We have savoured a huge range of mooncakes, and narrowed down our favourites. This year, many of the baked versions are particularly noteworthy, thanks to the addition of interesting Chinese-inspired ingredients. We are glad to find out that many of these sweet treats are handcrafted in-house by the chefs themselves. We have also sampled some delicate snowskin creations cleverly woven with local flavours such as chendol and cheng tng. Check out these mid-autumn festival delicacies:
01: The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore
Highlight: This year, Summer Pavilion’s culinary team has created a variety of superb mooncakes. Making its debut is the mini custard lava with vanilla mooncake, conceived as an offshoot of the traditional baked mooncake, and inspired by the immense popularity of salted egg yolk pastries locally.
“The main ingredients used to make the filling include custard, salted egg yolk and vanilla, creating a well-balanced sweet and savoury flavour. The Madagascar bourbon vanilla enhances the taste with its rich and creamy flavour, while the Tahitian vanilla lends a fragrant aroma to the mooncake,” says Ritz Carlton Millenia’s Executive Chef, Massimo Pasquarelli says. He added: “It took us about four months of research and development to achieve the custard cream texture and flavour that we had envisioned. The custard cream filling is liquescent even at room temperature, but guests who prefer their pastries warm, can heat up the mooncake to elicit the smooth, molten texture of the filling. The heat also intensifies the aroma and flavour of the vanilla.” Serve this mooncake at room temperature, and pair it a glass of dessert wine. Or enjoy it warm with a cup of Chinese tea.
Mooncake box: An elegant dark red box lined with pretty floral motifs.
To order: Visit www.rcmooncake.com.sg, call 6434-5286, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
02: Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore
Highlight: Shang Palace’s Master Chef Steven Ng created three new innovative flavours of the baked variety after countless experiments to find the best combinations. The baked mooncakes including the filling are all created and handcrafted by Ng and his team. This year’s new flavours include the mini baked lychee mooncake with rose, mini baked low sugar lotus paste mooncake with macadamia nuts and mini baked mocha mooncake with Hokkaido milk.
“For the mocha with Hokkaido milk mini mooncake, I wanted a creation that would appeal to coffee lovers. The rich flavour of coffee complements well with the creaminess of the Hokkaido milk,” says Ng. As for the lychee with rose mooncake, the chef felt that the floral fragrance of rose pairs nicely with the fruity notes of lychee. “The bits inside the mooncake are sugared lychee for extra bite,” shares the chef. The Shang Palace Mini Eight Treasures Baked Mooncake Gift set includes eight mini baked mooncakes (two pieces of each flavour): baked custard, lychee with rose, low sugar lotus paste mooncake with macadamia nuts and mocha mooncake with Hokkaido milk.
Mooncake box: A beautifully designed gift box with fabric overlay (orange or turquoise) adorned with elegant appliqué orchid motifs.
To order: Visit slsfestive.oddle.me, call 6213-4398/4473 or email email@example.com. Available at the lobby of Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore from now to Sep 15 2016.
03: Sheraton Towers Singapore Hotel
Highlight: Sheraton Tower’s Li Bai unveiled its new baked mixed nuts mooncake with XO sauce this year. This creation comprises assorted nuts melded with piquant homemade XO sauce made using premium Japanese scallops. This spicy, savoury flavour offsets the mooncake’s sweetness. Also try the yam paste mooncake with single yolk in golden flaky pastry, available in limited quantities each day.
Customers will be glad to know that Li Bai’s chefs craft the mooncakes in-house – from the kneading of dough for the mooncake skin to the salted egg filling as well as the entire baking process. They are even involved in the packing of the mooncakes into boxes. The premium grade lotus seed paste from Hong Kong is further enhanced by the chefs to elevate the taste and texture. “Li Bai has been making mooncakes in-house for more than 10 years. We place great emphasis on stringent quality and hygiene control. The rigorous process includes the making of the mooncake skin with precise thickness, preparing the fresh quality ingredients, and filling enhancements, and finally baking the mooncakes till golden brown,” says Chung Yiu Ming, Executive Chef, Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant, adding that Li Bai’s mooncakes are always baked freshly in-house each day.
Mooncake box: An auspicious red tin box dressed with floral motifs.
To order: Call 6839-5623 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Available at Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant or Sheraton Towers Singapore Hotel Lobby Mooncake booth from now to Sep 15 2016.
04: InterContinental Singapore
Highlight: For something different, try Man Fu Yuan’s baked maple osmanthus-glazed Shanghai mooncake with single yolk. This creation is inspired by Huaiyang cuisine, one of the four most influential regional styles of Chinese cuisine from Jiangsu Province, Shanghai, famous for its short pastry. The buttery pastry crust complements the smooth lotus seed paste, perfumed with a subtle osmanthus fragrance.
Eric Neo, Executive Chef, InterContinental Singapore shares, “All our mooncakes, both baked and snowskin flavours are made in-house, and always by hand. To facilitate the production of mooncakes to cope with large orders received each year, the hotel in 2014, purchased a mooncake machine to cope with productivity. The machine which aids in the shaping and moulding of the mooncakes, allows our chefs to focus their attention on the mooncake dough and lotus paste, ensuring that quality is checked before they are fed into the machines.” He continues: “The fillings however are made in collaboration with an external vendor, where our culinary team decides on and works on the flavour profile as well as use of ingredients in the production of the lotus paste.”
Mooncake box: A beautiful light turquoise latticed treasure chest reflecting the old-world charm and contemporary elegance of the newly refurbished Lobby Lounge.
To order: Visit singapore.intercontinental.com/festive, call 6820 8519/8520, or email email@example.com. Available from now to Sep 15 2016 at Tea Hut, entrance of InterContinental Singapore from Bugis Junction.
05: Fairmont Singapore
Highlights: Szechuan Court’s baked mooncake with roasted pine nuts in white lotus paste is a classic mooncake flavour with the addition of roasted pine nuts instead of the usual melon seeds. “I chose to add pine nuts due to its sweet and buttery flavour that is brought out when roasted. It also gives texture to the otherwise plain white lotus paste mooncake,” says Dim Sum Chef Mandy Yeo, of Szechuan Court, Fairmont Singapore. Another mooncake with textural contrast is the five grains in white lotus paste. “It is inspired by the five farmed crops of sacred significance in ancient China. The five grains – sunflower seed, melon seed, white sesame, almond, walnut – create a textural mix of wholesome goodness and I had in mind for those who prefer a healthier option to the usual classic mooncake flavours,” says the experienced chef.
Mooncake box: An eye-catching tower drawer box design draped in a lavish silken fabric.
To order: Call 6338 8785 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit: www.celebrationscentral.com.sg for more information.
06: Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre
Highlight: Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre introduces two new baked mooncake flavours – osmanthus oolong white lotus seed paste baked mooncake and green tea white lotus seed paste baked mooncake – for those who prefer a lighter and refreshing taste. The mild fragrance of the aromatic tea blends perfectly with the subtle sweetness of the smooth paste.
Mooncake box: A specially designed eco-friendly bamboo box doubles up as a storage box and a tea appreciation tray. Additionally, each purchase comes with four Dilmah t-Series tea sachets (Tie Guan Yin Fragrant Oolong and Sencha Green Extra Special) to pair with the mooncakes.
To order: Call 6730-0192 or email email@example.com. Orders must be made at least one working day in advance, from now to Sep 14 2016. Visit www.hisocc.com for more information.
07: Mandarin Oriental
Highlight: For the mid-autumn celebration, Cherry Garden at Mandarin Oriental introduces unique sea salt caramel and single yolk mooncakes – a luscious pairing of lotus paste and caramel, accented by sea salt. This new creation along with the traditional mooncake with low sugar silver lotus paste and macadamia nuts are available in smaller sizes too.
Mooncake box: These treats are housed in an elegant and contemporary gold (or fuschia) box.
To order: Call 6885-3081 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
08: Orchard Hotel
Highlight: Orchard Hotel’s award-winning Hua Ting restaurant has once again churned out its best-selling baked mooncakes. These include the white lotus paste with single yolk or double yolk and crunchy macadamia nuts, and red bean paste with melon seeds. This year, Masterchef Lap Fai and his team have also hand-crafted two new mini snowskin mooncakes: blueberry with vintage hua diao wine (low sugar) and salted caramel with hazelnut crunch.
Mooncake box: A plush scarlet box with floral motifs.
To order: Visit www.orchardhotel.com.sg/#offers, call 6739-6577 or email email@example.com. Millennium Mooncakes by Hua Ting will be on display and available for sale at Orchard Hotel Lobby Kiosk from now till Sep 15 2016.
09: Regent Singapore
Dim Sum Chef Leong Kwok Sing of Summer Palace, Regent Hotel, introduces two new snowskin mooncake whose lotus seed paste filling is infused with flavours inspired by local desserts: chendol with white chocolate as well as momordica fruit with longan (pictured). The former is creamy and fragrant, and the latter delivers subtly sweet notes of cheng tng, a cooling Chinese dessert. For those looking to indulge, the bird’s nest with custard has a decadent custard centre and slivers of premium bird’s nest.
Mooncake box: An elegant textured red box, enveloped in soft felt fabric. The felt carrier has also been designed to collapse as a Chinese chessboard. It even comes with its own Chinese chess set.
To order: Visit http://bit.ly/RegentSingapore_Mooncakes2016. Call 6725-3239 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Available from now till Sep 15 2016 at Summer Palace and the hotel lobby.
10: St Regis Singapore
Highlights: The kitchen team at St Regis Singapore’s Yan Ting restaurant has carved out pillow-soft snowkin mooncakes in exquisite flavours for the mooncake festival. Standouts include pomegranate truffle with red bean chendol paste (pictured), as well as purple sweet potato with water chestnut and salted yam paste, which is inspired by a well-loved Cantonese dessert.
Mooncake box: The mooncakes are presented in sophisticated bright orange gift boxes.
To order: Visit www.yantingrestaurant.com/en/midautumn2016, call 6341-9643 or email email@example.com. Also available at Yan Ting restaurant and La Patisserie at the hotel’s lobby.
11: Goodwood Park Hotel
Highlights: Goodwood Park is most famous for its durian treats. This mid-autumn festival, the chefs have crafted a black thorn durian snowskin mooncake, only available in limited quantities. Encased in a gold-dusted black charcoal snowskin, the mooncake is filled with black thorn durian, one of the most premium varieties with an intense sweet flavour, and subtle bitter notes. Luscious ‘Mao Shan Wang’ Snowskin and D24 Durian Snowskin Mooncakes are also available to boot.
Mooncake box: Understated box with elegant light pink and gold oriental illustrations.
To order: Visit http://festivepromotions.goodwoodparkhotel.com, call 6730-1867/68 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.