A wide range of full-on funky durian desserts have arrived on SE Division. Hong-Kong-based cafe and tea shop C Fruit Life has opened in a new location, complete with flowery fruity teas, cold fruit soups called sagos, and several applications of Southeast Asia’s spiky-shelled “king of the fruits.”
Tucked away next to a slider shop and across from a Zoomcare clinic, the cafe features an expansive list of durian desserts with varying levels of its famously pungent flavor. Those looking for a serious slap in the nose may dig the “durian pochette,” essentially a whipped-cream-and-durian-filled crepe pocket, which folds in whole chunks of the fruit. The mellower durian mango “snowdae” infuses the fruits into a kind of milk ice shaved into a mountain, adorned with chewy multicolored mochi balls, chunks of fresh mango, and large popping mango “bubbles” resembling oversized salmon roe. Beyond the durian, C Fruit Life also pours bowls of chilly durian sago, a cold fruit soup filled with tiny tapioca balls, topped with chunks of mango and a few small scoops of durian ice cream. A durian-free, mango-only variant is served with chewy multicolored mochi balls. In general, C Fruit Life leans heavily on fruity desserts and drinks, bubble waffles, and fruit teas, as well as what the cafe calls “fruit mix,” something like a smoothie or float utilizing fruit-flavored ice creams and the aforementioned sago.
C Fruit Life is currently serving a truncated menu, but the wood-paneled cafe will soon feature an expanded menu with other Hong Kong-style desserts. C Fruit Life’s Ronny Lei says the cafe will soon offer desserts based on the ever-popular vegan “gelatin” grass jelly, as well as a hot coconut chestnut dessert soup served in a hollowed out coconut, with egg whites on the bottom that are cooked and stirred up into the soup as the hot soup is poured in. C Fruit Life currently has United States locations in both Seattle and Boston, but the Portland location is located at 3103 SE Division Street.
• Previous C Fruit Life coverage [Eater Boston]