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Duke Dessert Review: Traditional Dessert Cafe With House-Made Taro Balls At Fortune Centre

16th April 2024

Duke Dessert has traditional Chinese desserts at Fortune Centre


Duke Dessert is an eatery that opened in July 2023, but here’s the interesting part: they are located right next to Yat Ka Yan, an OG traditional dessert shop in Fortune Centre. For them to survive against such a strong competitor, they must be doing something right, so we knew we had to try their offerings.

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One of the owners, Ken, shared with me that every ingredient sent by the supplier goes through stringent quality checks every day. If just one ingredient required for a specific dessert does not meet their standards, they will not make it that day.

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Food at Duke Dessert


First, we got their Durian Chendol ($6.80) as it’s one of their most popular desserts. As a durian fan, this was a delight! I was impressed that the durian puree had a good balance of bittersweet flavours that melded well with the rest of the toppings. This was something only a few dessert stalls could achieve. My only gripe was that the coconutty, caramel flavour of gula melaka was not intense enough. Other than that, I liked the bouncy chendol jelly and chunky red beans.


Ken told me that the durian puree was made with a mix of different types of durian. He further explained that if he’d only used Mao Shan Wang durian, the paste would have been quite bitter and unpleasant to eat.


Next was the Sesame Walnut Paste ($4.20) which was presented skillfully in a yin-yang pattern. Ken told me that the black sesame paste, which uses a highly guarded family recipe, is both his and the chef-owner’s favourite. The black sesame seeds are roasted and ground in their kitchen, which means the paste is made without any additives.


Normally, I wouldn’t order paste-based desserts because I am not a fan of the gooey texture, but this was quite smooth and silky! Even though I thought the taste of the sesame paste overpowered the walnut, I still liked the intensely nutty and roasted taste of the paste mix.


Moving on to our favourite: the Beancurd Grass Jelly With Ice Cream and Tapioca Balls ($6.90). This bowl was topped with different kinds of tapioca balls, each colour denoting a different flavour. They’re all made in-store!

The orange-coloured ball tasted like the fruit itself, and the purple was taro-infused. My colleague and I liked the green ones the most for their deep matcha taste.


The most special topping of the bunch was the chestnut tapioca boba. These smaller balls are boiled chestnuts coated in tapioca. They were soft on the outside, and crunchy on the inside!

From the subtly herbal taste of the grass jelly to the silky beancurd and the sweet vanilla ice cream, this dessert was a harmonious medley of different textures and flavours.


Finally, here’s something you don’t see in every dessert stall: Almond Multigrain ($5.90). This is essentially almond milk blended with different ingredients such as oats and lotus seeds, giving it a thick consistency. Although the almond taste was somewhat muted, there was a strong aroma of the nut. I also liked the creamy and earthy taste of the grains, which reminded me of Quaker Oats’ cereal drink.

This beverage is also said to be a popular meal replacement drink as it’s very nutritious by itself. True enough, I did feel quite satiated after drinking this.


Speaking of meal replacement drinks, you’ll find a small range here, all prepared in their central kitchen. These are made with the chef-owner’s family recipe, passed down from their grandparents in Penang, and then tweaked to suit the Singaporean palate.


We found the Almond Purple Rice with Lotus Seeds ($5.90) particularly enjoyable as this one was super chunky thanks to the purple rice bits. My colleague also had a mouthful and liked the added chew of the lotus seeds.

Ambience at Duke Dessert


Duke Dessert is just a five-minute walk from Bencoolen MRT Station and an eight-minute walk from Bugis MRT Station. The cosy dining space that could house 30 customers at once was also well-lit. Since the eatery is located indoors, I got to enjoy a strong aircon breeze on a hot day too.

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The verdict


In conclusion, these desserts were, as Singaporeans love to say, not too sweet. They were well-made without being cloying. Duke Dessert is definitely the place to go for good-quality desserts, both old-school and modern, made by passionate folks.

For more dessert content, check out Summer Bliss, the popular Chinese dessert chain’s first outlet in Singapore! Or if you’re in the area, read our Bugis food guide for K-BBQ, kaya buns and more.

Address: 190 Middle Road, #02-06, Fortune Centre, Singapore 188979
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 12pm to 11pm
Duke Dessert is not a halal-certified eatery.

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Photos taken by Hor Kia Ee.
This was a media tasting at Duke Dessert.

Duke Dessert Review: Traditional Dessert Cafe With House-Made Taro Balls At Fortune Centre
  • 7.5/10
    Duke Dessert Review: Traditional Dessert Cafe With House-Made Taro Balls At Fortune Centre - 7.5/10


– High-quality dessert ingredients
– Not too sweet

– Gula melaka was not intense enough
– Walnut paste was overpowered by black sesame paste

Recommended dishes: Durian Chendol ($6.80), Beancurd Grass Jelly With Ice Cream and Tapioca Balls ($6.90)

Opening hours: Tue-Sun 12pm to 11pm

Address: 190 Middle Road, #02-06, Fortune Centre, Singapore 188979

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