Rob and I visited 717 Trading in Singapore on a quiet Monday night. Only a few customers trickled in, and most of the “durian boys” had been given the day off after an intense weekend catering to two large events.We met with Shann, the daughter of Mr. Goh Kwee Leng and manager of the office and bakery.
717 Trading is one of the oldest and most respected family-run durian stalls in Singapore. In addition to their main durian location, they have also opened a chain of durian bakeries under the name “Durian MPire.” The bakery offers the widest selection of durian treats that we have seen so far on our travels, including durian pastries, cakes, sandwiches, smoothies, and puddings.
Shann generously offered to let us taste some of the items in the bakery. We thanked her, but explained that we don’t consume milk or eggs. Shann understood and even found something on the menu that we could try – durian ice! This is the first prepared durian treat we have tasted so far on our trip. Smooth, cold, and sweet with a strong durian flavor, we loved it!
While we sipped on the durian concoction, Shann showed us pictures of her other durian creations. She hopes to open a full-scale durian restaurant where businesses can host durian parties and other events. We were impressed with the proposed menu: durian fondeu, durian sushi, and durian beancurd (tofu) were just a few of the items.
717 Trading strives for quality and satisfied customers. Shann told us if they order 1.5 tonnes of durian for an event,
most likely they will find only 1 tonne worthy of serving.
The rest is frozen and distributed to other durian bakeries in the
area. I asked if they used this durian for their own bakery. She smiled
and said no; Durian MPire bakeries use only the highest quality durian.
Shann’s brother, Ah Chang, recently opened his own durian bakery and fresh fruit stall called 818 Durian. I
asked Shann if there was any competition between the two stalls. She
says no, because they serve quite different clientele. 818 Durian is a
neighborhood joint, serving customers who live in the area, while 717
Trading focuses more on catering for large events.
As the durian boys finished unloading the durian from delivery trucks more people began to trickle in, filling the square red tables. Shann served us a D24. She apologized that she couldn’t share more with us, because they currently had short supply for the event that night. We were appreciative – that D24 may be the best of its kind we’ve had. They certainly know how to pick a nice durian.