The Chinese Mid-Autumn celebration, commemorated by the custom of eating mooncakes and holding moon-viewing parties, falls on 1 October this year.
The festival stretches back to China’s Song Dynasty or even earlier and is so named as it is thought to originate from the post-autumn harvest festival, when farmers gave thanks for a good harvest, . Due to the full moon that coincides with this period, legends about the moon became attached to the festival, and the significance of the moon as symbol of reunions became entwined with the form of the traditional baked mooncake, giving rise to the festival's other moniker: the Mooncake Festival.
The annual roll-out of mooncakes can seem like a competitive sport, with many hotels and restaurants outdoing each other with elaborate packaging and creative flavours. This year, though COVID-19 measures have dampened gatherings and dining out, the mooncake offerings are as vibrant and inventive as ever. With over a month left to enjoy these treats, we share our standout favourites from 8 MICHELIN-listed Singapore hotels.
Going local at The Fullerton Hotel
Standout flavour: Yuan Yang (Kopi with Milk Tea) Snowskin
Presentation: Pastel pink and turquoise gift boxes with intricate motifs
Perfectly capturing the spirit of local, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore’s new Yuan Yang snowskin is a pairing of Nanyang-style coffee with Hong Kong-style milk tea, melding the right amount of sweetness and a tinge of bitterness. Other flavours in the Fullerton Snow Skin Treasures Classic Box ($70, one each of 4 flavours) include tangy Passion Fruit with Chin Chow, inspired by the local grass jelly drink, citrusy Orange with Salted Kumquat, and White Lotus Paste with Single Yolk Snow Skin.
20% early bird discount till 6 Sep for online purchases. Click here to order or visit The Fullerton Cake Boutique, 1 Fullerton Square.
‘Fruit basket’ from Goodwood Park Hotel
Standout flavour: Orange with Grape snowskin
Presentation: Classic yellow box in 2 and 4 piece variants
Aside from the hotel’s mastery in durian mooncakes (they have D24, Black Thorn and Mao Shan Wang varietals), this year’s newcomer flavours include Orange with Grape snowskin ($37 for 2 pieces) and Japanese Sweet Potato with Pumpkin-Coconut Centre snowskin ($41 for 2 pieces). The former is refreshingly fruity with crisp pieces of red grape, while the latter uses prized purplish satsumaimo (autumn sweet potato) for its creamy taste.
Of note is also the hotel’s 120th Anniversary Mooncake ($108), a massive traditional baked white lotus paste mooncake containing 12 salted egg yolks, presented in an intricately etched gold and red gold gift box with floral motifs. It is only available in limited quantities.
25% early bird discount till 31 Aug with purchase of two boxes (exclusions apply). Click here to order or visit The Deli, Goodwood Park Hotel, 22 Scotts Road. Till 1 Oct.
8 snowskin wonders at Regent Singapore
Standout flavour: Pistachio, Fig and Amarena Cherry snowskin mooncake
Presentation: Lantern style box with fairy lights included
For those who love variety, Regent’s Snowskin Collection ($85 for 8) is a tour de force of each creation in their annual collection. The four new flavours are Double Espresso and Almond Marzipan (Basilico), Pistachio, Fig and Amarena Cherry (Basilico), Macapuno – Plantation Rum, spiced coconut and yuzu (Manhattan) and Orange and Pine Nuts (Summer Palace). The creations are a collaboration between the hotel’s outlets and one-MICHELIN-star Summer Palace’s Chinese dim sum chef Leong Kwok Sing. These join the perennial flavours of Gryphon Green Tea with Melon Seeds (Tea Lounge), Black Sesame Paste, Mao Shan Wang Durian and White Lotus Paste with Egg Yolk and Melon Seeds (all Summer Palace).
Click here to order or visit Lobby Booth, Regent Singapore, 1 Cuscaden Road. Till 1 Oct.
Peranakan blooms at InterContinental Singapore
Presentation: Four-tier turquoise and pink tingkat (tiffin carrier) metal box
Standout flavour: Chendol snowskin
Enjoy your Peranakan desserts in amply proportioned mooncake form this year at InterContinental Singapore. Each vividly coloured snowskin creation is based on a local dessert and moulded in MICHELIN Plate-rated Man Fu Yuan’s signature blooming rose silhouette. The four flavours ($88 per box) are: Durian Pengat, which has creamy coconut milk-enriched durian encased in bright blue pea flower tinted skin; Pulut Hitam with candied longans and coconut; Pandan and Coconut Kaya, which features a jammy centre; and Chendol, which offers added texture from chunky red beans. Keep these in the freezer till you are ready to eat.
Click here to order or visit Man Fu Yuan Shoppe, Level 1 InterContinental Singapore, 80 Middle Road. Till 1 Oct.
Tropical twist at JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach
Standout flavour: Single Yolk Lychee Lotus
Presentation: Deluxe dark burgundy box featuring two-paneled 'doors' with gold-coloured knobs
Infused with the creativity of MICHELIN Plate-rated Madame Fan, the new baked mooncake flavour this year holds a delightful twist of lychee essence. The Single Yolk Lychee Lotus Paste is delicately sweetened, and is low in sugar. Get it together with the Double Yolk Lotus Paste, Pu’er with Chia Seeds and Premium Mixed Nuts in the Baked Mooncake Medley ($78, one of each).
25% discount till 1 Oct with eligible credit cards. Click here to order or visit the Festive Counter, Level 1, JW Marriott Singapore South Beach, 30 Beach Road.
A classic tradition at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore
Standout flavour: White Lotus Seed Paste with Double Yolk
Presentation: Luxe red compartment box that doubles up as stationery desk box
If you're looking for the classics, The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia does them best. Opt for the White Lotus Seed Paste with Double Yolk ($84 for 4 pieces), which is not too sweet. Fans of the hotel’s snowskin creations will be pleased to know the creamy Snowskin Mao Shan Wang Durian snowskins are now available in a set of four regular sized pieces ($86).
20% discount till 30 Sep with eligible credit cards. For MICHELIN readers: key in “MG25” prior to check out for a 25% discount when you purchase from the online store. Click here to order or visit Colony Bakery, Level 3, 7 Raffles Avenue. Till 1 Oct.
Perfectly classic at Pan Pacific Singapore
Standout flavour: Hazelnut Yuzu snowskin
Presentation: Elegant crimson treasure box with wooden lattice centrepiece finished in satin cloth
Pan Pacific Singapore treads the fine line between traditional and modern with every snowskin mooncake ($68.80 for box of 4) and baked creation ($69.80 for box of 4) that taste as good as they look. Their three new snowskin flavours for the year include Matcha Black Sesame, Soursop Lychee and Raspberry Chocolate, each deserving of the limelight. However, it is last year’s favourite Hazelnut Yuzu, with its contrast of dark chocolate and bursting yuzu freshness that reminds in vivid memory. The baked selections offer low-sugar Jade Paste with Melon Seeds and White Lotus Paste with Macadamia Nuts that don’t sacrifice on flavour.
25% early bird discount till 31 Aug with eligible credit cards. Click here to order or visit Hai Tien Lo, Level 3 Pan Pacific Singapore, 7 Raffles Boulevard. Till 1 Oct.
Options galore at Shangri-la Hotel
Standout flavour: Signature Mini Baked Custard with Bird’s Nest
Presentation: A flower-adorned classic red tin
Shangri-La Hotel pulls out all the stops with the biggest collection of flavours. Check out: Limited Edition Mini Vegan Mooncake ($138, 8 pieces) conceptualised by chef Damian Peidrahita who specialises in plant-based cuisine, accompanied by a lantern box lit by LED lights. A Limited Edition Peranakan-Inspired Gift Box Set ($118, 4 pieces) is designed by Benny Ong in the style of a Peranakan heirloom, and features four baked mooncakes with bak kwa, pork floss and nuts, with numbering from 001 to 999. Aficionados however celebrate the return of the Signature Mini Baked Custard with Bird’s Nest ($120, 8 pieces), by Shang Palace’s executive chef Mok Kit Keung.
Order online here, with self-collect and delivery options available. Till 1 Oct.
Unconventional traditions at Marina Bay Sands
Standout flavour: Baked Azuki Mooncake
Presentation: Sustainable, minimalist four-tier cardboard box design, doing away with need for a plastic carrier with its built-in handle
Marina Bay Sands’ baked puff pastry and chocolate creations are innovative while still Asian at its core. Encased in Western-style butter puff pastry, the Baked Cempedak with salted egg yolk centre and Baked Azuki with mashed red bean and sweet almond paste ($12 each) are satisfyingly toothsome, while richly filled with wholesome ingredients. The chilled mooncakes are entremets-inspired layered desserts. Chocolate-covered Sweet Potato Mooncake comprises pandan coconut ganache, velvety Japanese purple sweet potato lotus paste, and a Japanese purple sweet potato roll biscuit base. While the Chocolate-covered Black Sesame Mooncake features black sesame mousse, banana biscuit base, black sesame lotus paste and hōjicha crémeux. Both are encased in dark chocolate shells with embellishments.
Click here to order or visit Origin + Bloom, Hotel Lobby Tower 3, Marina Bay Sands Hotel, 10 Bayfront Avenue. Till 1 Oct.