Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Of Jade Rabbits and Shooting Suns: Mid Autumn is all about friendship

Traditionally, the basis of Mid Autumn revolved around the idea of "togetherness", having family and friends together to admire the roundness of the moon and of course, indulging in mooncakes. We had a mini gathering at Daniel's house, complete with Shanghainese delights! Many many many thanks to Daniel for his kind gesture and his family's hospitality. It was an outing planned ages ago and truth be told, I'm really glad this materialised.

This post is specially dedicated to the lovely friends I've made through the same passion; food.

shanghai dumplings

Before I start the mooncake rampage that we went on...looking back, it was a massive feat on our part! Daniel's mom so generously spoiled us with home made dumplings! My verdict? She should open a dumpling shop, tasty clear broth with plump meat dumplings...ohhhh soooo slurpworthy!

G.O.D., Wing Wah
Butt Mooncake (HKD 65 each)

A complete sold out every year...pre orders are a must!

G.O.D. Mooncake packaging

G.O.D. tied up with Wing Wah for the most slapstick take on Mid Autumn, mega mega mega adoring the ingenuity of it!

butt-off!

A butt of jokes?

I missed bagging them back from Hongkong last year because of the short time frame for pickup dates. Daniel so kindly got his dad to pre-order and pick it up! You will not know what flavour you get till opening...loving the surprise element here! Makes "collecting the full collection" fun eh?

DSC_0173

For novelty's sake, here's Spread My Cheek mooncake that I've been looking forward to!

G.O.D. Butt moonie

Ordinary tasting but full marks for creativity. Methinks it's the lack of lard that makes this pale in comparison to the rest of the Hongkong mooncakes.

Liu Yuan Restaurant
Shanghai Mooncake

Liu Yuan Restaurant 鮮肉月餅

Liu Yuan's one of the more popular Shanghainese restaurants in Hong Kong. 鮮肉月餅, a savoury version of the usual sweet suspects. Shaped like a crispy teochew mooncake, this was like a chinese version of a sausage pastry. Yummmmmy.

Xin Cuisine, Holiday Inn Atrium
Xin's Mini Special Egg Custard Mooncake with Egg Yolk ($45 for 6)

tiffany blue box

Adore the pretty robin blue box! It connected with the Tiffany in me.

xin cuisine

The only other hotel offering egg custard is Peninsula Hongkong and Xin Cuisine's have been long raved about. Comparing the two, Xin's cuisine does not have the coconut hints which could be a turn off for some, instead the egg custard paste with egg yolk and nuts was drier than Peninsula's though still delish. I like how this isn't overly sweet.

Xin Cuisine Custard eggyolk

Shaped like a tree trunk, we attempted a cross section like the brochures, only to be disappointed by the lackof full yolk as advertised.

Xin Cuisine box

Oh yes, the frivolous gold leaf on top made this extra chi-chi.

Shangrila Hotel
Single Yolk Lotus Paste Baked Mooncake

shang

It took me awhile to realise Shang Palace was endorsed on the mooncake.

Shang double yolk

Meritus Orchard Hotel

Meritus Mandarin box

Treasure chest!

Meritus Mandarin Single Yolk


Single Yolk Lotus Paste Baked Mooncake

Meritus Mandarin Macadamia

Macadamia Nut White Lotus Paste Baked Mooncake

Surprise, surprise here! Chewy paste that caught me off guard, rivals Li Bai from Sheraton's in terms of chewiness. Of the two, the double yolk fared better somehow, the white lotus paste from the macadamia was less chewy.

Zhen Wei
Teochew Crispy Yam Mooncake ($36 for 4)

yammies

Zhen Wei's behind.

When I saw this at Takashimaya's food square, I dissed it as "yet another restaurant made mooncake". Greedygoose me could not resist stealing a bite of their ever generous portions of samples - a proper one eighth at least compared to the measly chopped up bits of the rest. The first bite of the freshly fried and cut mooncake was heavenly. The molten yam paste and crispy skin were made for each other, with a nicely balanced sweetness. I was very sure it'll be a must get next year and definitely an underdog amongst the sea of strong competitors.

Zhen Wei Crispy Yam

When it was presented on the table, I was already grinning inside. Equally deeeeeeeeeeeelish even though it was not consumed immediately. Did I mention the white lotus paste spills over like lava too?

Peony Jade
The Original Ex-Crown Prince Flaky Teochew "Oor Nee" Mooncake with Single Egg Yolk and Golden Japanese Pumpkin ($50 for 4 pcs)

DSC_0300

Completely sold out last year, Peony Jade maintains a "no sampling" policy, priding itself on quality and strong brand name of "Crown Prince" to ring in sales. Yam paste was coarser in texture mainly because it was blended with yam bits and a layer of pumpkin and a full oily egg yolk. The pastry was heavier than Zhen Wei's and yam taste was more evident. Am more of a Zhen Wei than Peony Jade fan here.

Raffles Hotel
Snow-Skin Mooncake with Champagne Truffle and Ganache ($52 for 6 pcs)

raffles hotel...perfect out of the mould snowskin moonies

Once upon a time, it was the lovely shade of robin blue that stole the thunder. Then it was the awesome fragrance that greeted the nose that stole my breath away. And then, I got confused between Fairmont Szechuan Court's equivalent and Raffles Hotel's...thinking they were one and the same.

raffles hotel champagne ganache

Completely sold out online this year, Raffles Hotel's hot favourite is champagne truffle. Years later, I totally understand why. The same welcoming fragrance and irresistibly soft mochi-like skin. Pity the tastebuds have been tamed by Fairmont's mindblowing-tongue numbing potent champagne chocolate so much so Raffles' Hotel was less impressive here.

Jewels Artisan Chocolate

trio of delight

Its metallic box was a mismatch with a traditional outter casing and modern contents.

jewels artisan

Mini Snow-Skin Mooncake with Champagne Ganache Truffle (Low Sugar) ($50 for 8 pcs)

This rivals Raffles Hotel's directly and does not fare too badly against it. The snowskin's is thicker in consistency and less fragrant and soft. Despite that, I am bowled over by the champagne ganache truffle, the alcoholic punch I was looking for though Fairmont still triumphs for the alcoholic in me.

Mini Snow-Skin Mooncake with Dark Chocolate Crunchy Pearl ($48 for 8 pcs)

Simply lotus paste with crunchy pearls and a chewy snowskin with hints of mint. Tasted quite like a refined teochew kueh.

Mini Snow-Skin Mooncake with Salted Caramel Truffle ($48 for 8 pcs)

Designed for the European customers, Jewels attempts an East meets West version and I say they pulled this off so brilliantly. Loved the explosion of surprise that greeted the senses...methinks salted caramel's the new buzz flavour next year! Who'd thought that salted caramel could blend in so awesomely? I wish mooncakes were not seasonal, well just for this salted caramel flavoured one.

Man Fu Yuan, Intercontinental Hotel
Snowskin Selection ($49.80 for 4 pcs)


man fu yuan platter

A colourful snowskin selection.


man fu yuan green tea

Green Tea Paste paired with Nutty Almond Flakes

Pasty green tea with barely discernible almond flakes.

man fu yuan...red bean.

Red Bean Paste with Melon Seeds

Ordinary.

man fu yuan pumpkin paste


Pumpkin Paste with Chocolate Pearls

Tasted and looked most like nonya kueh, not a fan of the coconutty-pumpkin filling.

man fu yuan green tea

Black Sesame Paste with White Sesame

A mooncake version of thick rich black sesame, and that was it.

What annoyed me about Man Fu Yuan's is the thick and dry snowskin that was obviously subpar. These tasted like mooncake versions of dessert paus.

Ritz Carlton
Mini Bing Pi Green Tea Paste ($39 for 6 pcs)

Packaging for this was the most compact of the lot, nice!

ritz goes floral

Utterly Japanese, the well positioned red dot for the flower stamen.

ritz carlton green tea ping bi

Filled with a smooth green tea white lotus paste with light hints of powdered tea aftertaste, I'm no fan of green tea flavoured desserts (largely due to the bitter aftertaste) but Ritz Carlton's made me a convert. A well made mooncake without the fancifuls. A well deserved "signature" title.

Tung Lok

tung lok

Low Sugar Red Beans with Champagne Truffle
Mocha with Baileys Truffle
($44 for 8 pcs)

Shaped like mochi flowers, these were cute beyond comprehension. A pity these did not come in colourful shades.

Both were decent attempts on the famous liquor range.

Thank you my dear friends for yet another enjoyable outing, till the next! Let's see who are the like-minded...

Fen & Yuan, Elaine, Daniel and Lay Sian, Glenn, Charlene and Zhihao.

6 comments:

  1. The butt cheeks mooncakes are so cute! And everything looks good...

    You guys had soooo much fun too, I'm envious!

    ReplyDelete
  2. When I saw the list of mooncakes on the email, both Yuan and I concluded that at most, everybody will eat about half to a mooncake in total.

    But when we made ourselves so comfortable at Daniel's place plus the savoury and tea, oh my... this is so like a buffet.

    I am pretty sure we have come across better mooncakes at one point of our life but nothing beats eating with a great company... Makes it so memorable and each of us are asking for more... Judging from the fb's posts, none of us are sick of mooncakes and are still indulging... Can anything be more ideal than this? =)

    No wonder Mid Autumn is about getting together to sip tea and enjoy the moonlight with our loved ones and friends...

    ReplyDelete
  3. @ harris: you were missed!

    @ hungrytrotters: :)

    @ fen: you bet!! I never thought I'd end up eating so many mooncakes. yeah..somehow mooncakes when shared tastes so much better even if they weren't the bestest. That's what makes friendship special.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Heyy Phoebe & Chloe! Wah u really got a good close up of the ass mooncake. Hahaha. And i love the mooncakes from Xin's Cuisine. Wanted to exchange with you but I was too late T__T

    ReplyDelete
  5. *waves* we only ended up with 2 left so fastest fingers :P the butt mooncakes are really really cute lah! can't imagine the cuteness if we actually had all 12 of them in diff designs!

    ReplyDelete