I was told by my friend that I should find time to visit the Ucok Durian store while I am in Medan. It is the most famous durian shop and even the bellhop at the Grand Aston City Hall hotel told me not to miss trying out the durians. So with all the hype about this durian store, I took a cab from my hotel to Jalan K. H. Wahid Hasyim No. 30/32 which is the location of this durian shop. I was told that there are 2 outlets for Ucok durian and this particular outlet opens for 24 hours daily – just liked Seven Eleven convenience store. The journey took less than 20 minutes depending on traffic condition.
My first impression of this Ucok durian store is that it was a no frill, simple and messy shop. Durians were piled up all over the frontage of the shop and the workers were busy sorting out the durians. Cheap looking tables and plastic chairs were placed all over the entire shop. On the table is a tissue holder that holds a toilet roll and a metal bowl with clean water to wash your hands. There were also small plastic cups of mineral water on the table for customers. As I sat on the plastic chair, I saw that the road outside the shop had quite a heavy traffic flow; so noise and dust was inevitable.
A staff from the Ucok durian store came to my table and asked me how many durians I wanted. I told him 3 durians and the taste of the durian should be sweet and bitter. You can actually request for the type of durian that you want. If you are unsure, just let them pick the durians for you. I saw him telling his staff to pick 3 durians from the large pile of durians that was piling up on the floor. He came with 3 durians in a plastic square container and opened up the fruits. The durians looked good and creamy and he stood there opening up the durians as we ate. If the durian was in bad condition, it would be replaced immediately at no cost.
Ucok durian from Medan differ in taste from the Malaysian durians that I had eaten frequently. My friend said that she still preferred the Malaysian durians, as it was stronger in taste as well as smell. My opinion was that durian from Medan had a milder taste and smell. The sweetness and bitterness of the durian was less distinctive than the Malaysian durian. It was still a delicious durian to eat and it has more flesh too. After eating the Ucok durian there wasn’t much lingering smell on my mouth and hand – which was good as I was going for another appointment after this durian feast.
And talking about the cost of eating Ucok durian as compared to Malaysian durian, the Ucok durian in Medan would beat the Malaysian counterpart hands down. It only cost Rp25,000 for one medium size quality durian. That works out to be US2.80 as compared to US$8 for an average quality Malaysian durian. Will I come back to Ucok durian store on my next trip to Medan? Definitely YES! The next time I would probably skip lunch and eat 2 durians instead. The durian shop is crowded in the evenings and on weekends, so if you intend to cut the queue, it would be better to go there in the afternoon.