Annie Wong samples the city’s tastiest mooncakes.
Round, flaky and full of calories. Mooncakes are typically eaten during Mid-Autumn Festival and is traditionally filled with lotus seed paste. However, modern versions of the festival staple are filled with custard or ice cream, and some with more questionable ingredients.
Mid-Autumn Festival occurs on 15th day of the eighth month in the lunar calendar, with this year’s festival falling on September 15. Families and friends gather to gaze at the moon, light lanterns and share the stodgy and highly calorific (700-1,000 calories per mooncake, if you must know) Chinese pastry during this traditional celebration. Orders are being accepted starting this month so we scour the city for the traditional, quirky, and most sought after mooncakes.
The Peninsula Hong Kong
Light, airy and delicate – the limited edition Spring Moon mini egg custard mooncakes from The Peninsula melts immediately in the mouth. While the exact proportions and nature of the ingredients are kept under wraps, the team uses a traditional recipe using rich duck eggs to bring out the best in both texture and flavour. Unfortunately the online ordering deadline has passed (the mooncakes are only available for order for three days). $485 per box. Each box contains eight mooncakes.
Putting a modern twist to the traditional delicacy, GODIVA has brought out their Mid-Autumn Chocolate Pastry Mooncake. The mooncake mixes in silky chocolate, nuts, all on top of a moist cake, complete with an imprinted lotus flower on the chocolate crust. Flavours include sea salt with hazelnut milk, raspberry dark chocolate, crunchy nuts milk chocolate and almond dark chocolate.
A gift box of four starts at $278, $448 for eight pieces and $598 for ten pieces. Available at GODIVA shops and online, www.godiva.com.hk
Packaged in a contemporary-designed box with shapes of crescent moon, half moon, and new moon, it represents the natural progression through the full lunar cycle. Specialty mooncakes include golden or white lotus with egg yolk ($468 for four pieces), mini red bean paste with egg yolk and mini egg custard mooncakes ($378 for six pieces). This year the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant Man Wah will also offer limited edition mini mooncakes with only 500 boxes available ($588 for six pieces). Available until September 15.
Unfortunately G.O.D. aren’t bringing out their cheeky ‘moon’cakes (mooncakes shaped like a bum) this year but they are partnering with Tai Cheong bakery and showcasing their signature mini mooncakes. There will be six bite-sized mini mooncakes in each box, containing three red bean and three custard favours. $159 per box. Available in stores across Hong Kong including the Sai Kung branch.
Shop 105, 1/F, Stanley Plaza, 22-23 Carmel Road, Stanley, 2673 0071, god.com.hk
Hyatt Regency Hong Kong Sha Tin
Cased in a two-tier designer gift box, Hyatt Regency in Sha Tin will be showcasing two flavours of mooncakes: white lotus seed paste with two yolks and mini custard. There are three combinations to choose from – all white lotus seed paste mooncake (four pieces), mini custard mooncake (eight pieces) or an assorted box.
All priced at $338 per box, available at Cafe or Sha Tin 18 at Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, Sha Tin, 3723 1234.
The Royal Garden
The Royal Garden has pulled out all the stops for Mid-Autumn Festival. Mooncakes come in a range of flavours – white lotus seed paste with two or three yolks, egg custard filling, mini red bean paste with dried tangerine peel. If you’re looking for a healthier alternative, the Yunnan ham with mixed nuts is also a good choice which uses olive seed, walnuts, almond, watermelon seed and sesame. Gift boxes with eight pieces available. Starts from $336 per box and vary for different flavours. Available until September 14.
G/F, 69 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, 2733 2045, www.rghk.com.hk
XTC Gelato is combining artisanal gelato with mooncakes. Available in a box of four flavours with a Hong Kong twist, XTC Gelato uses only natural ingredients. Flavours include pistachio, milk tea, raspberry and original vanilla. The yolk in the classic mooncakes is replaced with mango sorbetto made fresh from Philippino mango. $285 per box, available until September 16.
Available at several locations including Shop B, 45 Cochrane Street, Central, 2541 0500, xtc.com.hk
L’Hotel Island South
L’Hotel is offering the most traditional flavour of the delicacy this Mid-Autumn Festival with their own lotus seed paste with double egg yolk mooncakes. The mooncakes are encased in a specially designed gift box with Chinese characters signifying “full moon” (月圓) when closed and “reunion” (團圓) when opened. Priced at $268 for a set of four.
LIS Cafe, Podium Level 3, L’Hotel Island South, 55 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen, 3968 8833, lhotelgroup.com
Make your own mooncakes at Yan Toh Heen
If you want to make your own mooncakes for the celebrated festival, join Yan Toh Heen’s Executive Chef Lau Yiu Fai’s masterclass on September 10. Chef Lau will teach guests how to make their custard cream and gold dust mooncake, with a choice of inscription of up to two Chinese characters. The masterclass includes a feast of the restaurant’s signature dim sum, mooncakes and freshly brewed Chinese tea, with one box of custard cream and gold dust mooncakes to take home. $1,488 per person. 12.15-2pm. For more information or to reserve your spot, call 2313 2323.
InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, www.hongkong-ic.intercontinental.com