There are many fables and tales about mooncakes and the Mid Autumn Festival. But the most prominent one is of Lady Chang-Er’s ascension to the moon.

Legend has it that the Jade Emperor, ruler of the Heaven, has ten unruly sons who one day, decided to transform themselves into ten suns – mercilessly scorching the Earth. Unable to stop their mischief, the Jade Emperor summoned Hou Yi, a brilliant archer who gallantly shot down 9 of the 10 suns. He was bestowed with the Elixir of Immortality for his contribution. Hou-Yi gave the elixir to his wife, Chang-Er who consumed it and discovered that she could fly. She took flight to the moon and little did she know, she was unable to return to Earth to be with her husband.

Saddened, Hou-Yi arranged a table with some fruits and food to wish for his wife to return. While this love story has varied versions, the simple act of adoration has been a ritual practice across the Chinese communities for centuries. This folktale has been repeatedly spoken during the Mid Autumn Festival when Chinese families gather for reunion dinners and cutting open the egg-yolk filled mooncakes that represent the golden full moon.

In Chinese culture, mooncakes symbolise togetherness because of its round shape. A full moon, which is omnipresent in the night sky during the Mid Autumn Festival, represents prosperity and happiness. The traditional delicacy is not just a food, but it has been a profound cultural tradition rooted in the hearts of Chinese people around the world.

As we celebrate the Mid Autumn Festival next month with family and friends – 24th September 2018 to be exact – arm yourself with colourful lanterns and a box of delicious mooncakes. Here are 10 of the best artisanal baked mooncakes Klang Valley has to offer. (Featured image: Intercontinental Hotel KL)

W Kuala Lumpur

Experience electrifying flavours that are crafted and handmade individually by Master Chef Tan Kim Weng and his team at Yen Restaurant in W Kuala Lumpur. Classic flavours include Red Bean Paste with aged Mandarin Skin, as well as the ubiquitous Musang King Durian. If you’re up for something different, tantalise your palate with a Special XO Sauce version.

Price: 148 nett per box / RM37 nett per piece
(Available from 1 August – 30 September 2018)

Yen Restaurant, W Kuala Lumpur, 121, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, +603-2786 8888

Sheraton Petaling Jaya

This year, Sheraton PJ is keeping it old-school with six classic flavours of mooncakes including lotus, pandan, red bean, durian and mixed nuts – great for those who like their mooncake authentic and original. These perfectly baked morsels come in a set of six, with three jewellery-box-inspired gift boxes to choose from.

Price: RM159 per box / RM26 per piece
(Available from 1 August — 24 September 2018)

Sheraton Petaling Jaya Hotel, Lorong Utara C, Pjs 52, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, +603-7622 8888

Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur

Tao is not only known for its great dim sum buffet, but also their handmade mooncakes. Each mooncake is thoughtfully created and delicately handmade by master Dim Sum Chef Lo Tian Sion. This year, Tao’s 10 exquisite mooncake variety includes six classic baked-skin options, including the best-selling Black Sesame Bamboo Charcoal with Single Yolk and Pure White Lotus with Nuts. Get your hands on the limited edition Shanghai Style Baked Black Pepper Smoked Duck Meat with Yam mooncake, which is inspired by the famous Taiwanese scallion pancake.

Price: RM25 onwards per piece
(Available from 30 July – 24 September 2018)

Tao Chinese Cuisine, Intercontinental Hotel Kuala Lumpur, 165 Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, +603 2782 6168

Grand Millenium Kuala Lumpur

Grand Millenium KL has put together five traditional baked mooncakes using time-honoured recipes that are masterfully handcrafted with the finest ingredients. Following the success of the 2017’s Ferrero Rocher mooncake, you can now try their all-new chocolate mint flavour which features a perfect balance of rich bittersweet chocolate with a delicately refreshing mint filling – paired with traditionally baked skin.

Price: RM29-35 per piece
(Available from 21 July — 24 September 2018)

Grand Millenium Kuala Lumpur, 160 Bukit Bintang Street, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, +603-2117 4888

Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur

Mandarin Oriental KL presents its iconic fan-shaped gift box this year that comes with four handcrafted mooncakes ranging from fruity snow skin to decadent chocolate variety and traditional baked ones. There are six baked mooncake flavours to choose from – lotus and pandan paste with single yolk, assorted nuts and an all-time favourite, low sugar pure white lotus paste. All baked mooncakes are also halal certified. 

Price: RM34.50 onwards per piece
(Available now until 24 September 2018)

Lai Po Heen, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, +603 2179 8885

Concorde Kuala Lumpur

Concorde Kuala Lumpur celebrates with the theme ‘Colours of Mid-Autumn’, featuring four vibrant tones of yellow, orange, pink and blue on their decorative gift boxes that are adorned with silver rabbit and deer figurines. Filling up these boxes are eight oven-baked mooncakes with classic flavours including pure lotus paste, Japanese azuki and green tea lotus; available with and without the egg yolk option.

Price: RM88 per box of 2 / RM148 per box of 4
(Available from 5 August – 24 September 2018)

Concorde Kuala Lumpur, 2, Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, +603-2144 2200

Pullman KLCC

Celebrate Mid Autumn Festival with two new signature mooncakes by the team at Red Chinese Cuisine: Red Velvet with Cheese and Bamboo Charcoal Paste with Macadamia and Raisins. The latter, which is a baked variety, is wrapped in a light butter pastry that gives a beautiful texture to the mooncake. If you’re up for something savoury, try their Five Variety Nuts with Homemade XO sauce that makes for a classic teatime treat.

Price: RM100-140 per box / RM25-35 per piece
(Available from 14 August – 24 September 2018)

Red Chinese Cuisine, Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre Hotel & Residence, 4 Jalan Conlay, Kuala Lumpur, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, +603-2170 8888

Hilton Petaling Jaya

Mooncake making has been one of Hilton PJ’s signature tradition on its yearly calendar for decades now. Enjoy mooncakes crafted by the talented pastry chefs of Toh Yuen Restaurant with nine baked options to choose from. You can either go classic with the standard lotus or bean paste or try something artisanal like their Green Tea with Pistachio nuts, Pumpkin with Sunflower Seed or the signature Mixed Five Nuts and Purple Sweet Potato.

Price: RM110-135 per box / RM25-32 per piece
(Available now until 24 September 2018)

Toh Yuen, Hilton Petaling Jaya Hotel, 2 Jalan Barat, Pjs 52, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, +603-7955 9122

Le Meridien Putrajaya

Le Meridien Putrajaya is offering eight varieties of mooncakes this year at their signature restaurant, Le Mei. Apart from their signature creation of Coffee and Raisin mini snow skin mooncake, sample their baked ones that come in classic fillings such as Pandan Lotus Paste with Hazelnut and White Lotus Paste with Walnuts and Black Sesame. Another hot-selling baked option is the Green Tea with Cheese and Cashew Nut mooncake; worth every bite.

Price: RM20 onwards
(Available from 28 July – 24 September 2018)

Le Mei, Le Meridien Putrajaya, Lebuh IRC IOI Resort City, 62502 Putrajaya, Selangor, +603-8689 6888

Resorts World Genting

Mooncake season is something Chef Gan Chee Keong looks forward to each year. This year, he continues to add innovation into Resorts World Genting’s range of traditional baked mooncakes in two exciting flavours including Pandan Jade with Buttermilk Custard and Durian Paste with Durian Jingsa. The mooncakes are also affordably priced; perfect to complement your reunion dinners if you’re planning venture out of town to Genting Highlands.

Price: RM29-35 per piece
(Available from 21 July – 24 September 2018)

Resorts World Genting, Genting Highlands, 69000 Genting Highlands, +603-6101 1118

Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur

Shangri-La KL is offering a collection of 12 mooncake renditions that pay homage to tradition. Enjoy classic flavours like red bean and lotus seed paste (with or without yolk) as well as the assorted nuts and dried fruits. The novelty this year is the yam paste mooncake with a single yolk — making up for an indulgent treat to share with loved ones. These mooncakes come in exquisite packagings which include a three-tiered box of 12 baked mooncakes. Now, that’s a generous gift.

Price: RM124-518 per box / RM31-66 per piece
(Available from now – 24 September 2018)

Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur,11, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, +603-2032 2388

Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur

Celebrate this Mid-Autumn Festival with handmade mooncakes by Chef Jimmy Wong of Yun House and his team of chefs. These traditional baked mooncakes comes in seven exquisite flavours including the lotus seed paste, pandan infused paste, black sesame as well as puer and tangerine paste. Chef Wong has also created a 6.5″ Eight Egg Yolks mooncake (RM208 each) that is an indulgent treat and gift for friends and family during this auspicious occasion.

Price: RM168 per box / RM42 per piece
(Available now until 24 September 2018)

Yun House, Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur, MY-10, 145, Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, +603-2382 8640

Martin Teo
Martin has a bent for history and food culture, especially of the Peranakan heritage. Since the pandemic, he finds joy in plant parenting and continues to expand his collection of Philodendrons, Anthuriums, and Syngoniums. He's now on a lookout for the elusive Philodendron Florida Beauty to add to his urban garden.