Going nuts over durians

IT is almost impossible to find a parking spot along Jalan SS2/65 (behind the SS2 police station) especially in the evenings when durian fanatics thronged the area looking for the best deals in town.

Banners and pictures of each fruit’s grade helped in identifying the popular durian names better as most were not often heard of.

For just RM9, one can take part in the “durian buffet” promotion where you are allowed to eat as many kampung durians as you wish, while for RM15 you can take on the ones from the D24 grade basket.

During StarMetro’s visit to the stalls recently, we noticed many were game on in the “Eat All You Can” promotion and did not seem to bother about watching their weight.

“We have planned our trip here for two days after our boss decided to give us a treat as we love the fruit very much,” said bank clerk Khairul Anwar, 26 who was at the stall with his colleagues.

Khairul, who managed to eat six whole durians, said he had heard of the stalls in SS2 from his friends but had never made his way over as he lived in Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur.

“The deal here is good and affordable, we also get to see the different types of durians available in the market unlike at the pasar malam (night market),” said Khairul referring to the pictures placed around the Durianss2.com stall.

His colleagues Roswani Liman and M. Punitha felt that they now know more than just the usual grade of D24 durians by the variety available at the stall.

“The stall owner here will also change the durian if it isn’t the choice you were looking for,” said Roswani.

Besides locals, we also spoke to a few Malaysians who are working abroad but happened to be in the city for work.

“Durians in Malaysia are still my favourite and its quality is beyond comparison. In Australia, we only get durians imported from Thailand and they aren’t as great as the ones here,” said the Lucian Loo, 34.

The IT consultant said he would make time for his favourite fruit no matter how tight his schedules were whenever he was back in the country during the fruit seasons.

However, Loo said he was only interested in getting the best, hence he chose to go with the premium grades of XO, Udang Merah, Traka and the popular Raja Kunyit or better known as the ‘Mao San Wong’ in Chinese which were all priced according to their weight.

KC Lim was with his relatives from Hong Kong who decided to stop by to try the durians here after being told of its distinct quality.

“They came from so far to try the fruits and we wanted them to try the best grades they have here,” said Lim who was savouring the XO and Udang Merah grades and agreed they were a quality above the rest.

As we tucked into the durians we saw how Cheah Kim Wai, or more popularly known as Ah Wai among his customers, worked non-stop with calls from patrons other minute.

When it gets busier, the 29-year-old who runs the Durianss2.com stall, was even seen answering calls from his cellphone while choosing the fruits for his customers.

“There is no time for a break when it comes to serving durians because people just want to have the fruit on their table fast,” said Ah Wai.

However, Ah Wai said he only got to work at his stall twice a year, during the durians season from May to September and from November to January.

“We close this stall when the fruit season is over and I would continue with my job of renovating houses,” said Ah Wai who stocks about 500 durians from Johor, Pahang and Perak for his stall each day.

However, for the highly sought after ‘Mao Sang Wong’ grade, Ah Wai said he only stocked about 70 of it a day and was trying hard to cope with the demand.

“More people now can afford to buy expensive durians for its quality and with so little to offer it is difficult to please everyone,” said Ah Wai.

He added that the low supply was due to the bad weather as durian flowers would drop before it could fruit.

Donald Ng, who owns the stall next to Ah Wai, agreed that most customers especially those on holiday sought only high grade durians, regardless of the price tag.

“The older folk do not complain of the price or ask for huge discounts. They only want good quality fruits,” said Ng, who once operated at a football field near SS2.

“We also had the ‘Eat all You Can’ deal but we had to give our customers a time limit, about 30 minutes to an hour as we do not have much space for seating, but now they can sit here as long as they want,” said Ng, 50, whose opening hours are from noon to midnight daily.

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