The Mid-Autumn Festival is just around the corner. That means it’s time to gather around tables for a session of moon-gazing, poetic ruminations, and lantern-touting while feasting on mooncakes and other Chinese pastries. If you haven’t gotten your hands on some mooncakes, don’t work yourself into a tizzy over it. Whether you’re a mooncake purist or an epicurean on the hunt for the funkiest flavours, we’ve got the perfect guide for you!
Mooncakes Pick #1: Häagen-Dazs
The Harmony Mochi set will definitely gratify ice-cream lovers’ palates. Wrapped in delicate, chewy mochi skin, the set encompasses a box of 4 mooncakes in strawberry and mango flavours. If you’re looking for something exclusive, get your hands on the Lune et Étoiles set. Each piece in the set is delicately coated with dark chocolate and decorated with Parisian-inspired patterns and features a range of 8 flavours ─ yuzu citrus & cream, Belgian chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, cookies & cream, chocolate, strawberry cheesecake, caramel biscuit & cream.
The Harmony Mochi set (RM150) is available at all Häagen-Dazs outlets until 4 October 2017. The Lune et Étoiles set is limited to 120 sets nationwide and is available while stocks last.
Mooncakes Pick #2: Chynna, Hilton KL
Alongside its traditional baked offerings, Chynna’s beloved snowskin favourites, Heavenly King Musang King durian, Blue Moon (an amaretto lotus paste and blueberry cheese feuillantine combo) and Flower Drum (lotus paste and custard egg yolk pairing) remain part of this year’s selection. Entering the fray this year is Roselle Ruby, a ruby red snowskin variant encasing pistachio paste, macadamia nuts, crunchy lotus seeds, and of course, the titular Roselle ingredient. Shaped like a half-full moon when closed, the crystal-encrusted leather Premium Luxury Black Box is to die for and worth reusing as a date clutch or a jewellery box.
Available at Hilton KL, 3, Jalan Stesen Sentral, 50470 Kuala Lumpur until 8 October 2017. Prices start at RM35 per pc. Call +03-2264 2515 or visit www.takehome.hiltonkl.com for orders or enquiries.
Mooncakes Pick #3: Inside Scoop
The ice-cream confectioner’s 2017 selection will most certainly appeal to those who live on a diet of ice-cream. The crunchy chocolate hazelnut flavour is a decadent take on the traditional five nuts mooncake while tea-drinkers will want to try their Hojicha variant. The real surprise here is the raspberry cheesecake flavour which cocoons a raspberry yolk within. And of course, this being Malaysia, there is no way to escape the king of fruits. Inside Scoop’s contribution to the fray of durian mooncakes contains a dark chocolate ganache centre in mimicry of the fruit.
4 pcs of mooncakes (RM100/box). Available at all Inside Scoop outlets.
Mooncakes Pick #4: Tao Chinese Cuisine, InterContinental Hotel Kuala Lumpur
Besides perennial favourites such as the Scarlet Baked Snow Skin Pandan and Salted Egg Bean Paste, the Shanghai Single Yolk, Bamboo Charcoal with Assorted Nuts, this year, Tao Chinese Cuisine returns with Chef Lo Tian Sion’s signature durian mooncake. Diverging from the typical creamy durian delights that pop up during the mid-autumn season, the creamy flesh of a D24 durian cocoons a salted caramel chocolate heart. Other snowskin standouts include the sesame snowskin with Japanese purple potato coupling and the green tea and marble snowskin with a pandan paste and egg yolk heart. An option sure to appease the more health-conscious foodies is the Roselle Snow Skin with Cheese and Spirulina Paste.
RM26 onwards per piece available at the InterContinental Hotel Kuala Lumpur until 4 October 2017. Call 03-2782 6128 or email email@example.com for orders.
Mooncakes Pick #5: Five Sen5es, The Westin Kuala Lumpur
Five Sen5es’s classic baked options will soothe the mooncake traditionalist in you. Not in possession of a sweet tooth? Opt for the low sugar white lotus options. The Supreme Mixed Nuts option is more than sufficient to whet your appetite as it contains some grilled chicken, chicken floss, and dried scallops in addition to some melon seeds and almonds. When it comes to the competition for gift boxes, we have to say their gift boxes take the (moon)cake as they come incorporated with Bluetooth speakers. Perfect for playing classic Chinese songs as you dine on mooncakes with your family!
4 baked mooncakes (RM138/box). 4 pcs of Snowskin Mini Musang King Durian (RM240/box). Available at Five Sen5es, The Westin Kuala Lumpur until 4 October 2017. 199, Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur. Call +6 03.2773.8338 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for orders.
Mooncakes Pick #6: TWG Tea
Tea enthusiasts, fret not, the Lotus Jade Tea Mooncake Collection will placate your tea-loving heart. With its red bold baked exterior, white lotus body, and a unique almond and blueberry purée heart infused with Red Balloon Tea, the luxurious Daydream mooncake will set wonders upon your tongue. Chinese tea fans will savour the Cerise mooncake, a unique marriage of white chocolate and crunchy coconut for its centre with Amarena cherry surrounded by a Pu-erh infused brown lotus paste.
Available at all TWG Tea Salons & Boutiques in Malaysia from September 2017 onwards individually (RM38/pc), as a set of 4 pcs (RM152) and as a set of 2 pcs and 1 box of Lotus Jade Haute Couture Tea (100g) and a Cotton Tea Filter (RM188).
Mooncakes Pick #7: Way Modern Chinois
These snowskin mooncakes will send you around the globe and over the moon. If you’re still craving a tea-infused rendition, go for Onyx. Combined with the familiar taste of salted egg yolk, its black sesame body is infused with Thai tea. Imagine cranberry nuggets surrounded by a sea of cream cheese in a lavender mooncake and you’ve got the aptly named Sapphire. And finally, here’s something we can claim as uniquely Malaysian, Jade is a pandan creation with durian and gula melaka filling.
4 pcs of mooncakes (RM88/box). Available at Way Modern Chinois, G-1, Work@Clearwater, Changkat Semantan, Damansara Heights, 50490 Kuala Lumpur. Call +6012-789 0844 for orders.
Mooncakes Pick #8: Nobu Kuala Lumpur
Japanophiles will not be disappointed with Nobu’s selection. Among the fillings for the baked variants are Black Goma, Green Tea, Azuki bean paste while the mochi skin creations contain other uniquely Japanese fillings such as Miso (fermented soybean paste) yolk, and Shiso paired with lotus. And to top it off, the beautifully lacquered gift box with its Koi fish motif is one worth keeping in our books.
Two packages available at RM148 nett and RM168 nett. Nobu Restaurant, Level 56, Petronas Tower 3 until 4 October 2017 and 1st Floor, Pavilion KL until 30 September 2017. Call +603-2164 5084 for orders.
Mooncakes Pick #9: Shanghai, JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur
This time, Shanghai’s Dim Sum Chef Kong Sok Wah and his team bring us two baked treats containing pandan paste and green tea paste respectively and a new snowskin custard paste option infused with mint. Don’t worry, long-term snowskin favourites Durian Paste with Truffle, Fermented Black Garlic with Salted Egg Yolk and Shiro Umeboshi with Green Tea join baked classics such as White Lotus Paste, Black Sesame Paste, Bamboo Charcoal Paste and Deep-Fried Crispy Yam Paste.
6 pcs of mini mooncakes (RM93.28/box) and 4 large mooncakes (RM178/box). Available at Shanghai, JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur, 183 Jalan Bukit Bintang 55100 Kuala Lumpur until 10 October. Call Shanghai at +60 3 2719 8288 or email email@example.com for orders.
Mooncakes Pick #10: Starbucks
Still on the hunt for quirky, contemporary flavours? Among Starbucks’s selection of funky flavours are Green Tea Key Lime, Roselle Blueberry, and Peanut Butter Brownies. We don’t know about you but we’re definitely looking forward to the peanut butter mooncake! And best of all, the mooncake gift set comes with 2 mugs available in blue, yellow, and orange.
4 pcs of mooncakes and 2 4 oz mugs (RM88/box). Available at all Starbucks stores in Malaysia while stocks last.
Mooncakes Pick #11: Li Yen, The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur
These alcoholic mooncakes are literal interpretations of the phrase ‘wine and dine’. Making a comeback this year is the mini snowskin with its cream cheese centre dosed with rich, sweet port wine. Other welcome favourites among Li Yen’s boozy offerings are mini snowskins Moët & Chandon Champagne mooncake and Mini Snow Skin Moët & Chandon Rosé Imperial Champagne mooncake. Alcohol aside, traditional lotus and red bean versions are also available.
RM13 per pc; 4 baked mooncakes (RM88/box); 8 mini mooncakes (RM104/box). Available at Li Yen, The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur. 168 Jalan Imbi, 55100 Kuala Lumpur until 4 October. Call +60 3 2782 9033 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for orders.
By Zoe Liew.
All images courtesy of respective brands and outlets.