I tried durian hotpot, durian pizza and durian fried rice at a durian restaurant – and it was actually really tasty

Who knew durian and cheese was so delicious?
Rachel Chia/Business Insider

Do you love durians? Like, really, really love them?

Because we might just have found the perfect place for you to eat.

The Four Seasons Durians restaurant in Jewel Changi Airport doesn’t just sell durians in desserts – instead, its upgraded some of its savoury dishes to include the fruit as well.

They include: durian calamari, durian fried rice, durian sandwiches, and durian chicken hotpot (which has been a thing in China since 2016.)

Business Insider visited the restaurant to sample some of these dishes on Friday (June 14).

Here’s how it went:


Durian lovers can feast on entire durian-based meals at the Four Seasons Durians restaurant in Jewel Changi Airport.

When we visited, the restaurant was offering the durian chicken hotpot at a promotional price of S$1 under a partnership with online rewards platform ShopBack.
Rachel Chia/Business Insider

The Singaporean brand, which specialises in durian products like puffs, pancakes, and ice cream, started out in the 1970s as a fruit stall.

Rachel Chia/Business Insider

This is the brand’s first full-fledged restaurant selling main dishes. While it does offer regular meals, its unique dishes are mains and appetisers made with durian.

Rachel Chia/Business Insider

Some of the durian-based appetisers we tried included a durian and cheese roll, made by deep-frying mozzarella cheese and Mao Shan Wang durian flesh coated in breadcrumbs.

The crispy, soft, salty-sweet roll hit a home run for me.

It costs S$9.
Rachel Chia/Business Insider

It tasted like a richer version of mozzarella sticks.

It also proves that deep-frying anything –  even durian flesh – makes it taste good.
Rachel Chia/Business Insider

Another surprisingly tasty dish was the steak fries with durian aioli – a sweet mayonnaise with a subtle hint of durian.

The sauce, which reminded me of honey mustard, paired well with the savoury fries. I couldn’t stop dipping fry after fry in it.

Like the roll, it also costs S$9.
Rachel Chia/Business Insider

Next came a decadent pizza made of creamy durian flesh heaped onto a thin charcoal dough. 

Like the mozzarella rolls, the sweet durian and salty cheese were a surprisingly pleasant combination that I didn’t expect would work so well together.

The soft texture and colour of both cheese and durian made it hard to tell where one ended and the other started.
Rachel Chia/Business Insider

As there were few toppings on the pizza apart from the durian and cheese, it felt more like a dessert than a main.

The quantity of durian and cheese also made the rich dish hard to finish alone.

The pizza costs S$26.
Rachel Chia/Business Insider

Next came the durian fried rice, which was made by frying bits of durian flesh in regular fried rice.

Accompanying the spicy rice was some tender and flavorful grilled chicken.

It costs S$18.
Rachel Chia/Business Insider

Disappointingly, the durian taste in this dish was so subtle, I could not taste anything different, apart from a very slight sweetness and richness to the rice.

It was still a perfectly good fried rice, though.
Rachel Chia/Business Insider

Next came the durian hotpot – a chicken soup base with four pieces of durian sitting on tofu squares.

The soup alone was light and slightly salty, but after the durian flesh disintegrated, it became a thicker, richer, and sweeter broth, which was actually quite tasty after I got used to it.

The hotpot costs S$35 per person.
Rachel Chia/Business Insider

The soup did smell of durian, but subtle enough that I could still enjoy the other ingredients.

I also tried eating the boiled durian, but it tasted warm, sweet, salty and wet – not a good combination.

Rachel Chia/Business Insider

Last was dessert: durian mochi made with snow skin dough and bursting with creamy and sweet durian flesh.

Four Seasons is well-known for its durian desserts, and this dish did not disappoint.

It costs S$14.
Rachel Chia/Business Insider

Overall thoughts:

Initially, the idea of durian hotpot, durian pizza and durian fried rice filled me with trepidation, but the dishes turned out to be surprisingly tasty.

In particular, the Western-style items (fries, pizza, mozzarella rolls) fared the best, with the durian and cheese combination turning out to be unexpectedly delicious.

But a word of warning: only hardcore durian lovers should attempt the hotpot, as boiled durians in soup is not something casual eaters of the fruit are likely to appreciate.


Read also: