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durian ice cream battle
Photograph: KiH.

Ultimate durian ice cream showdown

The king of fruits meets the king of desserts
Written by
Olivia Lai
Cara Hung

What’s that you smell? That’s right. It’s durian season. And what better way to enjoy the king of fruits in the summer than to shove it in ice cream? For you durians fans – and curious foodies with a sweet tooth – we’ve tried out four different types of durian ice cream to see which is the best in town.

RECOMMENDED: Find out what other trending foods to try this season with our pick of the best food to eat this summer. For more food battles, we’ve also rated Hong Kong’s best eggettes and French toast

Hong Kong’s best durian ice cream rated

Gozen Cha
  • Restaurants
  • Mong Kok

This Taiwanese matcha specialist is best known for its signature green tea ice cream, waffles and other sweet treats, but Gozen Cha has gotten in on the durian trend and has rolled out a limited durian ice cream ($58) that promises an intense aroma. You can smell it coming before it even arrives at the table and the ice cream tastes just like the fruit. While it’s made with fresh D197 durian purée, it’s actually quite light and not overly pungent. The durian pieces also add another layer to the texture.

Time Out rating: 4/5

Milk Top
  • Restaurants
  • Causeway Bay

Located inside Sogo’s basement supermarket, Milk Top sells deliciously pure, creamy ice cream and pudding thanks to its Hokkaido milk content. Sold in individual cartons, you’ll find all kinds of flavours here including red bean, blueberry cheesecake, sesame, as well as durian ($27.90). The flavouring doesn’t taste artificial at all and there are bits of durian pulp in every scoop. Unfortutanely, the durian ice cream lacks the milky taste of Milk Top’s other offerings and the texture just isn’t smooth enough.

Time Out rating: 3.5/5

Kowloon Dairy
  • Restaurants
  • Central

Many of us have grown up with Kowloon Dairy, so we’ve an inherent weakness for any of their products. But since launching the durian ice cream ($15), it’s been one of the most popular flavours among Hongkongers who are fans of this most regal of fruits. The dull yellow sweet treat is incredibly smooth and the durian flavour really explodes in your mouth, accompanied by a concentrated coconut cream aroma. All packed perfectly into a small carton. And the best part? It’s dirt cheap. 

Time Out rating: 4.5/5

Japan Ice Cream House
  • Restaurants
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

It’s common knowledge that Japanese ice cream is famously thick and creamy. And the offerings from Japan Ice Cream House is a perfect example. But when it comes to its Hong Kong exclusive golden durian soft serve ($45), the dessert purveyor falls a little short. Rather than a durian flavoured-ice cream, it’s really just a langue de chat cone dusted with durian powder. That being said, the powder is actually quite tasty, although the 12.5 percent milk ice cream can be quite sweet. Best enjoyed in small doses.

Time Out rating: 3/5

The verdict

The verdict

Out of all four of the ice cream brands, the one that comes out on top is none other than Hong Kong’s very own Kowloon Dairy. The durian flavour perfectly matches the real thing and the coconut cream in it makes a fantastic pairing. Gozen Cha’s durian is a close second, its lighter offering ideal for those who prefer a milder flavour.

Craving more ice cream?

The nine best ice creams to try right now
  • Restaurants
  • Ice-cream parlours

With the mercury rising, there’s no better time than the sweltering present to gorge on ice cream with reckless abandon. If you don’t know which scoop or swirl to go for, take a look at these recommendations, which should keep you cool all summer long.

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