Best thing I ate this week: Yuzu Smoked Duck Panini

The Yuzu Smoked Duck Panini is the most recommended main course dish in the cafe.
PHOTO: AsiaOne, Eunice Goh

'Best thing I ate' is a series where we share the best things we have eaten around Singapore. Read more here.

What: Yuzu Smoked Duck Panini ($6.90) Where: Blocs Inc., Paya Lebar Square #01-71, Singapore 409051

The sandwich is served simply with tomato, lettuce and sliced duck in between two pieces of grilled focaccia.

At first bite, I was pleasantly surprised by the juiciness and thickness of the duck meat, which well complemented the crunchy outer layer of the grilled bread. The duck meat was also easy to chew, much softer compared to the normal duck rice dish found at local hawker centres.

Overall, the sandwich was sweet, and had a multitude of textures that left my taste buds craving for more.

The thing I found most unique was the yuzu jam and mayonnaise, which was spread evenly on inner layers of the focaccia, much unlike typical sandwiches that have sauces squeezed haphazardly before the final layer of bread is placed.

It gave an additional kick of flavour with the already herb-flavoured Italian bread, and blended the different food items in the sandwich beautifully.

Besides the Yuzu Smoked Duck Panini, the Banana Nutella Crepe ($6.90) and Chicken Ham and Cheese Panini ($6.90) are worth a try, but the duck still trumps the lot and is reasonably priced to boot.

If you're wondering where the cafe is, it sits in a small, cosy corner of Paya Lebar Square.

8 cafes in Singapore for cheap brunches under $15

  • 100 Guillemard Rd, Singapore 399718
  • Never mind that the menu here isn't the most extensive - the Oven-Baked Molten Eggs on tortilla and melted cheese ($9.80, pictured) is all you need. The rich flavours all come together decadently, only without the guilt, because 1) avocado and salmon are healthy fat, right? And 2) it costs less than a tenner!
  • #01-23/24 Galaxis, 1 Fusionopolis Place, Singapore 138632
  • Bread Yard's pancakes ($10) are made using wild yeast and lactobacilli harvested from the local environment - no baking powder, baking soda, or the like. This means better flavour, all the better to pair with the charred candied bacon and grilled mozerella cheese.
  • 94 Tanjong Pagar Rd, Singapore 088515
  • Drury Lane's Eggs Benedict ($12) is served with turkey bacon as a healthier alternative. Add-ons, from beef sausage to mushrooms to avocado, cost no more than $2 for a portion, too. For those with a larger appetite, even the big breakfast platter will set you back by only $15.
  • #01-25/27, 84 Bedok North St 4, Singapore 460084
  • East-siders don't have to travel far for a filling plate of pasta - none are priced in the double-digits, including the crowd favourite Seafood Spaghetti Aglio Olio ($9.90, pictured). With a soup of the day ($3.90) to start, it'll still cost less than a simple eggs on toast in some cafes.
  • 23 Haji Ln, 189216
  • If nothing else, head here for the ambience. This Haji Lane gem is hip and happening, but peaceful in the day. It's perfect for brunch, with bagels for less than a tenner. Take your pick: cinnamon raisin, hummus, smoked salmon, pastrami, and more.
  • #01-25, 78 Moh Guan Terrace, Singapore 162078
  • It's a bold claim, but one we're making with confidence: Flock Cafe serves one of the best french toasts we've tried on the island, served with caramelised bananas, crispy bacon, and smothered in maple syrup. We'd willingly pay more, but it's only $13.90! More a savoury bruncher? Cheeky Eggs ($16.90), an rendition of everyone's favourite Eggs Benny, but with braised pork cheek.
  • 20 Foch Rd, Singapore 209261
  • The menu here is labelled "Everyday Food". True in some regards - the dishes are uncomplicated and honest, like French Omelettes ($11) and Avocado on Sourdough ($10), but they're done so well we'd consider brunch here a treat. Don't go without a coffee - these folks are serious about their cuppas.
  • 215R Upper Thomson Rd, Singapore 574349
  • Some love it for the coffee, others love it for their specialty Gashouse Eggs ($10) or filling Big Brekkie ($12, pictured). We say try both - you haven't got much to lose, seeing that this cafe is one of the more affordable ones in central Singapore. Fun fact: it's a cafe by day and pizzeria by night!

They're also famous for their DIY coffee and buns.

Check out their website for more information:

The writer paid for the meal reviewed.