“If you don’t like durian we shouldn’t sit so close to the counter,” a 40-something Chinese man said to his family as they entered Tasty Sweety a cute little shop in downtown Flushing that specializing in Hong Kong style dessert soups, including those made with durian. As I got up to leave, I smiled at him. “Oh, you must like it,” he said.
Indeed I do like durian. I’d just finshed off a bowl of liu lian piao piao ($6.25) or cold durian soup with sago and condensed milk. It was refreshing, and funky with the flavor of the custardy Southeast Asian fruit that some find noxious. And there were chewy spheres of sago and larger tapioca pearls suspended in the shake-like concoction. Still, I thought it was missing something. That’s when I remembered that I had some freeze-dried durian left over from a food tour earlier that afternoon. The dried durian has been compared to astronaut ice cream. Ice cream or not, it provided a crunchy counterpoint and a slightly less intense durian flavor than the chunks of fruit in the soup. All in all a win-win durian dessert.
Tasty Sweety, 36-22 Union St., Flushing, 718-886-9500