As with any Mid-Autumn Festival, the modern, more colourful snow-skin mooncakes are about to blow up on Instagram. This year, however, hotels and restaurants are going on beyond just rainbow-hued treats. An increasingly health-conscious dining scene has pushed for less sinful options. Though, one shouldn’t assume that these are any less indulgent. Natural flavours from fruits are the highlight in many of these mooncakes. Local inspirations are also trending.
Baked mooncakes aren’t getting the cold treatment either. Alongside traditional double-yolk classics, hotels are also experimenting with interesting combinations. Consider a blueberry baked mooncake from Madame Fan or Marina Bay Sands’s healthier take with Chinese Longan paste.
Or, if you’re not that into mooncakes, consider the beautiful boxes that accompany these treats. There’s still some time away from Mid-Autumn Festival (13th September), but it’s never too early to start reserving a few boxes just in case.
This year, Jade’s executive chef Leong Chee Yeng finds inspiration in local desserts for its range of snow-skin mooncakes. Bandung is interpreted as a blushing, rose-scented treat and then there’s Ondeh-Ondeh with a coconut, gula Melaka and pandan paste. Baked mooncakes are also a highlight here. The Fullerton Hotel offers one-bite mini mooncakes with salted egg yolk and custard as well as a massive set of 15 traditional baked treats or varying flavours. We also love the pastel-blue mooncake boxes which are reminiscent of the restaurant’s gorgeous Chinoiserie wallpaper and china.
The dessert aficionados at Goodwood Park Hotel are weaving in tropical fruits to their mooncake repertoire. New to this season is the Kiwi Dragonfruit Manuka Honey, a refreshing break from the traditional lotus seed paste bakes. Durian fans won’t be disappointed by this year’s selections as well. This year, the hotel introduces the ‘Premium Duo’: Mao Shan Wang and Black Thorn durian snow-skin mooncakes.
Hai Tien Lo brings in four new snow-skin mooncake flavours, referencing Western sweets and tropical flavours. The Gianduja dark chocolate mooncake with a yuzu centre is sure to be a hit with chocolate lovers. A more aromatic Earl Grey and Cherry snow-skin mooncake is a comforting treat for lazy afternoon teas. More refreshing options include the pina colada-inspired Coconut and Pineapple creation and the tangy Passionfruit and Mango Snowskin. Hai Tien Lo’s baked Charcoal Black Sesame Seed Paste mooncake is also making a comeback. The restaurant is selling these for a good cause too: a donation will be made to the Autism Resource Centre with every purchase of mooncake box.
This year’s repertoire by Janice Wong takes mooncake lovers on a flavour trip around Japan. The mooncake box is a curation of nine snow-skin mooncakes, paying tribute to key ingredients from nine different prefectures. Take for instance Kyoto’s famous hojicha and the renowned chestnuts of Kumamoto. There’s even a helpful guide on the side of the mooncake box to take you through each flavour and ingredient.
Together with fine-dining restaurant Madame Fan, JW Marriott introduces a slew of contemporary snow-skin and baked mooncakes featuring a selection of high-quality ingredients. The list of baked creations includes a pu’er tea-infused paste with chia seeds and another with blueberry paste. Snow-skin mooncakes are some of the more unique creations. Try the Tian Mi Mi: a mix of spiced whisky, honey and mandarin oranges.
Marina Bay Sands offers fresh takes on oriental flavours for its traditional baked treats. Think hints of yuzu perfuming the classic lotus paste or a version with Chinese longan paste for baked mooncakes. When it comes to snow-skin mooncakes, the hotel goes for some well-loved Western flavours like salted caramel, strawberry-lychee and honey-fig-passion (read: green bean paste sweetened with honey and passionfruit, accompanied by bits of fig compote). Mooncakes are all housed in a sky-blue lantern-shaped box, perfect for the occasion.
Raffles Hotel’s snow-skin mooncakes have become legendary icons every Mid-Autumn Festival. Since the 1990s, the champagne truffle snow-skin has continued to be a best-seller and a tasteful symbol of luxury and elegance. This year, the hotel also introduced a new creation: the avocado and mango yuzu snow-skin mooncake, a healthful option for the season. In conjunction with its grand re-opening, Raffles Hotel also has a special two-tiered box for baked mooncakes and house-blend teas.
Regent Singapore gathers inspirations from all its dining concepts for this Mid-Autumn Festival’s snow-skin curation. One-Michelin-starred Summer Palace offers two flavours: an osmanthus tea and purple cauliflower creation and a sugar-free pandan custard treat. From Manhattan Bar, there’s the Hanky Panky which sees a barrel-aged mix of Ford’s Gin, Cocchi di Torino and Fernet Branca bitters. There are also some pretty unusual flavours, such as the truffle carbonara combo from Basilico which has bits of black truffle and cream cheese.
Feng Shui Inn introduces a Hong Kong classic mooncake to Singapore. While molten mooncakes have been a thing for a while, chef Li Kwok Kwong’s creations are more ‘traditional’ with milk custard and salted egg yolk. Each flaky baked mooncake comes with sesame seeds studded on the side, representing the full moon. This version is also developed with health-conscious snackers in mind. Only skimmed milk and low-sugar white lotus paste are used.
Bird’s nest stuffed mooncakes are Hong Kong’s equivalent to Singapore’s luxurious champagne truffle mooncakes. Those curious for a taste of this unique creation can find it at Shang Palace. Each baked custard mooncake comes packed with a generous serving of silky bird’s nest. For snow-skin mooncakes, there is a kaya truffle and a yuzu sake truffle for adults.
The Ritz-Carlton brings backs its signature martini-inspired snow-skin mooncakes. New flavours include the Orangetini of chocolate, orange zest and liqueur. The classic Lycheetini Mooncake is also available as well, packed with lychee liqueur and real lychee bits. All mooncakes, snow-skin and baked, are available in a chic red or gold box that can be repurposed as a desk stationery box.
Grand Hyatt’s latest mooncakes reference food trends in Singapore. The brown sugar milk tea truffle mooncake, which has assam tea infused with gula Melaka and milk, is set to be a favourite among bubble tea lovers. There’s also a matcha mooncake with red bean paste for fans of Japanese desserts. The hotel’s mooncake collection also sees alcoholic creations, such as tequila, lychee martini and champagne, for the adults.
TWG’s signature baked mooncake, Constellation, sees brown lotus paste infused with Singapore Breakfast Tea with a salted egg yolk heart. The Harvest mooncake offers a more refreshing take with a Mistral Tea and lemongrass-infused lotus paste filling and a strawberry almond paste heart. The star of TWG’s snow-skin collection is Pure, an ivory mooncake with Moon Route Tea-infused white lotus paste and lotus cream.