Pre Mid Autum Festival – my favourite time of the year is here! It is only during this period where I get to have 8 fanciful snowskin flavours all in one box for desserts for a full month. Being a fan of quirky snowskin flavours, I constantly seek out the most unique flavours from the hundreds available yearly.
After combing through close to 60 booths, I’ve picked out my top 10 favourite snowskin mooncakes based on uniqueness, taste and packaging.
#10 Mao Shan Wang Durian Crystal Mooncake, 155 South Bridge by Chui Lau Heung
The focus here is the crystal skin mooncake. While the taste of the durian is ordinary, the crystal skin is surely a conversation starter. Expect to be impressed by friends and family the moment these exquisite little mooncakes are served.
155 South Bridge also caught my eye with their charcoal baked mooncakes. Some of the flavours include Charcoal Baked Dragon Fruit with Shredded Coconut & Salty Egg, as well as Charcoal Baked Laksa Lotus Paste with Single Yolk.
#9 Prickly Pear with Bergamot, Goodwood Park Hotel
Goodwood Park Hotel is well known for their snowskin. Every year, they come up with new flavours and this year is no exception. Their Prickly Pear with Bergamot has a slightly sourish taste with crunchy bites of diced pears. Definitely an enticing start to rounds of mooncake tasting.
#8 Salted Black Sesame Truffle, Baker’s Well
We’ve all heard of salted caramel ice cream. But Salted Black Sesame Truffle is relatively new for me, and Baker’s Well did a good job with the pairing.
#7 Rosemary, Almond and Green Tea, Intercontinental Hotel
Intercontinental Hotel has herbs in their snowskin mooncakes. Yes, you read it right. Herbs! How unique and bold is that? The Rosemary, Almond and Green Tea Mooncake might turn you off at first glance, but you will get used to the idea after a while and hey, this actually makes for a good dessert with tea.
The rose pattern is also an additional visual to their theme of Garden Collection. Let’s be honest here, how many companies would rather emboss their company name on the mooncake?
#6 Osmanthus and Walnut, Mandarin Oriental
We’ve all heard of osmanthus and goji berry, but Mandarin Oriental has tweaked that slightly to include walnuts instead of goji berry. Walnuts are such good brain food, so it’s hard to say no to this.
#5 Bubble Tea with Butterscotch, Conrad Centennial
My eyes lit up at the sound of butterscotch. I’ve always only eaten them either in candy form (think Chelsea sweets) or in ice cream tubs. Conrad’s Bubble Tea with Butterscotch sounds really sweet and sticky, but it’s really addictive. The bubble tea adds a tinge of tea fragrance to the butterscotch, making sure this mooncake is still suitable for your 赏月 (moon viewing).
#4 Cinnamon Red Bean with Spiced Wine, Regent
Finally, a snowskin mooncake for that man in your life. Regent’s Cinnamon Red Bean with Spiced Wine is fragrant and well balanced. I was afraid that the cinnamon would overpower the rest but Regent’s choice of spiced wine was a good complement. I would imagine this would be a hit with the mature gentlemen around.
#3 Assorted Truffle Yolks, Chocoelf
Chocoelf’s flavours are not unique, but their idea of a flavoured truffle yolk is somewhat surprising. Many mooncake companies today prefer to have a single flavour as it’s entire filling, but Chocoelf wraps it’s truffle yolk with the traditional lotus paste. I thought this would cause the mooncake to lose most of its flavour, but I was wrong. The truffle yolks (actually I just call it the jelly layer) are rather intense and I really liked the texture.
Their best seller is the Intense Dark Chocolate Truffle Yolk. If you look around, chocolate mooncakes are no longer in fashion probably because chocolate just does not work as a mooncake but somehow Chocoelf gets it right. After all, they are a chocolate company.
Best of all? No sugar added! Perfect for those health conscious.
#2 Crème Brûlée & Blueberry Cheese, Peony Jade
Peony Jade’s Crème Brûlée & Blueberry Cheese was a surprise for me. I thought the blueberry cheese would make me jelat after a while and was quite hesitant to try it at first but the Crème Brûlée saved the day. This milky icy texture is somewhat akin to eating ice cream. Yums.
Grand Hyatt bagged the #1 spot for me because they’ve exceeded my expectations not once, but four times! They’ve got Peanut Butter Sea Salt Truffle, Chocolate Mint Fondant, Strawberry Lime Tequila Truffle, and Violette & Tanqueray No. TEN Gin. Most mooncake companies have only one or two star flavours but Grand Hyatt – wow. Just wow. The team at Mezza9 really did a good job this year.
New to the mooncake market, Golden Moments only have one product on the table – Mao Shan Wang Durian Mooncake. While their MSW isn’t as strong as the other major brands out there, Golden Moments’ company philosophy is what attracted me. The three Singaporeans behind this company hopes to use durian delicacies to bring families closer together. Such a simple yet sincere vision. I hope they will continue to work towards this!
Tips for shopping at Takashimaya’s Mid Autumn Festival 2017:
1. Bring your arsenal of credit cards to the fair. Different credit cards are entitled to different discounts for the same product. Bring along a pen so you can write the details down on the brochures.
2. Go early in the morning. You do not want to miss out on what would be the best mooncake you’ve ever eaten just because you failed to get a tasting sample due to the massive crowd.
3. Always ask about the longest possible storage period for the snowskin mooncakes. Some snowskin mooncakes have to be consumed within 5 days. Alternatively, ask if you can pay now (for the discounts and availability of flavours) and collect closer to the date.
4. Try not to bring along your baby prams, especially if you’re visiting on a weekend noon. You’ll find it super hard to navigate, and from a safety perspective, a huge crowd means people won’t be able to avoid tripping over your pram.
5. Finally, do a quick search online prior to purchasing to see if you’re indeed getting the best deal. Some hotels offer their own discounts online but this usually means that you have to collect it from the hotel itself.
The Mid Autumn Festival fair at Takashimaya is happening from now till 4 Oct 17.
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