yee Leng

Congratulations to Wing Fei and Yee Leng on their wedding! :)

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