Have Durian All Day, Everyday at KL

02 March 2020
Have Durian All Day, Everyday at KL

Famously and infamously, the durian is known around the world as the king of fruits. The indigenously Southeast Asian fruit staked its claim as the king through its unmistakable presence, with its large size, strong odour, and thorny exterior. In Malaysia, durian has garnered a cult-like following, resulting in multiple durian-centric eateries to cater to the masses. Durian is available year-long, made possible by both the streamlining of cultivating processes as well as varying breeds. However, the purest and most appealing durians are available between June and August, where the fruits offer the most flavour. 

While available throughout the country, durian’s nationwide appeal is highlighted by the plethora of eateries offering the fruit throughout Kuala Lumpur and the Klang Valley area. In Kuala Lumpur, durian stands can be spotted in residential areas like Cheras and Ampang, with there being a few exceptions in the city centre, with DurianBB Park and Corus Hotel both offering prime durian in the KL city centre. 

Photo by Jim Teo on Unsplash

Durian has been cultivated and consumed in Malaysia for at least half a millennium, with there now being over 200 breeds in existence, each offering a unique experience. The variety in flavour, aroma, and texture has transformed the fruit from a casual fruit snack to a post-meal durian dessert. 

In Malaysia, popular breeds of durians are labelled and often have a catchy nickname, such as Musang King or Golden Phoenix. These breeds go in and out of popularity, with newer, potentially better breeds being cultivated around the clock. However, the current king of kings is the Musang King, offering a buttery and mildly sweet thick flesh, small seeds, and a tinge of bitterness at the end. Golden Phoenix is famed for its paleness, lighter texture, and stronger bitterness, while D24 is famed for its extremely rich texture and sweetness, and is often used for pastries and even ice cream. Variants such as D13 offer newcomers a more palatable first experience, with a milder yet sweet taste, and less prominent aroma, while D1 is known for its meaty bite due to its extremely thick flesh. Durian breed variety has reached a stage where sucrose-conscious eaters may opt for D101 that’s popular for its mildly sweet taste, yet taking little away from the experience. 


While durian may be accessible relatively easily, finding durian near KLCC, in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, proves a challenge. An exception to the rule is Corus Hotel KL; located within walking distance of KLCC, the hotel has taken a bold step to offer durian as a permanent menu item. Corus Hotel boasts a durian dessert in KL unlike any other, with guests encouraged to embark on a durian culinary experience ranging from the raw fruit to a variety of dessert-based preparations. In celebration of the king of fruits, Corus Hotel has launched a permanent secluded durian dining room, as well as a Durian Dessert Platter served exclusively at the hotel’s Dondang Sayang Coffee House. The Durian Room and the Durian Dessert Platter, offering up to eight unique durian-based desserts, form the cornerstones of the hotel’s new initiative; Durian365@Corus, aimed at making durian available 365 days a year for anyone dining in or staying at Corus Hotel. 

Fruits are generally considered to be good for health, and while also true for durian, the statement does not do justice to it. Considering its relatively low profile in the west, much research has recently been done on the fruit’s potential benefits, with studies indicating that durian is up there as one of the healthiest fruits in the world, and is packed with starch, sugar, protein, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, fiber, B vitamins, vitamin C, and also contains antioxidants such as anthocyanins, carotenoids, polyphenols, and flavonoids. 

Durian’s health benefits include a reduction in cancer risk through antioxidants, prevention of heart disease through active reduction of cholesterol levels and artery hardening, staving off infection through antibacterial and anti-yeast properties of its rind, and lowering blood sugar levels due to its low glycemic index (GI) in comparison to other fruits. 

Pairing the durian’s notoriety and health benefits together, it is no hard feat to comprehend why this unique fruit is dubbed the king. Since gaining far-reaching popularity in Malaysia in the 80s, durian has been a staple fruit in the country, and continues to evolve as cultivators find new ways to breed this diverse fruit. Should you find yourself in Kuala Lumpur and on the lookout for durian, be sure to visit Corus Hotel to take advantage of its Deluxe Room Durian Staycation package, offering a one night stay, breakfast for two, and its famed Durian Dessert Platter, all for RM278 nett. For further details on the Deluxe Room Staycation package and reservations, please visit the Corus Hotel website.