The mid-autumn festival (中秋节) is one tradition that we love and embrace! As a child, I remembered gawking at the shops that have on display a plethora of colourful electronic lanterns in various shapes such as rabbits, butterflies, birds, houses, cars, etc. My parents would get one for us to parade in the neighbourhood community after dinner. This innocent appreciation of what we’ve known as Lantern Festival (灯笼节) back then, gradually progressed to us playing with coloured candles and hanging a multitude of cheap but enchanting paper lanterns at the corridor. Now that we are all grown up, the fun-filled festival has evolved into an occasion for tucking into irresistible mooncakes!
Symbolizing completeness and unity, these delicately sweet and round morsels of decadence are shaped like the full moon, which appears on the 15th day of the 8th month in the lunar calendar, when the moon is the fullest and the roundest. It is a day when families gather together to enjoy mooncakes over tea-chats, while appreciating the beauty of the full moon on a clear night sky. Hence, the mid-autumn festival is one occasion that never fails to warms our hearts!
The delightful calorie-laden mooncakes are the quintessential snack of the mid-autumn season. Best enjoyed when sliced into perfect bite-sized quarters, they make for a satiating decadent accompaniment to fragrant Chinese tea. These delicate little pastries are so inextricably linked to the mid-autumn festival that it is often called the Mooncake Festival (月饼节) instead. The sheer joy of sinking our teeth into these rich lunar treats is enough to send us searching for the best to enjoy with our loved ones, or to gift to our family and close friends!
The following are some of our favourites:
Their award-winning Flaky Teochew ‘Orh Ni’ Mooncake with Premium Fragrant Golden Pumpkin & Single Egg Yolk is an annual must-have! The flaky butteriness of the millefeuille-like crust yields to a warm and moist 3-layer filling, which consists of a golden salty yolk in the innermost layer, encased by a middle layer of fragrant and dense yam paste, which in turn is wrapped around by the outermost layer of delicious pumpkin paste.
These golden pastries are sold at $30 for 2 pieces. A box of four pieces retail at $53.50. You may find them at Takashimaya Mooncake Fair in the Basement 2 atrium or go online to purchase them at http://www.pjmooncakes.com
The Peninsula Hong Kong
I came to know about these golden parcels of delight when I was searching for custard mooncakes on Google. Some food bloggers swear by it, claiming that it is one of the most impressionable mooncakes they have ever eaten. True enough, when I went to their online boutique catered for Hong Kong, most of their mooncakes including the famed Mini Egg Custard Mooncakes are currently all sold out!
Further searching led me to realise they have opened an outlet in Singapore at Ion Orchard. The Peninsula’s mooncakes are available in 2 flavours, traditional Lotus Seed Paste and their best-selling Egg Custard, both in mini size. A box of 8 mini mooncakes costs $56.
Besides “The Peninsula Boutique” at B1-13 Ion Orchard, they are also available for sale at Takashimaya Mooncake Fair in the Basement 2 atrium.
I was totally excited when I saw Kee Wah’s booth in the Takashimaya Mooncake Fair, showcasing its classic “Emperor’s Portrait” packaging.
This was what we had when we celebrated mid-autumn festival in Calgary, Alberta, Canada last year! It was sold in T&T Supermarket, and I remembered we had several pieces of it when I was heavily pregnant with Baby E!
I was amazed at how perfectly the yolks were placed ever so symmetrically in Kee Wah’s mooncakes. Nonetheless, they are very rich and are definitely meant to be consumed in small quantities at a time, accompanied by non-sweetened chinese tea to wash down the oiliness.
Kee Wah is available only at Takashimaya Mooncake Fair till 8 September 2014.
Li Bai Restaurant, Sheraton Towers
If you are looking for an exquisite packaging that makes a lavish gift this year, Li Bai Restaurant, Sheraton Towers offers an elegantly designed box donned in a beautiful red fabric that is laced with intricate Adenium embroidery. With its classic gold emblem of Li Bai’s logo affixed on top, this exquisite box of mooncakes will be one that impress your guests.
Seated neatly within the red case, are 4 individually wrapped mooncakes. The White Lotus Seed Paste with Double Yolk that we were given, revealed an almost perfect smooth interior, which was apparent when we sliced our knife right through easily.
Sold at $66 for 4 pcs of White Lotus Seed Paste with Double Yolk in the classic box, they are available for purchase at several locations including the hotel itself, and at the Takashimaya Mooncake Fair in the Basement 2 atrium. The White Lotus Seed Paste with Double Yolk also come in an even more elaborate packaging at $88.
We hope you’ll enjoy the Mid-autumn Festival with your loved ones! Have a great time catching up with each other over slivers of these sweet treats! It is a time to hold your diet plans and indulge during this period!