Sunday, 17 August 2014

Mid-Autumn 2014

I have tried the traditional baked white lotus paste mooncakes in previous years and highlighted a few noteworthy ones including new creation flavours. As such, I only sampled a few at Takashimaya Mooncake Fair 2014 which runs from last week to Mid-Autumn Festival on 8 Sep. The white lotus paste this year was generally not too sweet with Cherry Garden by Mandarin Oriental's Traditional Mooncake with Low Sugar Silver Lotus Paste that stood out as the best for people who really do not have a sweet tooth or are not supposed to eat sweet stuff. Its Oriental Mooncake with Silver Lotus Paste, Yuzu and Melon Seeds was a tad sweet as regular (and not low sugar) white lotus paste was used. But none of the samples had such thin skin with a nice aroma that my eyes lit up. Most were just palatable, with some too thick and one even reminded me of the piglet in basket  a new flavour from Summer Pavilion by Ritz Carlton, Purple Sweet Potato with Pumpkin.

And many promotions were only offered at their restaurants or hotels. Since traditional baked skin mooncakes were usually favoured by conservatives, new flavours were mostly introduced with the snowskin ones. Shangri-La Hotel, though, had a Mini Baked Passion Fruit Mooncakes  sweet and tart at the same time with a bitter aftertaste. Osmanthus seemed to have fallen out of appeal with only Summer Palace by Regent Singapore and Singapore Airlines offering it as one of the flavours. The former, Mini Snowskin Osmanthus with Pine Nuts, was a tad sweet with a subtle aroma. While the latter, Osmanthus Fragranced with Crisp Plum, had a strong aroma and refreshing taste of osmanthus that was treading a thin line to being overwhelming and bitter. This, and Red Bean with Milk Paste, are exclusive to Takashimaya whereas the rest are also available to order inflight for home delivery or online. All are traditional baked skin mooncakes, with a tad sweet filling.

Passion Fruit with Rosella was well-balanced by the sour centre, White Lotus with Black Sesame had a nice aroma and there was a lovely citrus zing about Orange Lotus with Walnuts. Other flavours include Pandan with Five Grains, White Lotus Mashed Yolk and White Lotus Double Yolk. Buy four and they come in a box with a SIA emblem that could be removed and used as a magnet. Bakerzin mooncake boxes include colourful origami papers with instructions on how to make moon rabbit. Tried its celestial collection  Black Sesame Snowskin and while the toasted sesame had a nice aroma, the snowskin was rubbery with white chocolate too sweet for my liking. Found Baker's Well Snowskin Mooncake with Yuzu Truffle a refreshing respite and its Baked Mooncake with Pure White Lotus Paste and Macadamia Nuts not too sweet. A bakery at East Coast Road, it offers customers the option of buying one or two pieces of mooncakes albeit in a different packaging.

A pity East Ocean no longer had chefs making its snowskin mooncakes on the spot. Golden Peony by Conrad Centennial Singapore's Kopi Latte had a strong coffee taste but could do with less milk. Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant by Sheraton Towers' Traditional Baked Yellow Lotus Seed Paste with Cranberries and Hazelnut (instead of last year's Black Dates, Dried Longan and Wolfberries) was still sweet. Royal China at Raffles' Mini Snowskin with Red Wine Cranberry Paste had a strong smell and bitter taste of alcohol though staff claimed the small amount used meant under-18s could also enjoy this and its champagne mooncakes. Go for ice-cream mooncakes if you neither like traditional baked skin and snowskin nor are a fan of red bean, pandan or lotus paste. Häagan-Dazs offers Chocolate, Cookies & Cream, Macadamia Nut and Strawberry ice-cream on chocolate crunch or sweet crumble base with mango sorbet to mimic egg yolks and coated with white, milk, dark or pink chocolate.

No comments:

Post a Comment