The fruit with a bad rap now in pastry form in Saigon’s Chinatown


A cart sells durian pastries that are so popular customers often have to wait in line to get them.

Durian pastry in China town that ‘stinks’ so bad it tastes good (unedited)

The cart at 135 Ha Ton Quyen Street in Chinatown is a popular destination. The fruit stuffed inside the dough draws many durian aficionados to it.

The durian pastry, banh tieu in Vietnamese, comes in small hot bites with sesame seeds added for extra flavor.

The cart owner inserts a durian slice into the dough and deep fries it. It makes for a soft, crunchy pastry that explodes with the durian’s flavor.

Durian pastry in China town that ‘stinks’ so bad it tastes good (unedited) - 1

It is advisable to eat it hot and many buyers do just that. If you are not a fan of durian or are not partial to grease, it might not be for you.

Though durian is not cheap, the pastry is sold at a very affordable VND6,000 ($0.26) apiece. Some people enjoy the treat with a glass of soy milk.

The owner does not stop kneading the dough or frying for even a moment between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. It is not rare for the eatery to close earlier than its usual 8 p.m. after selling out quickly. Sometimes you have to wait in line for long during rush hour. It is best to get there between 2 p.m. and 4 pm.