There’s one place to
go for durian in Medan – to Ucok Durian, located on Iskandar Muda.
Actually, there is durian all over the city,
but Ucok’s is by far the most popular. “I really think the
durian is better here,” said Lydia Laluyan, who visits the stand about 3 times a week
with her husband, George.
Ucok’s is so popular that last year he opened a second durian stall. He now sells
5,000 durians a day between the two locations.
the two durians brought to us before Lydia informed us that we could make
special requests. She always asks for a yellow-fleshed, sweet durian, as opposed to the
paler, more pungent or bitter fleshed ones. “They can tell what kind it is
from the outside,” she said in awe.
|Dadung preparing packages for pick-up|
This ability to pick
the best durian is what makes Ucok’s place stand out from the other stalls. The tukang durian, the young
men who serve the durian, are proud of their intimate durian knowledge and
enjoy being able to pick out the best durian from among the merely good. “It’s like a
sport,” says Dadung, 25, who has worked for Ucok since he was 15.
is never disappointed. He ensures this by allowing customers to reject durian
until they find one that they like. Rob and I were always pleased with the
durian brought to us. Maybe we lack discrimination, or maybe our tukang durian was just that good.
|Crowds begin to gather in the late afternoon, but the real activity begins around 9 PM|
At the end of the
night, we were brought three small durians, on the house. They were yellow and
sweet, pockets of creamy goodness, but at that point we were stuffed. We took
our durians home in a bag, to stink up our hotel room. Mmmmmmm, breakfast.
Ucok’s Durian stall now has two outlets, one on Jl. Iskandar Mudah and one at Jalan K. H. Wahid Hasyim No. 30/32