Sometime last week, eagle-eyed Punggolians like myself (*ahem*) would have noticed the new and huge tentage outside Punggol Plaza with a banner that reads “DURIAN FAIR”. And I popped by on Wednesday evening to pick up some premium Mao Shan Wang durian for the folks at home. Having first read their largely 5-star customer reviews on Facebook, I figured these guys from Durian Empire are durian sellers with a difference.
When I was at the Durian Fair on Wednesday evening, there were only the Mao Shan Wang durians for sale (with prices ranging from $16/kg to $22/kg for the premium ones). You can have them open the durians for you to enjoy within the dining area, or packed in plastic boxes so you can take them home.
I got to chat with one of the bosses of Durian Empire (this business was set up by 4 friends who love eating durian). Zen, whom you see in the first picture above carrying his oh-so-cute daughter, was painfully shy at first but beamed with pride when sharing about their business’ emphasis on good (if not great) customer service. As he’s a father, he wants to make Durian Empire a family-friendly business. So you’ll see the high chairs for kids, (FREE!) ice cream for the young ones who don’t like durian, and even those baby puffs that little ones like are complimentary. While the adults enjoy the durian, the kids won’t feel left out at all. 🙂
And what really made my jaw drop was their handing out chilled drinks to customers, whether you’re just in the queue to purchase durians or if you’re dining there with family and friends. You get FREE drinks! Unbelievable. I had green tea as you can see in the picture below. And apparently there are gloves and tissues provided for folks dining-in too.
Even though I returned home with three boxes of durian, it seems like it’s insufficient. My family loves durian so it’s all gone now. Verdict: creamy, bitter and sweet, and just delicious. Thankfully, Durian Empire is pretty close to home so cravings can be satisfied easily.
Durian Empire is open daily from 4.30pm to 11.30pm. While the bosses mull over where a permanent shop should be located, this pop-up stall will be here for the duration of the current durian season, which may be anything from 1 month to 3 months depending on supply.
If you don’t live near Punggol Plaza, well, it’s located right next to the Coral Edge LRT station, just 3 LRT stops from Punggol MRT station. Or you can take a bus to get here. If you’re tired of dealing with durian sellers who are rude or just out to fleece you, pop by Durian Empire and you might be wowed by the customer service, like I was. I’m guessing you’ll want to leave them a 5-star review on Facebook after the experience too! 😉