D88 Durian


I’ve had quite a few D88 Durians this season, but none as good as the one I just ate. I was actually planning to buy the large 2-3 kg D24 Durian that Ah Seng has but he told me proudly about having to fight for a basket of D88 Durians in Bentong this morning.

Durian D88

He’s usually a rather reserved (but friendly) old man but his *animated* recounting of the beautiful D88 durians he had to physically scrum for really made me laugh. I saw an Indian lady who went for one of the D88 durians and the gorgeous golden grenade sized perfect flesh made me hanker for my own.

D88 Durian Flesh

Thus, I chose a nice 1.9 kg D88 Durian for myself. They were selling for RM 10/kg so this one cost RM 19. I had just eaten a RM 20 Durian Jantung yesterday from another stall in SS6 which was quite old and felt slightly disappointed. Not this one, the D88 I had today was perfection in a durian!

D88 Durian

There were only about 8 seeds in total in the large D88 durian but it filled up almost 1 1/2 Styrofoam boxes! One section was so big it almost took up an entire box by itself. The flesh was bitter, with lots of fibre, just the thing I needed coz I didn’t have lunch today so I was quite hungry.

D88 Durians

I ate the entire D88 durian by myself and was so full I don’t feel like eating dinner anymore. Haha. The D88 durian has a high flesh-to-seed ratio and the bittersweet fibrous texture came with an almost alcoholic aftertaste, kinda like XO durians.

D88 Durian Seed

I like D88 Durians but I’ve never had such a perfect specimen…until today. Exquisite! :)

Black Thorn (Ochee, Duri Hitam) Durian

Black Thorn Durian

Black Thorn is one of the most in-demand and expensive durians in the market. It’s also known as Durian Ochee and Duri Hitam. I ate a Black Thorn durian back when it had first won an award in 2012 and it was delicious. I was looking for durians the other day when the durian seller offered me a Black Thorn for RM 40/kg. It was a small fruit and looks the part, but it was split at the end so I declined.

Durian Black Thorn

However, the durian seller counter-offered with RM 20 for the Black Thorn durian. It weighed just 1 kg (exactly) so I asked him to open it up. The flesh looked dry (not wet like old, split durians tend to look) and firm to the touch so I accepted it. It was only RM 20/kg after all and I wondered if a small fruit would taste better.

Durian Ochee

The Black Thorn I had when it just came out was from Penang and is a large fruit (around 2-3 kg). This particular Black Thorn hails from Raub, Pahang and is a smaller fruit. It didn’t have the characteristic partial drain/longkang running down the middle like the D160 Teka (Bamboo Leg/Chook Keok/Thraka) durian but maybe that’s coz it’s a small fruit. Otherwise, it had all the characteristics of a Black Thorn durian.

Black Thorn

The flesh was a very appealing dark orange with a reddish hue and it was what caught my attention in the first place. I was very pleased and ate a few seeds only to find out that it tasted rather insipid – it had none of the intense flavors of the Black Thorn durian I first had. I’ve heard some people say Black Thorn isn’t worth the price due to its blandness and I was quite puzzled at their comments, until now.

Orchee Durian

Perhaps this was the durian that they had – Black Thorn from Pahang instead of the original from Penang. I’m not sure if all Black Thorns from Pahang are similarly mild-tasting and I even sent the photos to durian expert Lindsay to get a positive identification, just in case I was mistaken. She said it is a Black Thorn but it seems like it’s been around for quite a while so the flavor is lost to age.

Black Thorn Durian Seed

The Black Thorn has a good texture though – the creaminess of the flesh is still very apparent and despite the lack of flavor, I did manage to eke out a bittersweet profile if I closed my eyes and concentrated real hard. smirk

Durian Duri Hitam

The Black Thorn durians I had from Penang were quite nice. They were going for around RM 60/kg when I was in Penang last week. This is the first time I’ve purchased a durian from this seller and I know he’s (in)famous for cheap and old durians. It wasn’t worth the RM 20/kg I paid for it (would rather get a nice D24 for the price) but that may be due to the fact that it’s past its prime.

Rebellions Coffee Bar, Kota Damansara


We were at Rebellions Coffee Bar over the weekend to see what it’s like. It’s the first time we’ve all been here, my better half had an appointment with a New Zealand Trade representative (thanks for all the stuff from NZ) and we decided on this place to have coffee. Interestingly, we were told that it looks very similar to a popular café in Auckland in terms in interior décor.

No 106 Cold Brew

I had the No.106 Cold Brew (RM 13). This is the Black version which consists of Finca Santa Teresa beans from Panama. It’s served in a 150 ml bottle (about half a pint) and came under the heading “Filter Coffee”. It came with a cork stopper and is supposed to be poured over ice cubes – this tasted very fruity and lacked the caffeine punch I’m used to.

Tafufa Cheesecake

We also had the Taufufa Cheesecake with Gula Melaka Ginger Syrup. I thought this was a really interesting slice of cake! It’s made with tau fu fa (tofu/soybean pudding) as a local twist, further compounded by the use of palm sugar. It’s not as rich as a traditional Philadelphia cheese cake but that’s the point. The lightness is wonderful and I like how the ginger syrup cuts through the richness.

Flat White

This is the Flat White (RM 11) which the NZT representative had. She just came back from New Zealand and it’s noteworthy to point out that flat white originated down under too, first in Australia and then in New Zealand. Rebellions Coffee Bar made it with nice latte art on top.

Lychee Rose Macaron Cake

We also had a slice of the Lychee Rose – a decadent three-layered cake with frosting covering each layer. It also had a smattering of toasted pistachio nuts and a lychee rose macaron on each slice. I shared the macaron with my better half and while it wasn’t mind-blowing (we’ve had the best macarons in France and the famous Zumbarons from Australia) the cake as a whole was quite decent.

Nutella Chocolate Bomb

My better half ordered the Nutella Chocolate Bomb (RM 16) which according to the barista is a *calorie bomb*. Haha. Yup, Rebellionz also serve chai, milk and hot chocolate based drinks under “Maybe Something Else”. There’s a ball of ice cream inside the drink which tastes like chocolate. It’s not very sweet although it seems like it would be. I like how the lip of the tall glass is smeared with Nutella, much like how the rim of a margarita would be crusted with rock salt – it’s a very nice touch.

Rebellions Coffee Bar

I thought Rebellions Coffee Bar is a nice new addition to the Dataran Sunway area with good coffee and cake. There are a lot of cafes here though and F&B outlets don’t last long – a good example would be Flaming Melt, which closed down months after opening. The traffic is horrible but if you can survive there is a captive market here.

Cold Brewed Coffee

Rebellions Coffee Bar
2-1, Jalan PJU 5/4
Dataran Sunway, Kota Damansara

Wonton Noodles @ Restaurant Pun Chun, Bidor

Wonton Noodles

This is the first place we stopped on the way up to Penang. We, in this case, was a bus-load of 25 people, all related, going on the largest family trip I’ve ever participated in (or seen, for that matter). Restaurant Pun Chun is famous for their wonton noodles – the huge wontons are made with a little bit of pork mince and a HUGE prawn.

Restaurant Pun Chun Bidor

Their wonton noodles has been hyped up way in advance by the rather dodgy looking tour guide (provided with the bus, don’t look at me). I’ve actually eaten here before, not here as in Bidor, but at a branch of this particular café. They’ve expanded to Klang Valley and their franchise in Kota Damansara is very close to where I live.

Pun Chun

Restaurant Pun Chun is also famous for their duck leg noodles, which is what we usually eat in Kota Damansara. It’s a soup based dish (although the noodles are served separately) but since we went so early in the morning, they didn’t have drumsticks/leg. The only cuts were breast and thigh so I passed on this. The soup is pretty good though, it’s what we call pek tin yok – a combination of 8 different herbs.

Wonton Mee

We had both the dry and soup version of wonton mee (RM 6.30 per bowl/plate) which comes with four (4) wontons per serving. The dry version has noodles tossed in soy sauce while I thought was nicer. The large prawn inside each wonton is a treat to behold – juicy and succulent, truly delicious when paired with some of their pickled green chillis.

Shrimp Wonton

It looks like a bit of a tourist trap with the aisles of chicken biscuit snacks and other popular munchies from Bidor but their wonton noodles are really quite enchanting. I would stop here again next time I drive up this way.

Short Mention:

Oh ya! I totally forgot to bring my Invisalign for this trip. I’ve been behind coz I forgot to bring them back to Sibu too (damn last minute packing) but the good thing is, you can still wear your current ones until you go back to your orthodontist. It’s not ideal but here’s a tip for anyone on Invisalign or planning to get on the treatment and travels a lot like myself – if you forget to pack your aligners, just wear your current one until you get back e.g. I’m on my 9th set of aligners and it’s the last one I have at home.

That means I’ll have to drop by Imperial Dental Bangsar to get my next few aligners. Since I forgot to pack them for this trip to Penang, I can just take a short 4 day break and wear them as soon as I get back home. If it’s been longer than a few days and the current ones won’t fit, go back one set i.e. start wearing your *previous* aligners (8th in my case) for a few days before going back on your current set of aligners. That’s why it’s important to keep your past aligners! :)

A feast of kampung durians

Wild Durians

Kampung durians are the catch-all term for all non-cultivated durians. The word literally means “durians from the village”. These are generally not top shelf durian clones but backyard durians or wild durians from the jungle, thus “durian kampung”. It can also come from orchards which didn’t specifically breed a certain type of durian e.g. D24 or Musang King.

Village Durians

Selecting a kampong durian is always a bit like opening up a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get. It’s usually sold in batch e.g. 2-5 for RM 10. These can range from cheap “4 for RM 10” deals to RM 10/kg (depending on quality).

Durian Kampong

I went for the bottom shelf durians this time, with an emphasis on strange or unusual ones and getting as wide a variety as I could.

Durian Kampung

For all I know some of these durians aren’t even durio zibethinus – it could be any other of the edible durian species. Lindsay from yearofthedurian.com has compiled an exhaustive list of edible durian species and it’s an interesting read for all durian enthusiasts.

RM 10 for 2

Jungle Durians

This batch is my most exciting find.

Starfruit Durian

I noticed a durian shaped like a starfruit (carambola) and wondered if it’s the same one that I met in 2012. It was called “five star durian” – a direct translation from “mm zhi guo” (which means five fingered durian).

Carambola Durian

The starfruit shaped durian tasted pretty good – the pale flesh was bittersweet and tender, it’s also very sticky, giving a distinctive aftertaste. Each of the five (5) segments have seeds and flesh inside, which was a little surprising considering its size.

Five Finger Durian

The other durian from this category has a yellow husk and opened up to rather wet flesh with a slight fermented aftertaste and a REALLY STRONG ODOR. It tasted better when chilled in the fridge for a few hours but eating it requires you to really love durians – it tasted very *intense*. It’s like the Limburger of durians!

Limberger Durian

Interestingly, my better half had tasted Limberger cheese when we went to Germany last year and she couldn’t stand it. She couldn’t stand this either. The taste is really breathtaking, in more ways than one – my breath smelled like death for 48 hours after eating this one and I’ve eaten a lot of durians, never to this effect.

RM 10 for 3

Backyard Durians

These are the RM 10 for 3 durians. Basically you can pick any three (3) durians for RM 10. These kampong durians are generally smaller in size and I have opened all of them to do a rudimentary check.

Kampong Durians

The first durian was wetter than usual, and very bitter. The second one was slightly sweet and tasted quite nice. The third one had a segment that was spoiled but otherwise tasted fine as well.

Durio Zibethinus

All three tasted very different and I thought that was part of the appeal of having a kampung durian degustation, although none yielded much meat. You’ll get better value for money if you just go for the regular durian clones but this was more for experience.

RM 10 per durian

RM10 Durian

This is a larger durian, it weighed in at 1.5 kg and was supposed to go for RM 10/kg but I just picked it out of a basket so they gave me a discount. Unfortunately, the flesh was inedible – it has not yet ripened.

Inedible Durian

I did take a few bites but it was like eating pure starch. The best analogy I can give is if you ate plantains raw vs a Cavendish banana.

Kampung Durians

I thought our kampong durian day went rather well. The biggest one was a dud but the five finger durian more than made up for it. I was also very happy with my “Limburger durian” – the profane smelling yellow husked beauty. It’s a very good find indeed, this must be what some people mean when they say they prefer kampung durians due to the extra strong aroma and taste. :)

Sang Har Mee @ Restaurant Green View, SS2

Green View Sang Har Mee

I was craving for some sang har mee (生虾面) over the weekend and decided to pop back to an old favorite to eat it. Restaurant Green View has been serving their famous sang har mee (big head prawn noodles) near SS2 (technically Jalan 19) for quite a long time, using the same big head prawns we use in our big head prawn noodles in Sibu but served Cantonese style with crispy noodles.

Big Head Prawn

The price of sang har mee is based on the weight of the prawn. It’s a seasonal, fluctuating price but it has increased over the years to a staggering RM 200/kg. There were three (3) other couples there, all eating sang har mee and we put in an order for 2 pax. Each person is allocated one (1) big head prawn so this is a double portion.

Big Head Prawn Noodles

Behold! The big head prawns were medium sized that day, one slightly bigger than the other. The appeal of big head prawns is due to the roe in the large head of the prawn – it seeps out when it’s cooked, blending into the gravy to turn it into a rich and prawny treat.

Freshwater Big Head Prawn

I like how they cooked the freshwater big head prawns just right so it’s still juicy. The prawns are HUGE too – the meat is equivalent to a slipper lobster or Moreton Bay Bug and the size of the prawn is bigger than my hand!

Sang Har Mee

The only downside is that they use a different serving platter for the 2 pax sang har mee, which is a bit too shallow, so the gravy goes into the crispy noodles and renders it slightly soggy. We should have ordered 1 plate of sang har mee for 1 pax EACH so the serving bowl is slightly curved up and the crispy noodles will remain crispy.

Prawn Roe Gravy

On the plus side, this gives us a lot of the big head prawn roe-infused gravy, but if you like crispy noodles, be sure to make two individual orders instead of one order for two. The price is the same anyway, since it’s calculated by weight.

Sang Har Noodles

This plate of giant freshwater prawn noodles cost us RM 118! It has 590 grams of big head prawns at RM 200 per kg but it’s worth it coz the sang har mee tasted delicious!

Cut Fruits

They also serve a complimentary plate of cut fruits for dessert (papaya and watermelon on a bed of ice) if you order the sang har mee.

Green View Restaurant

The total bill inclusive of drinks was RM 137.55 for the both of us, which is about the same price we’ll pay if we ate at a café so it’s not too bad. I love sang har mee and even though the price has gone up almost exponentially over the years, Green View Restaurant still cooks up a decent plate of big head prawn noodles.

Restaurant Green View

Restaurant Green View
8, Jalan 19/3,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor

D24 Durian Types: Sultan, Super D24, Highland D24

D24 Durian

The D24 Durian used to be the most popular and in-demand durian before the advent of D175/Red Prawn/Ang Heh and later D197/Musang King/Raja Kunyit. It’s still the favorite of many people, but has lost some of its star appeal since it’s so common now (and I predict the same would happen to Musang King in the future – a glut).

D24 Sultan Durians

However, it’s still a very good and well-rounded durian – bitter to bittersweet, fleshy and creamy and strong smelling. There are various “subtypes” of the D24 durian – regular D24, Super D24, and XO, in increasing price.

Durian D24

Highland D24 is another subtype (although I don’t know what differentiates it from Super D24) coming from a higher altitude and older trees.

Durian Seller

I’ve eaten a lot of D24 durians this season, primarily coz my better half likes it. They’re from various sources, old trees (Super D24/Highland D24) to ones of unknown provenance like this uncle selling D24 durians from the boot of his car.

D24 Durian Weight

I found his stall while driving and he’s selling them for RM 10/kg and says it’s from his own orchard.

D24 Highland Durians

I selected one myself from his basket and chose the one with the most D24 characteristics:

D24 Durian Bottom

This one is green with a flat round spot in the bottom of the fruit…

D24 Durian Characteristics

…and has a classic crown with spikes growing over the short stem.

D24 Sultan

It turns out to be quite good but he has never revealed where his orchard was. It’s also a steal at RM 10/kg for this sort of quality.

Super D24 Durian

I’ve also gone for the “RM 20 for 3” deals which is a mixture of smaller fruits of D24 Sultan, Highland D24 and Super D24.

Super D24

There’s also a couple of Durian Jantung fruits in here, which I suspect is a type of D24. I could be totally wrong on this account though, since the seeds in a Durian Jantung is small and vestigial, totally unlike any other D24 variants.

D24 Jantung

It is interesting though, to see the progression in tastes and preference – back in the days, D24 durians was the popular choice, and although it has been eclipsed by other durians now, it’s still a good choice if you want a classic and delicious durian with no frills.

Yeast Bistronomy @ Mid Valley Megamall, KL

Yeast KL

Yeast Bistronomy started out in the prestigious Jalan Telawi 2 address in Bangsar but expanded to Mid Valley Megamall earlier this year. I go to Mid Valley quite often during the weekdays but I seldom see people inside except for the odd couple or so enjoying a glass of wine. It’s part bistro, part bakery and part café and it really is owned by a French.

Yeast Bistronomy

Yeast is actually more of a boulangerie but they also serve a small selection of hot plates, just like some of its French counterparts. We were there over the weekend and was surprised to see quite a lot of people inside. They also have an al fresco area at the pavilion type extensions you see in the F&B outlets on the same frontage between Mid Valley and The Gardens.

Croissant au Jambon et au Fromage (RM 26)

Croissant Jambon Fromage

This is a ham and cheese croissant (which they swapped with a delicious herb loaf baked in-house coz they ran out of croissants) with a side of green salad and fries. I thought the use of this bread tastes much better than a croissant (although they have different textures) and the ham (real ham, not turkey ham or nonsense like that) and cheese combo was very comforting.

Caffe Vergnano Cappuccino (RM 12)

Caffe Vergnano Cappuccino

This is quite unusual. Yeast only uses Caffe Vergnano 1882 and all orders are *Double Shots* – that means you’re getting two (2) espressos in each order, not for the faint-hearted or caffeine intolerant. This is a very popular brand of coffee that is made by Italians in London and have even received praise from Gordon Ramsay.

Escargots à la Bourguignonne (RM 25)

Escargots a la Bourguignonne

Snails! Who doesn’t love escargots? I’m a huge fan of them and there’s nothing quite like eating this dish in a Paris bistro, it’s as common as French Onion Soup (with a croute covering the entire top). The ones at Yeast don’t come with the shell of the snail but in most restaurants, the shells are decorative anyway, escargots comes in huge cans for restaurants, unless you’re eating in a Michelin star restaurant.

Valrhona Chocolate Chaud (RM 16)

Valrhona Chocolate Chaud

We actually didn’t see this in the menu at first and when I perused it the second time I knew I had to order it for my dear. She quite liked it, although it wasn’t as thick as the one we had in Paris. Valrhona is a very popular brand of chocolate for cooking in France, we stocked up with a lot of their single origin 70 gram bars a while back.

Yeast Bistronomy KL

Yeast serves decent food and very reasonable prices, especially for their wonderful coffee. The bill came up to RM 83.75 for the two of us. The best thing about Yeast is that they don’t charge 10% service charge, it’s the standard 6% GST only and this is advertised quite prominently at their outlet in Mid Valley. It’s a nice place to go for a quick bite to eat in the afternoon if you’re into French casual.

Sage Restaurant & Wine Bar @ The Gardens, Mid-Valley KL

Sage Fine Dining KL

My better half booked us dinner at one of the best restaurants in KL during our weekend staycation at St Giles The Gardens. Sage Restaurant & Wine Bar isn’t directly affiliated with St Giles The Gardens but you can make reservations though them. They have a degustation menu (RM 398 per pax) and a gourmet menu (RM 298 per pax) when the chef is in but we were told Chef Daniel was in Sydney during the weekend.

Sage Restaurant Wine Bar

Sage KL serves a fusion of French and Japanese cuisine, and we saw a lot of interesting dishes on their website. I was quite surprised to see a lot of couples dining there. Most of the seats are for two, with several table arrangements for 4 pax in the middle. It has a view of KL for the tables flanking the restaurant and a view of the open kitchen for the tables in the center, where the chef would be working.

Sage Restaurant KL

The service was very attentive and patient, and we went for the Sage Menu (RM 218 per pax) which was the only option available. This allows you one (1) choice each of Appetizer, Main Course, and Dessert from their a la carte menu. It’s essentially a 3-Course menu with Chef’s Appetizer and an Amuse Bouche.

Amuse Bouche

Sage Amuse Bouche

This was an interesting combination of diced salmon (raw) with macerated tomatoes and a citrus base. I thought it was decent enough, we actually thought the “Chef’s Appetizer” was the amuse-bouche but it turned out to be something else entirely.

Chef’s Appetizer

Grilled Scallops with Peaches and Walnut Sauce

Grilled Scallops with Peaches

Amazing! To be honest, I was mildly disappointed by the amuse-bouche, it tasted good but it didn’t have the “Wow Factor”. This had it in spades. The scallops were grilled to perfection and we each had two (2) large medallions. It was paired with unpeeled slices of peach (which my dear thought was apples) and walnuts, which was genius – the peaches provide a sweet and slightly acidic element while the toasted walnuts mixed in a textural element.

Vieux Chateau des Templiers

I also had a glass of Vieux Château des Templiers, Pomerol (RM 65 per glass). It’s a 2007 vintage French wine. The wine list is quite comprehensive but they only sell by the bottle or half bottle. This is one of two red wines they sell by the glass – they also have 2 types of whites, for RM 62 and RM 65. It’s quite good, with depth and a nose of dark berries.


Feuillete of Anago with Foie Gras and Cèpes Mushroom Veloute

Anago with Foie Gras and Cepes Mushroom

Anago is a salt water eel (vs unagi, which is a fresh water eel) and it’s cooked just the way I like it. There’s also a generous slab of foie gras on the plate, which I ate smeared on top of the freshly baked bread that was put in front of us during the start of the dining session. The cèpes mushrooms were wonderful! I gave my dear a taste and she really liked the mushrooms too. The feuillete pastry is under everything, it’s de-constructed so they can put more anago and foie gras inside (plus it looks better). Very well thought-out dish. I was very happy with my pick.

Warm Capellini Pasta with Trio of Seafood and Seven Flavor Chilli Pepper

Capellini Pasta with Trio of Seafood

This was my dear’s choice. She gave me a taste just after I had my first mouthful and the strong flavors overwhelmed my palate! I couldn’t eat any more if I were to enjoy my milder and creamier starter. It is very yummy though – the perfect starter, if you think about it. The chillis makes your mouth water and want more and the juicy large king prawns and scallops sealed the deal. It’s quite unfortunate that they ran out of Maine lobsters that night so there’s only two types of seafood inside. This was conveyed to us before we ordered but my better half still wanted this as a contrast to my dish so they gave her more prawns.

Main Course

Wasabi Crusted Wagyu Cheek with Flat Beans and Carrot Puree

Wasabi Crusted Wagyu Cheek

Flawless! I loved the freshly grated wasabi crust on my tender Waygu Beef Cheek. The beef cheek was so perfectly cooked that I can slice through it like a hot knife through butter! There’s plenty of fat and collagen inside and this was such a rich main that I had problems finishing it. The carrot puree was slightly too wet according to my partner, but I liked everything on the dish. I just wish there was more wasabi to cut through the richness of the Wagyu cheek – the saving grace was my glass of red wine, or else I’ll wouldn’t be able to finish it.

Confit of Ikejime Sea Grouper with Abalone and Iwanori Butter Sauce

Ikejime Sea Grouper with Abalone

My better half had this for her main. It’s quite ingenious, except a bit on the small side for a main dish portion. The abalone is sliced and scattered on top of the sea grouper fillet and it tasted quite good to me. Ikejime is actually a method of paralyzing fish to maintain its freshness, which originated in Japan. A spike is inserted into the hind brain, causing immediate brain death and preventing reflex action like muscle movement which would consume ATP and produce lactic acid to make the fish sour.


Classic Crepe Suzette with Orange Segment and Grand Marnier Ice Cream

Crepe Suzette with Grand Marnier

My better half chose this for her dessert. The Grand Marnier ice cream is delightful – it actually tasted like Grand Marnier! However, the crepe suzette was disappointing. She did not even finish it and I was too full to finish it for her. I thought the Soufflé of the Day (which is also made with Grand Marnier) would have been a better choice.

Fresh Berries with Champagne Sabayon and Vanilla Ice Cream

Fresh Berries with Champagne Sabayon

I liked the vanilla ice cream, which is made with real vanilla pods. The fresh berries were altogether too sour and the champagne sabayon made it even more so. It’s a very tart dish and while it looks slightly more appealing than my partner’s choice, I had trouble finishing it too and left the rest uneaten. The dessert were the only disappointments during our visit.

Sage KL

We were also served a choice of tea, coffee or hot chocolate and petit fours (chocolate and nougat dusted with cacao powder) were presented to us at the end of the meal. The service was flawless, the food was well thought out and executed, and we had a delicious dinner at Sage. However, the only downside were the desserts – both of our desserts failed to impress and we were left wanting.

Petit Four

Nevertheless, we had a great night and we enjoyed most of the food that was served here. The bill came up to RM 535++ for the both of us, inclusive of a bottle of Sole Sparkling Water and my glass of wine (which was charged separately). Thanks for the wonderful dinner, dear! <3 It was a great experience and I can see why Sage Restaurant & Wine Bar is consistently voted as one of the best restaurants in KL.

Double Feature: D18 and D2 (Dato Nina) Durians

Dato Nina

I was searching for Tai Yuen durians over the weekend and drove to Donald’s Durian new Section 19 place (which is just around the corner from their old SS2 stall). I haven’t been here in a while coz their old place was so huge that all the interaction was with their hired workers, some of whom couldn’t explain the different durians properly and just wanted to get the sale done.

Donalds Durian Section 19

That was in the past though – there’s no such problem now, their latest location is smaller and the owners and key people are all there at your disposal. I met Cindy (who somehow recognized me from my blog) and she told me all I wanted to know about their durians. Unfortunately, the Tai Yuen durians were all sold out.

Donalds Durian

I was told that the Johor durians season is ebbing right now (though it might start again) so all the durians are from Pahang. The service is extremely friendly and knowledgeable – two things I look for in a durian stall. It also helps that their goods are very fresh due to the high turnover and all the durians just fell and came from the orchards on the very same day.

D18 Durian


This D18 Durian is a slightly bitter durian with large seeds and very little flesh. I haven’t eaten it in a very long time and I wanted my better half to try it too. The durian is almost perfectly round with a very thick skin. There were only 4 locules in my Durian D-18 with 2 pods each (one had 3). That comes up to just 9 seeds and flesh from one 1.4 kg durian.

D18 Durian

Furthermore, the flesh surrounding the seeds is extremely thin. This isn’t a meaty durian, you eat it for the taste.

Durian D18

The large seed combined with the meagre flesh doesn’t make this a very popular durian clone but I was after the less popular ones this weekend, to introduce to my dear the sheer variety that durians exhibit and the extreme difference between the various clones and cultivars.

D18 Durian Flesh

The D18 Durian is good for what it is – a simple durian from the older days with very little (albeit tasty) bitter and fibreless flesh and large seeds. I’ll call the flesh on the seeds more like a coating than flesh per se. Haha. I love the characteristic wrinkly skin of the D18 though. It’s a bit of a curiosity and I highly recommend it if you haven’t tried it before.

D18 Durians

It won’t be the cheapest durian out there since the total amount of flesh you can get from one would barely make you satiated, much less full. The D18 Durian’s weight mostly comes from the large seeds and thick skin. It’s is listed at RM 17/kg so this fruit cost RM 24, but if you’re a true durian fan, you’ll want to get your hands on one just to see what it’s like.

D2 Durian (Dato’ Nina)

D2 Durian

Cindy recommended their D2 Durian. This is commonly known as Dato’ Nina and she told me they just came from the orchard in Pahang today. I opened one to try and it blew me away.

Durian D2

I was amazed! I instantly felt ecstatic when I tasted the D2 Durian – it’s like a drug! The combination of fat and sugar (which supposedly doesn’t exist in nature) elevated my mood so much I thought I had accidentally ingested a controlled substance. smirk The Dato Nina was rich, creamy bittersweet goodness and the fiber makes you chew and extract more flavor out of the flesh with every mouthful.


It was so good that I immediately got another D2 Durian coz I knew 1 would not be enough.

D2 Durians

That’s the difference between fresh, top quality durians – it makes you want more. It was going for RM 16/kg and the first durian weighed 1.5 kg (RM 24) while the second came in at 1.7 kg (RM 27).

D2 Dato Nina

I’ve eaten so much fibreless durians this season (Musang King etc) that I’ve almost forgotten what a good fibrous durian can taste like. It can be even more flavorful since the fiber forces you to munch more and each time your molars masticate the durian flesh, the strong notes of D2 comes through with every bite.

Dato Nina Durian

I can see why the more fibrous durians like D160 (Teka / Green Bamboo) has their own cult following. Dato Nina was one of the earliest registered clones (1934) and she’s not showing any signs of her age. It’s shaped like a kidney, very odd and distinctive so it’s quite easy to recognize. The D2 durian is also very, very hard to open unless you’re an expert. Even the staff had some problems and expended a lot of effort opening the two D2 durians I chose, but easily cracked open the D18.

D2 Seeds

The D2 durian looks like a messy slop of pulp but nothing could be further from the truth. The seeds from this Dato Nina is shrunken and vestigial, which is why the durian flesh doesn’t “hold its shape” and flops around. You get a whole lot of flesh around a tiny and flat little finger sized seed. There’s also a larger shark teeth shaped seed, which can be found around 1/4 of the time, while the rest are tiny seeds or no seeds. It’s quite unusual.

D2 Durian Flesh

While I’ll normally wolf down durians, the D2 Durian forces you to ponder over it, to take your time and appreciate all the subtle and not-so-subtle nuances and savour every delicious mouthful. Just as I thought no more taste can be extracted anymore, another chew to attempt to get through the fibrous flesh proved me wrong and engulfed my palate with a deluge of more wonderful flavors and aromas from the Dato Nina.

D2 D18 Durians

I’m converted – a good Dato Nina freshly fallen from the orchard can be better than most of the more famous branded durians. My better half didn’t like the fibrous nature so much though so YMMV. Personally, I’ll go back to Donald’s Durian again just to eat their wonderfully sourced D2 durians coz we finished the last of it a few hours ago.

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