Usually when I’ve got a durian hankering, I head to one of those durian stalls where you just eat durian until you can’t move anymore. In Jakarta I was surprised that ordering durian as a beverage is as normal as a Sprite with your lunchtime sandwich. I think this is what they call “moderation.”
At lunch with Iwan in Jakarta, I had to think about durian a little differently when he ordered me a Durian Kopyor Shake to go with my peanutty pecel salad. Durian as a side beverage?
Iwan is a bit of a foodie, and so as we were passing by Kedungsari Restaurant around lunchtime on our way out to Serang, he suggested we stop so I could taste something pretty special.
It’s a durian shake made with Kopyor, a mutant coconut, which is really popular right now in West Java.
Kedungsari is a narrow-fronted shop house that extends back through the building. From the front it looks decidedly unspecial, just another indecipherable sign crammed between two other signs of about equal size and design.
When we arrived at the restaurant, there was a man sitting outside the front door dehusking coconuts. I took his picture, not because I knew what the significance of those coconuts yet, but because I thought it kind of set the scene for the restaurant.
I didn’t even yet know yet what Kopyor is.
Inside it was crowded. Iwan led the way through the small front restaurant and up a set of narrow stairs to a large, cool eating area with dark green tables and a high ceiling.
We sat down, and I checked out the menu. Kedungsari is a lunchtime place specializing in fruit juices and there was an impressive number of drinks that all sounded delicious. There was a number of durian drinks too, although to be honest avocado and durian (alpukat durian) did not sound like my cup of tea.
Iwan assured me that what I was there to try was the Durian Kopyar.
What is Kopyor?
Kopyor is a mutant coconut. It’s fascinating even if you’re not a plant nerd, simply by it’s weirdness.
Get this: Kopyor is a coconut that doesn’t have much, if any water. Instead it fills with a crumbly, chewy, slightly elastic white meat.
The man chopping coconuts downstairs opened one to show me. It looks like this inside.
Kopyor coconuts not only look strange, and have a strange texture, they have a decidedly different flavor and nutritional profile.
They are much higher in sucrose than normal coconuts, which are usually predominantly fructose and glucose, and also have more total amino acids and lower fat.
It’s kind of fluffy, and in gives an almost cotton-candy like texture to when blended into a chunky cold shake.
Almost immediately after sitting down, the waiter set a giant, German-beer sized tumbler of something cold graced with an obvious whip-cream like pile of durian flesh on top.
This was my Durian Kopyor Shake.
It was very sweet, due to the added sugar syrup and the Kopyor’s light, almost fake coconut flavor. I think the syrup made it a little bit pink.
Without the durian to give it a grounded, earthy creaminess I don’t think I would have liked it.
The Kopyor was only half-blended, and so added a flakey, slight chewiness to an otherwise creamy-smooth milk shake that tasted pretty delicious.
You can see a puff of white kopyar sticking over the side of the glass.
Not as delicious as pure durian flesh, but interesting.
Getting to Kedungsari
Kedungsari is located in West Jakarta off one of the main highways heading out of the city.
GPS Coordinates: 6° 11′ 24.37″, 106° 46′ 1.12″
Durian Map of Jakarta: