Mid-Autumn Festival rolls around on September 15 this year and you don’t want to waste your calories on a mediocre mooncake. Here, we pick eight places to get the best mooncakes to indulge in.
Deluxe Selection $74.90/six
Cherry Garden’s low-sugar lotus paste mooncakes are made for those who are health-conscious. But we’d go straight for the sea salt caramel option with a single yolk – you can finish it in one bite and it’ll satisfy your sweet tooth.
Available until Sep 15 at Mandarin Oriental and B2 Takashimaya Square; and until Sep 14 at Level 1 Raffles City atrium.
Handcrafted mooncakes $69/four traditional or eight snowskin mooncakes
This one’s for those who like liquor in their mooncakes: five out of the eight snowskin mooncake flavours contain alcohol, such as in the strawberry lime tequila truffle mooncake. Despite its vibrant pink outer layer, the lotus paste within is decidedly traditional – until you hit the surprise chocolate-covered strawberry centre.
Available until Sep 15 at Grand Hyatt, Vivocity atrium and B2 Takashimaya Square; and until Sep 14 at Chevron House.
Snowskin combo $68/four
For a cake-like mooncake, sink your teeth into the rich mousse paste of the dark chocolate snowskin with a crunchy hazelnut centre. Refresh your palate with the light yuzu snowskin mooncake, laced with chewy lychee bits.
Availableuntil Sep 15 at Goodwork Park Hotel and various mooncake booths at shopping centres.
Assorted wholesome mooncake $52/four
For those of us who don’t like egg yolks in mooncakes (incredulous!), Bakerzin’s range of wu ren or five-nut mooncakes made with walnut, almond, macadamia, melon seed and white sesame, is right up your alley. These mooncakes are also suitable for vegetarians or those who want a healthier mooncake option.
Available until Sep 15 at all Bakerzin and Nom La La by Bakerzin outlets, and at Bakerzin Mid-Autumn Festival booths.
Baked mooncakes $61-$80/four
Meat lovers take note: hidden within the sweet white lotus seed paste of Wan Hao’s mooncakes are slices of meat. The chicken bak kwa and assorted nuts mooncake is stuffed with the barbecued jerky, while the fragrant black truffle and sweet roasted chestnut version has waxed duck lurking alongside a single yolk.
Available until Sep 15 at Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza’s forecourt stall.
Regent’s Classic Treasures $70/four
Italian-inspired mooncakes with Parma ham and pork floss – how’s that for fusion? While you’re nibbling on these mooncakes, challenge your family and friends to a game of wits: the mooncakes are packed in a felt carrier designed as a Chinese chess board. Bonus: it comes with a complimentary chess set. Jiang, anyone?
Available until Sep 15 at Regent Singapore and B2 Takashimaya Square.
The Minion mooncakes set $58/four
How cute are these Minion-shaped mooncakes? Don’t be too quick to brush them off as a gimmick, though. These thin-crust mooncakes taste surprisingly good – the paste was smoothly blended and not too sweet. Too bad they don’t come with egg yolks inside. Matcha-, pandan-, red bean- and, of course, banana-flavoured mooncakes make up the set, which also includes a DIY yellow Minion lantern. Unfortunately, you'll need a ticket to enter USS and purchase a box of these.
Available until Sep 15 at the mooncake kiosk near Hollywood China Bistro inside Universal Studios Singapore.
Mini snowskin $54.50/eight
Share these individually portioned mooncakes, but keep the salted egg yolk pieces to yourself (those are the charcoal snowskin ones). Eat them chilled and the subtle salted egg yolk flavour is balanced by the sweetness of the white lotus paste. Or, warm up the mooncake for a heavier salted egg yolk taste from the oozing ganache centre.
Available until Sep 15 at Antoinette’s Penhas and Sofitel So outlets.
What makes – or breaks – a good mooncake
The paste of a well-made mooncake should adhere to the thin shell. If there’s yolk, it should be embedded in the paste and not crumble easily. Needless to say, oily liquid shouldn't be oozing out. If you need more than visual cues, then trust your nose: the mooncake should have a fragrant, sweet smell.
The outer layer on snowskin mooncakes should be stretchy with the consistency of mochi. It shouldn’t be overly starchy or taste like dough. If the mooncake has an artificial flavour – it's probably because it's heavy on the food additives – you’re better off not eating it.