It was 6:30pm in Georgetown, Penang, and we were hungry. You know the feeling. The sun was low, the drive home was long, and there was durian somewhere in the city. There always is durian all year in Penang. You just have to know where to start your hunt. Here are five options to get your on your path to Deliciousness.
Note: These are ideas of places that often sell out of season durian. Make sure to call ahead to check on stock. You should be able to source durian from at least one of these places during your stay in Penang, quenching your desperation ;
I swung the car down Jalan Prangin to see what could be smelled. Even though it was March, very much not the durian season in Penang, I knew that chances were high Ting Siang Hock Trading would have durian.
Ting Siang Hock Trading is a newish establishment in downtown Georgetown, near the Komtar Tower. It’s currently the only one of it’s kind: An indoor, permanent establishment that’s open for durian eaters 365 days of the year.
If anyone on the island has durian, they do. They source their durian from all over Malaysia, thanks to an enterprising Singaporean owner with some serious networking skills.
That’s not him in the photo below. That’s my friend Sean.
You can see the owner in another post I’ve written about Ting Siang Hock Trading. During the main durian season, in June and July, they offer an Eat-All-You-Can Durian Buffet.
Of course, you can still eat-all-you-can anytime of year, but when stocks are low you have to pay by the kilo. And should your appetite exceed the fresh inventory, pay for frozen durian. I’ve seen how some of you kill durian — this is an entirely possible scenario.
Luckily for us, there was both plenty of durian and not enough money in our wallets to worry about frozen durian.
Out-of-season durian just isn’t cheap.
They had just two varieties; Musang King for 70RM/kilo ($16 USD) and Durian Hijau for 40RM/kilo ($9 USD). We opted for the cheaper option.
The Durian Hijau looked a lot like D24, but clearly wasn’t. It was sweeter, and more floral than D24, with a lot of small aborted seeds. Tasty.
To be safe, make sure to call ahead.
Ting Siang Hock Trading
Open Hours 11 AM – 11 PM Monday-Saturday, All Year Long
Address No.74, Jalan Dr Lim Chwee Leong, Georgetown Penang
How to get there If you are staying on Chulia Street, the buffet is an easy 10 minute walk. From Chulia Street,merely walk down Jalan Carnarvon and hang a left. It’s located across the street from Prangin Mall.
Ah Teik is Penang’s durian grandfather.
His grandfather founded the stall, a simple cart on wheels on the corner of Jalan Macalister and Lorong Susu, over fifty years ago, and Ah Teik has been selling there for at least thirty. He’s probably the most well-known durian seller in all of Penang.
Today the cart has expanded to multiple carts, all still on wheels, and it used to be that the whole affair could be packed up and rolled away at the end of Penang’s durian season.
Fast forward to 2017, and he’s almost always there. In the summers he sells durian from around Penang and his own farms, and as the season dwindles and turns off he sources from further and further away.
When I went with some friends toward the end of the season, we purchased a variety called “Butter” from mainland Penang or Perak.
Of course, he won’t be there if durian stocks get too low, so make sure to call ahead if you’re planning a trip NOT during the May-August season.
Ah Teik’s Durian Stall
Where Corner of Jalan MacAlister and Lorong Susu
Call ahead 012-438-3881/016-4158579
Whenever I drive past Jelutong Morning Market, I turn my head to see what durians, if any, Andy Ooi has. He has a fruit stall in front of the Kafe Bamboo. During the season, his stall overflows with durian abundance. In the off-season, he’ll bring in durian from as far away as Johor.
But only as long as the prices are low enough that local consumers can buy.
Unlike the guys in Georgetown, Mr. Ooi doesn’t cater to tourists. So right now (March, 2017), when the price for Musang King is a staggering 70RM per kilo Mr. Ooi doesn’t have any durian. He’s just selling mangoes.
There’s another guy who sells durian at the back of Jelutong Morning Market, but unfortunately I haven’t got his name (yet).
We bought some nice packets of Musang King from him when we checked out the Jelutong Morning Market.
This is Penang’s biggest outdoor fruit and vegetable market, a ramble of long tables of fruit, tarps spread with vegetables, and little rollaway food carts. It’s a fun place to eat breakfast or do some grocery shopping or just go durian hunting.
Check out the market between 6AM-11AM, or look for Mr. Ooi in the afternoon. If you’re hoping Mr. Ooi has out-of-season durian, make sure to call ahead.
Where Jalan Penaga
Call ahead (Mr. Ooi) 016-4315-101
Sometimes I get hungry while out running errands in Balik Pulau.
During the main durian season, it’s easy to find a little snack to power me home. The whole side of the road across from the Balik Pulau Bus Station is stuffed with durian stalls, maybe fifteen or more individual stalls in all.
For the first couple of years, I didn’t even notice Pak Haji’s blue canopy.
Then I got hungry in April, and Pak Haji was the only one left. Back then he was selling Thai durians, mostly Chanee, by the whole or by packet. I bought one 12RM packet and munched it right there at the stall.
He also sells durian from Pahang and Johor, when they’re available.
To find out if he’s there, make sure to:
Call ahead 013-588-1699
Where Across the street from the Balik Pulau Bus Station
Last Tuesday (March 14) was my friend’s birthday. I’d seen durian being sold at 818 Durian, a small stall on the winding, switch-backed road between Teluk Bahang and Balik Pulau.
The road is popular with tourists and joy riders — fleets of bikers, Harley Davidson clubs, and old car aficionados. The greatest number come on the weekends, but any day you’ll find a few bikers straggling up the 4-mile hill and in need of some sustenance, or tourists who just really need to get their fix.
The day we went, Mr. Wong had 4 types of probably mislabled durian: Musang King, Tupai King, Black Thorn, and Black Muar. You can read more about our experience here.
He’s not open every day, but so get in touch with him.
More Options For Durian All Year in Penang
I know that Anson Road Durian and Hock Lok Siew Durian (included in the map below) also often have out of season durian, but I haven’t had any mentionable experiences there yet so I didn’t include them in this round-up.
I guess that’s next for the durian hunt!
Do you have any tips or tricks to share with hungry durian hunters? Please comment below with your advice!
Where to Go (Maps)
Use this Google map to find all of the durian spots mentioned in this article, or navigate to durian places of interest all around Malaysia.