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Top pastry chefs are opting for innovative fillings in traditional mooncakes this year

While Mid-Autumn Festival may be more than six weeks away, we’re already starting to see gorgeous displays of mooncake boxes and sets galore. More delightful yet is the incredible range of flavours that are now available, from walnut and fig to tea flavoured egg custards. We speak to some of the brilliant minds behind the cakes to find out just what inspired them to pursue the path beyond lotus. 

The Peninsula Hong Kong 

According to Michelin-starred Chef Tang Chi Keung, Chinese Culinary Master of The Peninsula Hotels, “The new mooncake flavours were conceptualised a year ago. We explored ingredients that blend well with our classic lotus seed paste, as well as our legendary egg custard filling. We introduced Red Date and South Date Lotus Seed Paste because dates are regarded as core health tonic ingredients. The Walnut and Fig mooncake has a great texture and complements the egg custard well. We are glad to see that the new flavours have been well received by the customers.” 

If you’re really looking to impress, the beautiful Star Chef Moon Gazing Gift Box ($2,288) comes with both new mooncake flavours, as well as a set of hand-painted porcelain tea cups and plates. 

Various locations, including: The Peninsula Arcade, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, +852 2696 6969 

Shangri-La Hong Kong

To celebrate the hospitality group’s 50th anniversary, a team of master chefs across the region banded together to create the Shangri-La 50-year Aged Mandarin Peel, Rose and Red Bean Paste Mooncakes. 

“The glowing splendour of these limited-edition mooncakes is our invitation to celebrate Shangri-La’s golden anniversary with our loyal guests. Our Master Chefs have skilfully fused the citrusy flavour of 50-year aged mandarin peel into the velvety red bean paste. To further enrich this delectable treat, we’ve also infused the heavenly fragrance of rose petals.” 

On top of their limited-edition mooncake box ($888), Shangri-La also boasts a wide range of traditional mooncakes and celebratory hampers. 

Various locations, including: Island Shangri-La, Pacific Place, Supreme Court Road, Central, +852 2877 3838 

Paul Lafayet

Christophe Younes, co-founder of the brand, had this to say about their new selection this year: “We understand the heritage of the lotus paste based mooncake. We chose the more modern egg custard recipe and we wanted to give it a French and Paul Lafayet signature twist by picking the most popular tea flavoured macaron we offer. Then we decided to elevate the experience by matching it with tea leaves.” 

This year’s Artistic Mooncake Gift Box ($374 early bird, $498 regular priced) design was fabricated in collaboration with French illustrator Emilie Sarnel. The octagonal two-layered gift box consists of four locally produced tea-custard mooncakes and four corresponding top-quality loose leaf tea selections. 

Various locations, including: Shop 1104B, Podium Level One, ifc mall Central, +852 2543 9800 

The Upper House 

Executive Chef Lee Tak Sum is the creative mind behind the hospitality group’s first-ever mooncake box.  

“For The House Collective’s first mooncake set, we wanted to curate flavours to suit all palates with a modern take. One of my personal favourites of the four flavours is the Assorted Nuts Mini Mooncake with Dried Figs. You’ll get to taste the crunchy and chewy textures of the delicious medley of dried dates, apricots, cashews, almonds, cranberries and specially selected Turkish figs.” 

Carefully crafted and stylish, these mooncakes ($415 early bird, $488 regular priced) come packaged in an eco-friendly and practical wooden box that is ready to serve a new purpose as soon as you’ve finished your last bite. 

The Upper House, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, +852 2918 1838 

The St. Regis Hong Kong

This year’s creations are by Executive Chinese Chef Hung Chi-Kwong of Michelin one-starred Cantonese restaurant Rùn. His star mooncakes are the Mini Red Bean Paste Mooncake with Aged 15 Years Tangerine Peel. 

“Tangerine Peel, also known as chen pi is a Chinese herb used in traditional recipes and offers a subtle citrusy flavour as well. Aged 15 years, the tangerine peel boosts a more refined fragrance that cuts through the richness of the red bean paste,” he explains. “Everyone is looking into a healthier conscious lifestyle and diet, same applies when they select their mid-autumn indulgence. While the traditional mooncake with lotus paste might be too sugary, red bean is used as a natural sweetener and tangerine peel to pairs the sweetness with a refreshing kick.” 

All mooncakes will be presented in an elegant box that reinterprets traditional Chinese designs and takes inspiration from André Fu’s design of Rùn’s interior. The six-piece set of mooncakes start from $428 at early bird prices. 

2/F Rùn, The St. Regis Hong Kong, One Harbour Drive, Wan Chai, +852 2138 6808 

Sandra Kwong
Features Editor
A perpetually hungry individual paired with an acute dirty martini obsession. You'll catch Sandra waltzing around town from gallery openings to various happy hours. Usually waxing lyrical about her 10-step skincare routine or her latest gadget. Currently missing: long ski runs in Hanazono.