Since many years I am a lover of “Durian”, that strange Asian fruit that divides people into lovers and haters.
Recently in Chiang Mai I spent hours on end to find durian ice cream. I had remembered a place selling some three years ago – but it was gone. Only during the last few days I found some durian ice cream.
In Hanoi I was also not so successful so far. Recently someone local had told me that there is an ice cream producer with a big ice cream parlor on the main street to the Hanoi Opera. So, the next morning I saddled my motor-bike to pay a visit to that place. Alas, I could not find it anywhere
Some further research revealed that the place indeed exists since 1958 – and that it is extremely popular with the locals. I got the exact address and off I went again this afternoon after it had stopped raining.
And I did find the place. It is off the street. “Inside”, so to say. But you can take your motorbike with you which makes it like an “ice-cream drive in”.
They have about 6 vending areas like this one. Quite substantial…
What I was not prepared for was the fact that “durian” is not “durian” in Vietnamese. And nobody on the whole compound (2 floors!) spoke any language except Vietnamese!!! So I could not buy the bloody ice-cream. I called some Vietnamese people I know to ask them – but nobody picked up his mobile at that time. So, I had come in vain – and drove all the way back home cursing…! At home I checked my dictionary. It’s “sau rieng” – which I will have forgotten by the next time I’ll find the strength to go there. Plus, I am really disappointed. I have heard about another ice cream place, very upmarket and expensive (but also with durian). Maybe I will go there instead!