Monday, 19 January 2015

Durian chendol, not!

Fact: Much of Jonker Street is dead during weekdays. Fact: much of Jonker Street is a tourist trap with exorbitant prices.

There is nothing like a gullible tourist to part with this money. Foremost among these tourist traps is a small shop called Bibik House. When my wife and I walked past the shopfront during our recent trip to Malacca, our eyes latched onto a sign touting durian chendol.

Many of my friends would know that usually, I cannot resist the calling of a durian. "Smell me, eat me, taste me," the durian would call out to me and I, like a zombie, would throw caution to the wind and buy the fruit.

Only this time, there was no fruit. But there was the word durian displayed prominently on signboards outside and inside the shop. So with high expectations, we ordered a bowl of chendol and I asked the lady at the counter to include durian in it.

The first sign of danger was that she opened a plastic container and scooped up some miserable portion of frozen durian flesh - I do hope it was durian flesh and not durian ice-cream - and placed it in the bowl of chendol. Then she pushed the bowl to me and said, "RM6." I dutifully paid up, brought it to my wife and we tucked into the bowl.

Let me say that the chendol was nothing like what we expected. Hardly any taste of durian at all. Just a sickly sweetness from an overly liberal dash of gula melaka. Great disappointment, to say the very least. And to pay RM6 for it was a great injustice to our pockets.

At any time, let me just say categorically that the two Penang Road chendol stalls in Penang are miles ahead of this Bibik House when it comes to serving quality chendol, without durian. Elsewhere along Jonker Street, other stalls were selling chendol at RM3.50 to RM4 per bowl. Of course, they were without durian pulp but hey, what a world of a difference in the price.

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