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Durian making it big in China

Musang king Durian, getting popular in China
Musang king Durian, getting popular in China

SHENZEN: The ‘Musang King’ durian from Malaysia is much liked and highly demanded by the people in China and in 2013, the fruit was awarded China’s television stations’ CCTV 10 Best Agriculture Award, says Sean Lee, a Malaysian who runs a cafe chain in China.

He said the fruit became more popular in China after it won the award and this had enabled him to open five cafes, whose specialty is sweets and beverages made from Malaysian durian.

Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob opened Sean’s latest cafe, Mallove Dessert House’, at Vanke Mall here today.

Sean, who runs the cafe through his company, HBS International (Shenzen) Limited, said he started selling durian paste in China in 2011. The response then was lukewarm, he added.

“To avoid the durian paste from turning bad, I had to use my own creativity to create durian-based recipes, like durian cake and durian pie, and the response was very encouraging,” he said.

Sean, who hails from Kuantan, Pahang, said he opened his first cafe, ‘Dorena’, in Shenzen in December 2012.

He now has five cafes in Shenzen and one each in Guangzhou, Harbin and Dongguan and they all serve more than 20 types of sweet delicacies and beverages made from Malaysian variety of durians, like the Musang King, D24 and the village durians.

The most popular menu at his cafe is durian pizza and durian milkshake. Sean’s main challenge now is getting consistent durian supply from Malaysia and the packaging of the durian paste from Malaysia meets the standard set by the Chinese authorities.

Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri said Malaysian durian had huge market in China and efforts would be made by the ministry to ensure consistent supply of the fruit for entrepreneurs involved in durian-based products.- BERNAMA


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