Mooncake season is almost here, and we’re completely ready for it.
This year has been an emotional rollercoaster, so we’re always looking forward to the next special occasion (or public holiday) — anything to bring us some cheer in these bleak times. Granted, the Mid-Autumn Festival is still quite some time away on 21 September, but it’s never too early to start placing orders for our favourite baked and snowskin mooncakes.
Many hotels and restaurants have already jumped on the festive bandwagon and introduced a smorgasbord of choices ranging from the traditional lotus paste and egg yolk combo, to exciting flavours the likes of durian, truffle, and Scotch whisky.
Still undecided? We’ve put together a guide to all the baked and snowskin options worth trying. Read on for our pick of the best mooncakes in Singapore.
Four Seasons Hotel Singapore
The hotel’s signature smoked duck mooncake with assorted nuts and lime makes a return this year, alongside classic favourites featuring silver lotus paste that’s made with less oil and sugar. Snowskin creations range from refreshing to indulgent, with flavours such as the zesty kumquat and lemon, bird’s nest with custard, Mao Shan Wang durian and hazelnut Royaltine chocolate. Don’t forget to add Copenhagen’s organic sparkling teas to your shopping cart while you’re at it; these guilt-free bubblies by Danish sommelier Jacob Kocemba takes your usual mooncake-and-tea combo to a whole new level.
To elevate your Mid-Autumn experience, Yàn has collaborated with three local brands – Fossa Chocolate, Kindred Tea and Smoke & Mirrors – for a selection of gift sets that include four of its classic white lotus paste mooncakes with either macadamia or single salted egg yolk. We’re partial to the Chrysanthemum Harmony set, which has Chrysanthemum Pu-Erh Tuocha from Kindred Tea and a chrysanthemum chocolate bar from Fossa Chocolates, and the collaborative set with Smoke & Mirrors that has a negroni-based tipple with banana-infused cognac and salted banana liqueur and a reimagined Manhattan with aged rum, chocolate vermouth and charcoal-roasted cacao nibs.
Baked mooncakes and tea go together like milk and cookies. In other words, it’s standard. Mitzo at Grand Park Orchard is suggesting a delightful alternative with it Cocktail Pairing Gift Set, which includes two pieces of mooncakes (choose between the Baked Lychee White Lotus Seed Paste or the White Lotus Seed Paste with Single Yolk) with two freshly-made cocktails by Smoke & Mirrors. If you fancy the classics, pick the Manhattan and Old Fashioned. But if you’re feeling adventurous, Got Milk? has Michter’s Bourbon, Plantation 3 Stars White Rum, clarified milk, pandan and pumpkin, while Bananas In a Glass is a complex bitter-sweet tipple with banana-infused cognac, campari, sweet vermouth and salted banana liqueur.
Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel
Luxurious ingredients of black truffle and San Daniele ham (revered as the “King of Ham”) star in Wan Hao’s new, gold-dusted baked mooncakes. They’re sheathed in a soft black charcoal skin, and paired with a single salted egg yolk and crunchy pistachios bits. For a more extravagant experience, the restaurant offers these mooncakes as part of a premium gift set that includes a bottle of Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne, which carries notes of honeysuckle, peach, and citrus. Another alternative worth sampling is the rose-infused bird’s nest mooncake, which combines golden custard for a rich, decadent treat.
Lady M has cleverly combined Mid-Autumn Festival traditions – mooncakes and lanterns – in its 2021 gift set, fashioned in the form of a whimsical Ferris wheel. The hexagonal box is fitted with button-activated light spots for a lovely night-time spectacle, and houses six mini mooncakes (three pieces each of two flavours) created in collaboration with the renowned Hong Kong-founded Kee Wah Bakery. The Custard Mooncake reveals a sweet bite of rich egg custard filling, while the Chocolate Mooncake features a silky chocolate custard interior.
Who can resist yet more innovative snowskin creations from Michelin-starred Summer Palace? This year, sink your teeth into the alcoholic core of the Kyoho Grape and Kyoto Dry Gin mooncake inspired by Manhattan bar’s cocktail concoction. Instead of a post-dinner digestif, savour the Amalfi Limoncello and Basil mooncake whose unique flavour came from where else but Basilico? Manhattan has also crafted two bottled cocktails to pair with these sweet delights.
TWG’s Mid-Autumn offerings this year will no doubt stir up warm and fuzzy feelings of nostalgia. Presented in whimsical music box, the collection features a medley of tea-infused traditional and snowskin mooncakes alongside a specially-conceived brew called Moon Dance Tea, a smooth and elegant black tea that boasts a fragrant bouquet of wild strawberry and accented by notes of rare sweet lime. This special-edition tea is used in the Rainbow snowskin mooncake, which has a lime-lotus paste sprinkled with golden chocolate pearls and a white chocolate heart filled with lemon and lotus cream. For something more traditional, the Constellation baked mooncake holds a Singapore Breakfast Tea-infused lotus filling peppered with roasted melon seeds and a salted egg yolk heart.
Looking for low-sugar options? Michelin-starred Shisen Hanten’s classic baked mooncakes – with Japanese pumpkin and sakura petals or macadamia nuts – are filled with reduced-sugar white lotus paste. If you like your Mid-Autumn treats savoury, there’s one packed with mixed nuts and Jamón Ibérico for a party in your mouth.
JW Marriott Singapore South Beach
Ideal for gifting, the premium mooncake gift boxes come in two designs – Blue Blossom, a marble box with royal blue cherry blossoms representing love in Chinese culture; and Peranakan Teal, which features decorative motifs. Fill these with four baked mooncakes or eight snowskin mooncakes in new flavours like Green Apple with Soju Truffle and Milk Tea with Bailey Truffle.
Goodwood Park Hotel
Living up to its reputation as the go-to place for durian temptations, Goodwood Park Hotel is bringing back its now-famous Premium Duo, a black-and-white set of Mao Shan Wang and Black Thorn Durian snowskin mooncakes this year. If durian is not your thing, there’s the Tropicana – coconut, pineapple and passion fruit purée studded with dulcet morsels of pineapple cubes and coconut flakes – as well as pretty blue pea flower snowskin mooncake that highlights traditional flavours with white lotus paste and melon seeds.
Grand Hyatt Singapore
Both the snowskin and baked mooncakes come in decadent flavours this year, like the two new alcohol- infused snowskin mooncakes: Cherry Brandy, and Strawberry Cream Cheese with Oreo Crumble. While most durian mooncakes are snowskin, the hotel has introduced a Baked D24 Durian with White Lotus and Double Yolk version.
Whisky and mooncakes make surprisingly good bedfellows, as evidenced in Glenfiddich’s limited-edition snowskin parcels. Created in partnership with boutique food and lifestyle creative agency Chun Tsubaki, the two flavours take their cues from the whisky label’s flagship expressions. The Glenfiddich Our Original Twelve piece has a matcha-pistachio snowskin that envelopes a roasted barley and dark brown sugar filling hidden with a white chocolate pear jam whisky truffle at the centre. Inspired by the Glenfiddich Our Solera Fifteen, the purple-hued mooncake of the same name bears a dark ganache whisky truffle amid the honey and orange blossom filling.
The Marmalade Pantry
Those who love local flavours will enjoy the new Pandan Kaya with Melon Seeds baked mooncake. It features smooth pandan-infused paste, fragrant kaya paste and crunchy melon seeds. The Marmalade Pantry is also offering gift sets packaged in a limited-edition, PVC- accented woven rattan bag.
(Main and featured image: Shisen Hanten)