Mandarin Oriental's mini mooncakes with their trademark fan
This should be my last post on mooncakes until I get my batch of jelly mooncakes. Hope all these posts have been informative to everyone. This year's sample size is quite small - limited to a few hotels. Hopefully next year one can cover more of the traditional shops selling mooncakes.
Nowadays mooncakes are often given as gifts hence I love looking out for the nice and interesting ways they present them. This year, the one that impressed me the most was Shangri-La's packaging. If you buy 6 pieces, you get a lovely hexagonal magenta box decorated with peonies and butterflies. My favourite bit were the boxes the mooncakes were placed in, with these folds that you can open up like flaps and fold back again by pressing the gold parts down. Not sure if it is a new trend but Dragon-I also had a similar design for their boxes, except theirs was all golden with a patterned design.
I love the wordings on Mandarin Oriental's box
Mandarin Oriental's box looked very regal with a round wooden carving. The picture of the carving is quite cute, as it depicts a couple in a pavilion carrying lanterns (maybe in some reference to how mooncake festival was one of those days in ancient China, where couples could meet) and a rabbit at the side. I also liked the wordings they had on the box, one from Confucius and another one from the hotel asking you to share and give. For corporate orders the boxes can also be customised, as samples are placed at the front of their restaurant. The same logo is also printed on their smaller mooncake boxes.
the many faces of mooncake boxes
Westin's packaging was the most modern looking with pictures of flowers - a lily for their bigger one and this dandelion in full bloom. Chynna's boxes are all lantern red. If you buy more mooncakes, they come in a tall box with shelves for the various flavours. Tai Zi Heen's box is quite adorable with a flap in the middle. For bigger orders, they even throw in free Chinese tea leaves in metal boxes. Dynasty's box features their trademark lady. She's also found in all their plates in the restaurant.
Tai Zi Heen's offerings, the bright blue one is filled with gummy bears
If I wanted my mooncake to be very different, I would zoom in on Mandarin Oriental's chocolate covered mooncakes. However, I didn't think very much of their snowskin offerings and preferred the chocolate ganache ones instead. Their box is also quite unique and great to keep after the festival is over.
Dynasty's green tea mooncake was a little too oily for my liking
Li Yen's offerings are also top-notch with all their selections scoring high with us. While the selection is very small, they have maintained their standards well throughout the years making them a firm favourite every year. The packaging, which I didn't snap a picture of is in a metal box. A little old fashioned but nevertheless still quite pretty.
Westin's selection: green apple with cranberries & oats, sesame paste with peanuts, nutella with chocolate crunch and strawberry cheesecake with condensened milk
Westin's offerings were a marred I felt by their very soft snowskin texture. Nevertheless their durian mooncake was simply heavenly since it was all durian and not mixed with lotus paste compared to the other hotels. Tai Zi Heen's offerings were generally not too bad either, with some winners like their coffee and brownie with whisky offerings. Chynna's offerings were a little offputting with their very strong colours but the golden treasure with the tiramisu centre was very nice. Not sure what happened with Dynasty's offerings but they seemed to all suffer from a case of too much oil that affected the inside of their mooncakes.
Mid Valley's mooncake fair was made up of nostalgic sketches on cardboard
We were in Mid Valley yesterday and stumbled upon the mooncake fair and there were loads of different places to choose from: Westin, Shang Palace, Dynasty, Chynna, Purple Cane, Tai Thong, Haagen Dazs, Nikko Hotel and Concorde Hotel. There were also Doramemon shaped mooncakes. One unusual stall called Fruit Story was selling the never seen before large Teochew mooncake - flat and shaped like a large chapati baked in a charcoal oven. It had a stuffing akin to loh poh paeng. The stall was also selling fruits like yam and pomelo. Over in Isetan, they have Mandarin Oriental, Prince Hotel, Purple Cane selling their mooncakes. Unusual ones were Bonton selling mooncakes made from olive oil and another unknown company selling mooncakes made from seaweed. They taste like jelly mooncakes with a nicer texture and less sugar. Pretty nice to eat (I bought the pumpkin one to taste) but quite pricey at RM9.50 each.
Hope you will all enjoy the Mid Autumn Festival - remember to gather with family & friends that night to savour the moon & pretty lanterns, loads of mooncakes and Chinese tea (or wine according to Sean from Eat Drink KL).
2. Westin KL Hotel, mini strawberry cheesecake with condensed milk (Size of 4x2.5cm for RM13) - very mild strawberry taste and too soft skin.
1. Westin KL Hotel, mini snowskin black sesame paste with peanuts (Size of 4x2.5cm for RM13) - the snowskin was the right texture. Liked the not-too-sweet sesame paste with the crunchy peanuts in the centre.
2. Westin KL Hotel, mini snowskin nutella with chocolate crunch (Size of 4x2.5cm for RM13) - very soft skin but quite aromatic filling.
3. Lai Poh Heen, Mandarin Oriental KL Hotel, mini snowskin mooncake with pistachio and custard (Size of 4x2cm for RM10.5) - the pistachio tastes quite artificial.
Snow skin pandan
1. Shang Palace, Shangri-la KL Hotel, mini snowskin mooncake with pandan (Size of 5x2.5cm for RM13) - more subtle taste of pandan is used here.
2. Lai Poh Heen, Mandarin Oriental KL Hotel, mini snowskin mooncake with pandan (Size of 4x2cm for RM10.50) - the pandan taste is very artificial and quite strong.
Snow skin green tea
1. Lai Poh Heen, Mandarin Oriental KL Hotel, mini snowskin mooncake with green tea essence and almonds (Size of 4x2cm for RM10.50) - subtle green tea flavour with a nice bite to it.
2. Dynasty, Renaissance KL Hotel, mini snowskin mooncake with green tea with walnut (Size of
4.5x2.5cm for RM9.45) - paste was a little too oily and green tea aroma was not very strong.
Snow skin coconut
1. Shang Palace, Shangri-la KL Hotel, mini snowskin crunchy coconut with honeycomb custard (Size of 5x2.5cm for RM22) - filled with fluffy coconut that reminded me of coconut candy. Not much taste of honeycomb though.
Snow skin coffee
1. Tai Zi Heen, Prince KL Hotel, mini snowskin mooncake with white coffee and macadamia nuts (Size of 4.5x2cm for RM12) - lovely aroma of coffee with the crunchy nuts, also not very sweet tasting making it easy to consume. A favourite after their famous chocolate whiskey mooncake.
Snow skin others
1. Tai Zi Heen, Prince KL Hotel, mini snowskin mooncake with vanilla custard and gummi bears (Size of 4.5x2cm for RM11) - sweet with not much flavour, the gummi bears add a chewy bite to the soft mooncake.
2. Dynasty, Renaissance KL Hotel, mini snowskin mooncake with osmanthus and longan (Size of 4.5x2.5cm for RM9.45) - a little overpowering the osmanthus fragrance.
3. Dynasty, Renaissance KL Hotel, mini snowskin mooncake egg custard (Size of 4.5x2.5cm for RM9.45) - taste is sweet with not much aroma.