I visited Duke Bakery for the first time last month when the husband and I dropped by the Novena area for lunch. As always, I have a soft spot for artisanal breads and even though I know I shouldn’t be consuming so much carbs while trying to lose weight, I just couldn’t resist them. There’s something so comforting about breads, well, at least to me, lol.
Duke Bakery originates from Taiwan. If I recalled correctly, their Chinese name was initially 面包达人 but somehow it is now changed to 面包公爵 which is a direct translation of the English name. They had been in the news before because people were mistaken that they were affiliated to a popular bakery chain in Taiwan, 胖达人 but apparently, they were owned by different people.
Duke sells Japanese-European style breads similar to one of my favourite bakeries, Johan Paris at Westgate. While this bakery shop looks unassuming, its shelf displays are filled with delicious looking breads of really unique flavours, some with an Asian twist.
How can this sight of neatly stacked breads not be tempting? You know what? Their breads are not standard sized buns like those from BreadTalk or Four Leaves. They are not only big in size but also heavy in weight. Definitely snackable and shareable with your family or friends.
Each bread comes with a sampling basket so we can taste and see if we like it before buying. Smart move, that’s why the breads are not cheap (but still worth it for the size, provided it’s good). So the best thing to do is to try all samples and narrow down your selections. I felt quite full upon leaving the shop, lol but it was a happy experience.
On each label tag, the ingredients used in the making of the respective breads are clearly highlighted so for those with certain food allergies, this would definitely be helpful. Also, there is mention of the bread’s feature such as low sugar or no oil. Health freaks, you’re lucky.
After a round of sampling, I fell in love with most of the breads here and I came back in 3 consecutive weekends just to buy them.
Let’s see what I got –
Made of grape ferment, chocolate, walnut, honey and orange. And this is supposed to be low in sugar with no oil.
The exterior of the bread is neither crusty nor crispy. But the winning formula lies in the texture that is dense, moist and somewhat chewy. There is a firmness to the bread that I like a lot. Though I wouldn’t say the amount of fillings was very generous, at least I could taste chocolate, walnut and orange bits with every bite. The combination of sweet chocolate and tangy dried orange was a refreshing pairing that really worked.
Chocolate and cheese equals YUM. Sweet and savoury at the same time. The finest chocolate and cocoa powder must have been used because I particularly like the chocolate flavour in this. It tastes very pure and wholesome unlike some artificial or weak ones that I’ve tried before in other bakeries.
There is cheese throughout the entire length of the bread. Scrumptious!
And this is how I like to enjoy my sweet breads! It’s as satisfying as eating a cake 🙂
On my second visit, I bought this pesto bread because I knew the husband would love it. The funny thing is, I dislike food with pesto sauces because of the strong-flavoured olive oil and sometimes overpowering garlic and basil but this bread tastes mild (well, you can still taste the distinctive pesto, just that it’s not over the top) and pretty tasty too. It has a subtle cheesy flavour as well as chopped walnuts.
I absolutely heart this! I’m not sure how many types of beans are in it but I could definitely taste azuki red beans and I like anything with red beans, really. Beans and cheese in a bread. Totally genius!
On our third visit, we got this to go. This is probably the only item that doesn’t come with samples so we couldn’t taste beforehand. It’s actually a foot-long hot dog. While I do like the bread itself, I feel the sausage is too overcooked, hence it tastes dehydrated and it doesn’t have the crunch that good sausages should have. A little disappointed with this one.
How do I rate Duke Bakery overall? Two thumbs up! It’s a bakery worth my travel time to go all the way to Novena. There are so many different flavours that it’d probably take me a few months to try them all but I’m happy to do so anyway, lol!
This is their list of breads, extracted from their Facebook page:
Also, an interesting thing to note is that different breads are sold at different timings due to their fermentation and proofing processes. Here is their bread schedule for reference:
101 Thomson Road
#01-02/03, United Square
Tel: 6252 2955
Opening hours: 10.00am to 9.00pm daily
Check out some of my other favourite bakeries in Singapore: