Everyone loves a good traditional lotus paste mooncake (although there are some who are on the fence about whether they love it with a salted egg yolk or not).
But the best part about the annual Mid-Autumn Festival is the plethora of exotic, exciting and unconventional flavours that are churned out by the most creative of the culinary industry here. For those with a more adventurous palate, the mooncakes available during this period is a gastronomical delight with plenty of surprises, as chefs try and outdo each other with their creations.
We tried some of the more unique offerings — from tea-infused mooncake with a peach centre to ones with Jambon de Bayonne and lavender to those with truffle carbonara and chrysanthemum and winter melon — and give each a rating. Taste is subjective, to be sure, but it’ll give you an indication on which are worth the price tag (and calories).
Royal Durian x Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza
For the first time ever, Royal Durian unveils its premium Mao Shan Wang snowskin mooncake for the joyous Midautumn festival. Owners of Royal Durian picked the best team of chefs behind Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel’s award-winning Chinese restaurant,Wan Hao, to produce their top-notch snowskin mooncakes. Crafted skilfully with 100% premium Mao Shan Wang durian flesh, this limited-edition is bound to satiate your durian cravings. Durian aficionados will be delighted with the creamy texture and bittersweet taste of Royal Durian’s premium Mao Shan Wang snowskin mooncakes.
Available from Aug 8 to Sept 13 at Royal Durian cafe at 134 Jurong Gateway Rd, #01-303A, 600134. Drop by the store to purchase the mooncakes in-store or submit your orders via 8218 3137 on Whatsapp for home delivery.
Janice Wong’s limited-edition Mooncake DIY Kit Set (S$65) allows you to make your delicious treats right at home with your family. The kit comes with a snowskin premix, flower mooncake mould, and different filling flavours – Praline Chocolate Milo, Red bean Tea, Lychee Rose and Peanut. If you do not want to put in some elbow grease to make your mooncakes, then order her delicious ready-made mooncakes. This year, she is offering is a local twist to the Chinese festival snack by featuring floral mooncakes with flavours of Singapore ($58.50). They include Cheng Tng Red Date Yam, Red Bean Tea, Peanut Pancake, and Rose Bandung all wrapped in snowskin.
Order online at www.janicewong.online. Orders reaching S$120 and above will receive free delivery.
The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore
Known for its exquisite mooncake cases, this year you’d be spoilt for choice. Go for traditional baked mooncakes such as White Lotus Seed Paste with Double Yolk ($42), White Lotus Seed Paste ($37) or get the hotel’s contemporary snowskin mooncakes, such as the ‘Mao Shan Wang’ Durian mooncake ($43) that comes in a chic gold box. Both of them feature a magnetic top and front flaps which open up to reveal a magnetic desk calendar, a miniature photo frame, and a three-slot pen holder. It also has four side drawers. These will serve you in good stead as stationery or makeup box on your office desk.
Visit colonybakery.oddle.me/en_SG/ to make an order.
This year, Regent Singapore presents a collaboration between chefs from Summer Palace and Basilico, and Head Bartender from Manhattan. It has specially concocted four exclusive cocktails – Macapuno, Lecce, Orb of Night and Cherry Blossom to pair with four seasonal snow skin mooncakes – Macapuno, Orange & Pine Nuts, Pistachio, Fig & Amarena Cherry, and Double Espresso & Almond Marzipan. They have even brought back some of the favourites from last year – Parma Ham and Pork Floss and White Lotus Paste with Melon Seeds ($72.90). The creations this year are housed in a unique vertical box that takes inspiration from the structure of the hotel’s bubble lifts – its most distinct feature within the John Portman-designed atrium.
What is it: Italian restaurant Basilico’s Executive Chef Angelo Ciccone reimagined one of its bestsellers, the Truffle Carbonara, to come up with this unique spin to a snowskin mooncake. Sporting unique black striations across a bright yellow snowskin mooncake, it combines the aromatic black truffle with silky smooth cream cheese.
Our view: The flavours sound extremely fascinating, but it can be quite a shock to the system for those not accustomed to such unconventional flavours. Be warned: It’s for someone with really adventurous tastebuds. The truffle flavour is strong, delivering a kick that is heightened by the savoury cream cheese. It’s nothing like what we’ve ever tried before, but we personally found it too overpowering for our liking.
What is it: A snowskin chocolate mooncake infused with a blend of alcoholic spirits, and a dark chocolate Valrhona pearl centre.
Our view: Spirit and chocolate lovers, rejoice! This mooncake has a chocolate filling that’s infused with a barrel-aged Hanky Panky blend, comprising Ford’s Gin, Cocchi di Torino and Fernet Branca bitters — okay, these words don’t mean a thing if you’re not a purveyor of hard liquor, but suffice it to say that the taste of the alcohol was just right and unique enough to stand out from other alcohol-infused mooncakes we’ve tried, and perfectly balanced with the rich chocolate filling. The chocolate centre has a crunchy case which added some bite to the mooncake, and the subtle sweetness of the snowskin did not take away from the flavours of the liquors or chocolate.
What is it: The brainchild of Culinary Olympics Gold Medallist, pastry chef Alex Chong of Tea Lounge. As the name suggests, it has a strawberries, yuzu and cheesecake filling encased in a powder-pink snowskin.
Our view: We were expecting more fruity, tangy goodness from this mooncake but the flavours just fell a tad short of hitting the sweet spot. That said, the snowskin is just the right thickness and chewiness, and the strawberries and yuzu tasted fresh and subtly fragrant.
Feng Shui Inn
Created by Executive Chef Li Kwok Kwong, this new offering from Feng Shui Inn at Resorts World Sentosa allows you indulge without guilt this season. They have created wholesome mooncakes that are naturally sweetened without any artificial flavourings or colourings. These snow skin mooncakes come in three flavours made thoughtfully from a wide variety of health-boosting ingredients – Rose Lingzhi Spores with Longan Snow Skin Mooncake, Matcha with Tangerine Peel Snow Skin Mooncake and Purple Sweet Potato with Manuka Honey Snow Skin Mooncake.
What is it: Instead of the usual baked skin or snowskin, Chef Li has encased the rich liquid goodness of salted egg yolk within a round crispy pastry shell — its shape a nod to the harvest moon’s symbolic representation of family unity and completeness.
Our view: It’s a messy affair when you indulge in this mooncake, with flaky pastry and sesame seed flying everywhere as you try to cut into its spherical shape (it’s too big to simply pop the whole thing into your mouth too). But Feng Shui Inn’s unique twist to the traditional mooncake offerings gets the thumbs up, as we love the buttery crispy skin that’s not too chunky. It cradles the highlight of the pastry — a salty, creamy molten egg yolk and not-too-sweet white lotus paste. The taste is familiar but not entirely usual, thanks to the nuanced flavours of custard, coconut milk and salted butter that is well balanced with that of the savoury sesame seeds.
Crowne Plaza® Changi Airport
If the splendid mooncake boxes delight you every year as much as what’s in them, then Crowne Plaza® Changi Airport’s gorgeous case might just be the one to tickle your fancy. The hotel’s mooncake offerings this year come in a limited edition elegant gift box made from recycled material with floral motifs in a vibrant shade of plum. Its mooncake flavours are not lacking in ingenuity either. For baked mooncakes, besides the usual traditional offerings, there’s also the Low Sugar White Lotus Paste with Macadamia Nuts and Nyonya Mixed Nuts which presents a delicious medley of sweet and savoury flavours.. Snow skin mooncakes are even more intriguing, with each box containing four Singapore inspired flavours — Mango Pomelo, Orh Nee (Yam Paste with Gingko Nuts), Kueh Salat and Pandan Kaya. They have even brought back their signature Plum luggage — a sturdy and adorable trunk that is in a vibrant shade of plum and gives off a retro chic vibe, thanks to its brown trimming and gold hardware. Bonus: The inserts can be removed so you can reuse it to store your jewellery or as a handy purse on the weekends.
The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore
This year, the hotel has created bite-sized and adorably petite delights cocooned within a limited edition jewellery box. The multi-functional crimson red wooden jewellery box symbolises Kempinski’s iconic Lady in Red, and celebrates Stamford House, Capitol Building, Capitol Theatre and CHIJMES in a gorgeous. stained glass design. They are featuring a wide variety of flavours this year with the traditional baked mooncakes that come in both classic and contemporary flavours such as Baked Pandan Paste with Melon Seeds ($59.50) and Baked Red Bean Paste with Orange Peel ($62.90). New to the collection this year are the snowskin offerings that come in unique flavours like Tiramisu ($66.30), Lychee Rose ($62.90) and Salted Caramel ($62.90).
The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore, 15 Stamford Road, 178906. Whatsapp 9817 2750 or head here to make your orders.
What is it: Traditional baked mooncakes with caramel mixed nuts or golden corn fillings.
Our view: For traditionalists who want to toe the line this Mid Autumn Festival, this combo set will tickle your tastebuds. The caramel mixed nuts mooncakes struck a good balance between chewiness and crunchiness, and the caramel added a pleasant burnt sugar taste. The golden corn mooncakes was reminiscent of traditional plain lotus seed mooncakes, but with a fragrant corn taste that added dimension to the taste. Both had thin, evenly baked skin, retained a traditional taste, and just the right amount of sweetness that would appeal to a large audience.
Shang Palace, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore
Shang Palace’s mooncake offerings this year come in pretty Peranakan-Inspired gift boxes designed by the internationally-acclaimed fashion designer and artist— Benny Ong. Enjoy mooncakes flavoured with bak kwa, pork floss and nuts; as well as the Shang Palace Mini Snowskin Mooncakes that contains a combination of the new Hennessy X.O. Chocolate Mini Snowskin Mooncakes and the Yuzu Sake Mini Snowskin Mooncakes which have made their comeback this year.
Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, Tower Wing Lobby, 22 Orange Grove Road, Singapore 258350. Call 6213 4398/6213 4473 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to order.
foodpanda x Pan Pacific x Hai Tien Lo.
Indulge in something different with snowskin mooncakes co-produced by foodpanda, Pan Pacific, and Hai Tien Lo. These limited edition mooncakes come in a box ($68.80) of 4 different flavours of Hazelnut Yuzu, Raspberry Chocolate, Matcha Black Sesame, and Soursop Lychee that are all made in foodpanda’s signature pink. The box that the mooncakes are encased is adorable! Embossed with foodpanda’s logo, the box is perfect to be reused as storage for your keys and other knick knacks.
Order your mooncakes from pandamart on the foodpanda app.
What is it: A sweet, spicy and savoury pastry with a housemade hae bee hiam and salted egg centre, encased within a smooth low-sugar white lotus paste with pumpkin seeds.
Our view: A savoury mooncake with the taste of spicy dried shrimp? We have to admit, we were apprehensive when we had to try it. Surprise surprise, this turned out to be very palatable. Kudos to the chef: The hae bee hiam was deftly infused into the salted egg yolk and was so well-balanced with the sweet lotus paste and salty powdery yolk that you get just a hint of hae bee hiam with every bite. But it’s aromatic and spicy enough for you to want to reach for another piece. This is a unique flavour done right.
If you want a playful take on mooncakes, then the Swensen’s mooncakes are perfect for you. Customers can curate their own mooncake box ($39.80) by picking any four of Swensen’s newest mochi-snowskin ice cream mooncakes, which include – Sticky Chewy Chocolate, Yam, Durian King, Lotus Paste and Grapefruit. Each Swensen’s ‘Create Your Own’ mooncake box also comes with a special limited-edition Deliveroo paper lantern, designed by a local papercraft artist. The lantern comes beautifully adorned with ornate paper flowers in Deliveroo’s signature teal and white colours, providing the perfect addition to your evening activities or as even as a decorative piece in your home (limited to 20 pieces)!
Click here to order your mooncake set from Deliveroo.
What is it: A new flavour from the hotel, this East-meets-West deep purple creation is inspired by the hotel’s popular American cheesecake.
Our view: You get a whiff of blueberry almost instantly, once you’ve taken this adorable mini mooncake out of its packaging (which is just the right size of a mid-day snack, might we add). The cheesecake filling is just right — creamy, not too overpowering and not too sweet. One drawback is its skin, which is slightly thicker than most and flakes off from its filling. Still, it’s an enjoyable dessert that most would love.
What is it: Another new flavour, this pale yellow mooncake is a nod to the nutritious and seedy fruit.
Our view: Tangy and slightly sweet, great for those who prefer a tart kick to their desserts. However, we were not entirely sold on the large seed that were a tad jarring. The mint flavour is also barely discernible, which was a pity — it would have added a fresh dimension to the rich fruity flavour.
What is it: As its name suggests, it’s lychee flavoured with truffle in a pale pink snowskin.
Our view: There’s a reason why this flavour is the bestseller here. Chunky lychee flesh embedded in lotus paste that has been enhanced with lychee flavours is housed within a thin snowskin (although it’s still firmer than what we’d prefer). The pièce de résistance is the white chocolate truffle heart that sends a burst of creamy sweetness into your mouth. It’s fragrant, flavourful and in many parts comforting.
Goodwood Park Hotel
In honour of its 120th anniversary, the hotel has created a 120th Anniversary baked mooncake spanning 16.5cm wide (limited pieces available) with 12 salted egg yolks enveloped in a white lotus seed paste. Besides the usual traditional baked favourites, the hotel has introduced two new snowskin mooncakes — Orange with Grape and Japanese Sweet Potato with Pumpkin-
Coconut Centre. They have also brought back some delicious favourites from last year – Black Thorn Durian, D24 Durian, Blue Pea Flower with White Lotus Seed Paste and Melon Seeds snowskin mooncake.
The Deli, Goodwood Park Hotel, 22 Scotts Rd, Singapore 228221. Call 6730 1868 (general enquiries) or 6730 1867 (corporate enquiries) from 9am to 7pm (Mondays to Fridays) and 9am to 1pm (Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays) to check for availability. Only available through walk-in purchase.
What is it: Encased within a pretty pastel pink snowskin with a light dusting of gold flakes is a tangy kiwi puree with fresh dragon fruit cubes that is enhanced with maunka honey.
Our view: If you like your mooncake slightly sweet with a tinge of sour, and your snowskin to be so powdery soft it falls apart in your mouth, this one ticks the right boxes. The puree’s creamy, ice-cream-like consistency is pleasant and the kiwi seeds peppered throughout give it a nice crunchy bite.
What is it: As its name suggests, it’s a mooncake bursting with flavours from flesh from fresh Cempedak fruit.
Our view: We really loved this one. Whether you’re a fan of the jackfruit (Cempedak is in the same family) or not, this is worth a try. Housed within a slightly firm orange snowskin are generous chunks of real flesh in a pureed paste that is not too sweet. Tasty, refreshing and not overly dominant, this is a satisfying snack for tropical fruit lovers.
Grand Hyatt Singapore
Grand Hyatt Singapore has a wide selection of snowskin mooncakes, delicately made by its in-house pastry chefs with its gorgeous box being made entirely from sustainable materials. Dig into mooncakes inspired by the hotel’s famed martini bar such as the Champagne Truffle and Lychee Martini Truffle snowskin mooncakes and two new snowskin mooncakes flavour – Mellow Apple Calvados Truffle (alcohol) and fairtrade Wu Liang Ye Truffle (alcohol). Personalise your box of 8 ($56) with any of their nine snowskin flavours!
Grant Hyatt Singapore, 10 Scotts Rd, 228211. Head here to order your mooncakes.
What is it: A popular trending flavour with bubble tea advocates, Asam tea is infused with Gula Melaka and Milk for a truly modern twist to the tradition of mooncakes, complete with a distinctive flavour and a rich decadent smooth sweet finish.
Our view: Bubble tea aficionados will recognise the flavours of this unique mooncake. The infused tea, brown sugar and milk is beautifully created that is bound to be a millennial favourite.
What is it: A traditional combination for many Japanese desserts, the sweetness of the textured red bean paste is paired with the umami or savoury taste of green tea for an enjoyable and light snowskin mooncake flavour.
By Joy Fang, Kayce Teo, Ho Guo Xiong / Additional reporting by Melodi Ghui, August 2019 / Updated by Jashleen Kaur, September 2020
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