I visited Kuala Lumpur for the first time last weekend.
Aside from the Battu Caves, shopping and Petronas Towers, I was told that I must try some durian while in town.
Durian is a local speciality fruit that is sold on street corners and is basically Southeast Asia's answer to marmite - you either love it or hate it.
It has a hard shell with spikes that protect the yellow flesh.
It also STINKS. Your hands smell for ages after eating it and everybody around you will stare when you walk around with it or order it in a restaurant - so much so that there are 'No Durian' signs posted in hotel lifts and on public transport.
Although we were hesitant to try this distinctive fruit, we had heard it tasted great in pancakes so we headed to Lai Po Heen restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental where durian pancakes is one of the chef's specialities.
It is true what they say about the smell.
I was away from the table when they were served.
When I returned I thought I could smell a gas leak....'nope, that's the durian'.
It is potent to say the least and we could tell that people on tables around us were giving us weird looks....maybe not one for a first date...
These tiny little, creamy pancake packages look sweet and innocent but the taste can certainly pack a punch.
It really wasn't what I was expecting and although there was very little durian actually in the pancakes (it was mainly cream) the taste was still very strong and these three pancakes were enough to fill us up for brunch.
We had a lovely brunch at the Mandarin and I'm pleased that we can say we have tried durian.
Buuuut, I'm not sure I'm a big fan of the fruit - it's potent and has the longest lasting after-taste ever! I'm sure, with time, it is a fruit that I could grow to love, they just need to learn a way to mask that smell!