Mid-autumn munchies: Mooncakes to try this year
Take your pick of mooncakes ‒ from traditional favourites to novel flavours, including satay and plant-based ham.
Try as we might each year, we fail to turn our attentions and appetites away from mooncakes. These calorie-laden delights are a cherished tradition. So we seek them out, year after year, in flavours we love and love to discover. Here then, a list of classic and novel mooncakes, some gorgeously packaged in dual-purpose vessels. Because that’s part of the mid-autumn tradition too.
THE CLIFFORD PIER
To celebrate Clifford Pier’s 90th anniversary, its namesake restaurant at Fullerton Hotel Singapore has released a Mooncake Tingkat (S$108). The design features Peranakan-style Singaporean motifs like orchids and butterflies alongside Chinese calligraphy-style characters. Each carrier holds four baked mooncakes that reflect Singapore’s diverse hawker cuisine: Mixed nuts with satay peanut sauce, salted lotus with hae bee hiam, assam lotus with mango, and pandan coconut with chendol.
MAN FU YUAN
Rose-shaped mooncakes have come to be synonymous with Man Fu Yuan, the Chinese restaurant at Intercontinental Singapore. Inspired by the tradition of pairing tea with mooncakes, Man Fu Yuan’s snow skin options come infused with floral teas. Flavours include honeysuckle with chrysanthemum truffle, violet with black tea truffle, magnolia and osmanthus honey, and rose with camomile tea truffle (S$104 for a box of four). For traditional baked mooncakes with a difference, try the assorted nuts with plant-based ham mooncake (S$88 for a box of four).
It’s impossible to talk about mooncakes and not mention Raffles Hotel Singapore. For many, it is yardstick and nostalgia rolled into one, especially when it comes to its beloved champagne truffle snow skin mooncakes (S$99 for a box of eight). Two new flavours join the line-up this year: Sakura and raspberry truffle, and yam and coconut rum truffle. The former is inspired by the popular Sakura Sling cocktail at Long Bar, with its fresh and fruity pink notes, while the latter is a contemporary take on the traditional Teochew mooncake. Both are priced at S$97 for a box of eight.
RESORTS WORLD SENTOSA
Singaporeans adore mala and bak kwa. So it was only a matter of time before someone thought to put them in a mooncake. That honour goes to the chefs at Resorts World Sentosa. Each mala mixed nuts mooncake with bak kwa (S$98 for a box of four) sees chopped bak kwa and crunchy mala mixed nuts suspended in a silky lotus paste. Meanwhile, the smoked dates and green tea snow skin mooncake (S$98, part of a box of eight snow skin mooncakes) is another unique creation tinged with hints of smoked Pu-er tea leaves and jujubes.
THE RITZ-CARLTON, MILLENIA SINGAPORE
If you’re interested in mooncakes only because of the fancy packaging, then The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore’s mooncake vanity boxes might appeal to you. Available in pastel blue or pink, these petite boxes with dual compartments and elastic interior pockets hold the hotel’s new mini snow skin mooncakes (from S$88 for eight) and can be repurposed as jewellery cases or makeup cases. This year’s flavours include one adapted from feted bar Republic’s Kim Sisters cocktail, with a velvety Irish coffee-infused dark chocolate truffle enrobed in white lotus seed paste. There’s also Chinese restaurant Summer Pavilion’s signature mini snow skin lycheetini mooncakes, as well as classic flavours like white lotus seed paste with double yolk and mao shan wang durian.
Regulars love Shang Palace’s classic baked red bean paste mooncakes infused with 50-year-aged mandarin peel (S$148 for a box of three). But for something different and, try the mung bean spirulina bird’s nest charcoal mooncakes (S$138 for a box of four) filled with spirulina-infused mung bean paste. In its centre, a delicate heart of nourishing bird’s nest that whispers indulgence. The mooncakes come in red leather cylinder boxes gilded with golden peonies. Grandma would absolutely approve.
SINGAPORE MARRIOTT TANG PLAZA HOTEL
To level up the traditional baked mooncake experience, try the golden black truffle mooncakes with dry-aged Parma ham, pistachios and single yolk ($98 for a box of four) from this stalwart hotel. Each is encased in a black charcoal skin and brushed with gold dust for a sleek, modern look. If looking to impress and/or splurge, go for the package that comes with a 375ml bottle of Taittinger Brut Reserve (S$248).