These mid-autumn offerings are the prettiest, cutest lot yet. We dare you to disagree with us
Photo: Singapore Finest It’s mooncake season and this year – and when it comes to looks, flavours and presentations, chefs and bakers are outdoing themselves with some of the most interesting and beautiful creations we’ve ever seen. Slide on to see what this season has to offer. These mooncakes are arguably the cutest we've received. Not only does the giant Gudetama tin look oh-so-adorable, the mooncakes themselves, embossed with the image of the perpetually lazy egg, are equally easy on the eye. Flavour-wise, don't expect anything outrageous with this set of mooncakes – you’ll get classics like Double Yolk White Lotus, Single Yolk Pandan, and the Full Moon Grandeur -- a custard and sesame seed mooncake. We enjoyed the Pu Er Tea mooncake is the most. It was sweet without being cloying, with a pleasantly bold aroma. The melon seeds that speckle each mooncake lend a light crunch to each bite. Enjoy this confection with a steaming pot of Chinese tea, as the clean and aromatic notes of tea are a great complement to this mildly sweet mooncake. Price: A gift set of four costs $78, and comes with a 20% discount voucher for the Gudetama Cafe (applicable with a minimum spend of $80) Where: The Gudetama Cafe, Esso (Cheers) stations, Joe & Dough outlets, and the Soup Spoon outlets till 4 October 2017. ALSO READ: THE TRUTH ABOUT THAT LOBSTER NASI LEMAK EVERYONE’S GOING NUTS FOR We have to admit, these mooncakes from OLLELLA are the most inventive we’ve ever seen – with 3D-bunnies that are almost too cute to eat. Almost. OLLELLA teamed up with Little Miss Bento, a food artist who’s known for her super cute and skilful bento art. The pink bunny (see photo on the right) has a raspberry rose flavour with a distinct lychee centre, and the white bunny has a strawberry gelèe centre that is drenched in white peach champagne. The berries give a refreshing tartness to the mooncakes, and snow-skin is similar to mochi or tang yuan, giving it a nice chewy texture. You should also give the moon choux a try. Though they're far from traditional, these choux au craquelin (choux puffs with a crunchy crust that crackles in in your mouth) are delectable. There's lychee rose, honey plum, pandan coconut, mango white chocolate and passionfruit flavours, but our favourite was the Vanilla Mascarpone – a rich concoction of real vanilla beans and smooth, creamy mascarpone cheese. Price: $48 - $78, depending on type and quantity of mooncakes Where: OLLELLA store at 3 Petain Road, Residences@Somme, #01-01, Singapore 208108, and Takashimaya's Mid-Autumn Fair till 4 October 2017 ALSO READ: 10 EASY AND ACCESSIBLE FOOD SWAPS FOR A HEALTHIER YOU These beautiful hand-crafted mooncakes – with their innovative flavours – look as good as they taste. Take for example, the Roselle and Red Date Snowskin Mooncake. Sweet red date paste replaces the usual lotus paste, balanced out by the floral yet smoky notes of roselle. If you’re don't mind trying a more herby and aromatic mooncake, give the Rosemary, Almond, and Green Tea Snowskin Mooncake a go. With green tea paste and crunchy almonds forming the base, the rosemary lends a fresh, herby aroma to the confection, something that you wouldn't normally think works with sweet foods since rosemary is more often used to elevate savoury food. Price: $72 nett for a box of the garden collection (one of each piece) Where: Till 4 October Man Fu Yuan Shoppe (InterContinental Hotel), Change Alley, Compass One, Jurong Point, Nex, Tangs, Ngee Ann City, Takashimaya, Vivocity, Tangs. Till 3 October Bishan Junction 8 and Tampines Mall ALSO READ: COULD THIS EXPLOSIVE SNACK BE SINGAPORE’S NEXT MOST INSTAGRAMMABLE DESSERT? Luxuriant, elegant, and refined. That's the only way to describe TWG Tea's new mooncake and tea collection decked in vibrant hues of jade and gold. We can't think of anything better than hot tea to wash down sweet confections like mooncakes, so it's great that TWG Tea created a specialised Lotus Jade Tea to go with its mooncakes. The Moonlit snow-skin mooncake is filled with mousseline infused with the very same tea, and has a white chocolate heart encasing a sweet Nashi pear marmalade. Also try the decadent Daydream traditional mooncake, that has a vivid scarlet skin. Cut into it, and you'll find a white lotus paste filling studded with blueberries and an almond-blueberry puree heart. And with the mooncake being infused with TWG Tea’s Red Balloon Tea, you’ll pick up that slight tangy sweetness with each bite. Price: $70 for two mooncakes paired with the Lotus Jade Tea in the Haute Couture Tea Collection; $60 for a set of four mooncakes; $16 for an individual mooncake Where: Available at all TWG Tea Salons & Boutiques till 4 October 2017 ALSO READ: HAWKER GOES HAUTE: HERE'S WHY MOD-SIN IS TRENDING RIGHT NOW This one is for the unabashed durian lovers, especially those who go crazy for durian desserts. Don't expect any lotus paste, the inside of this mooncake is pure (meaning 100%) mao shan wang durian. The creamy, luscious, and custard-like mao shan wang filling is complemented by a bamboo charcoal snow-skin that’s generously sprinkled with shimmery gold dust. The mao shan wang filling has no preservatives, cream, or added sugar, so maybe instead of buying whole durians back home, surprise your loved ones with these gorgeous and decadent treats instead. Price: $88.80 for a box of four Where: Available at Takashimaya, Nex, and VivoCity. also available online at www.goldenmoments.sg ALSO READ: THE OH SO FAMOUS STARBUCKS’ PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE IS FINALLY GRACING SINGAPORE SHORES You can always count on Goodwood Park Hotel to come up with fresh and innovative desserts. And this season, it’s no different. The hotel has launched two snowskin mooncakes inspired by two bubbly beverages we love – apple cider and root beer. The Root Beer Snowskin Mooncake has a tinge of rum for a boozy kick, while the additional vanilla beans enhance the sweet taste of creamy root beer. The Apple Cider Snowskin Mooncake, on the other hand, is sweet and tangy, with crunchy bits of diced apples thrown in for bursts of freshness that go well with the mild boozy taste of cider. But we're most intrigued by the Prickly Pear with Bergamot Snowskin Mooncake. Make no mistake, the prickly pear is the very spiky fruit of the cactus plant, and high in Vitamins B and C. The fruit adds juiciness and a mellow, fresh sweetness to the mooncake. Diced pears enhance the freshness, while adding a crisp bite. Bergamot elevates the mooncake with its citrusy notes. Price: $52 for four pieces, $32 for two pieces Where: Goodwood Park Hotel; Mooncake Call Centre at 67301867; or online at http://festivepromotions.goodwoodparkhotel.com/ ALSO READ: KIKI NOODLES: WHY SINGAPOREANS ARE CRAZY ABOUT THESE INSTANT NOODLES Shang Palace has a new set of (of mostly low-sugar white lotus seed paste) mooncakes it brings to the table, with an exception being the unique Mixed Nuts with Chicken Sausage Ham, which we found to be a mixture of sweet and savoury. While the chicken ham is undeniably salty, the lotus paste brings sweetness to the palate, while the nuts add crunch to the mix. It's certainly an acquired taste. Go for it if you like a savoury kick in your desserts. But whether the chicken ham mooncake appeals to you or not, you're likely to love the ornate box that contains the mooncakes. The boxes are adorned with an elegant floral pattern, have Oriental engravings on the front panel, and golden knobs on each drawer. Price: From $70 per box of mooncakes. Where: Shangri La Hotel, Takashimaya, VivoCity, Parkway Parade, Jurong Point, NEX, Suntec City and Raffles Xchange till 4 October 2017; https://slsfestive.oddle.me/ till 2 October 2017 ALSO READ: THE DIRTY TRUTH ABOUT THESE "HEALTH" FOODS The chocolatier has created four contemporary, sleek, and indulgent versions of the mooncake as we know it. Don’t even think about lotus paste, these are purely chocolate treats at their core. Case in point – the Raspberry Dark Chocolate Pastry Mooncake has a tangy raspberry-chocolate financier (almond cake) which is layered with a silky layer of dark chocolate ganache. If you want something a little sweeter or nuttier, go for the Sea Salt and Hazelnut Milk Chocolate Pastry Mooncake. The light and fluffy hazelnut milk sponge cake is a pleasant surprise in this mooncake, and is made extra indulgent with creamy, hazelnut-studded, milk chocolate on top. Price: $79 for a box of eight. Where: Godiva outlets islandwide ALSO READ: 10 PLACES TO DINE LIKE A TRUE SINGAPOREAN THIS NATIONAL DAY These artsy and picture-perfect mooncakes are the brainchild of Non Entree Desserts, Poppy & Co., and Vivace Wines. Because Non Entree Desserts is known for its deceivingly savoury looking creations, such as “Bak Chor Mee” made with mango vermicelli noodles and coconut-lime parfait fishballs, we knew we were in for something surprising. Vivace Wines on the other hand, supplies its exclusive Cantini Prosecco which fuels the alcoholic buzz in one of the mooncakes, while Poppy & Co, provides the ingredient of premium Speculoos Cookie Butter. We certainly weren't let down by the mooncakes which had vibrant flavour combinations such as acai with white chocolate prosecco truffle, and Speculoos cheesecake with salted egg yolk. They sure do know how to pick and combine the best food trends to create their mooncakes! Price: $68 for a box of four Where: Non Entree Dessert, Poppy and Co., Vivace Wines and Redmart ALSO READ: KEEN TRAVELLER? HERE'S HOW TO EARN AIR MILES WHEN YOU FLY, DINE AND INDULGE YOUR WAY THROUGH THE SKIES There’s no unboxing with these mooncakes, only unpacking. Crowne Plaza has packed its mooncakes into a chic little vintage-style suitcase, in keeping with its location at Changi Airport. We loved the brown trimming, gold hardware and matching leather luggage tag that came with it. If you’re gifting this to someone who loves to travel, you’ve basically given them a carry-on luggage they can choose to use or keep as home decor. It’s a versatile and multi-faceted gift you should definitely consider. As for the mooncakes, you can get the usual white lotus with yolk, but also give some of their new signatures a try, such as the Salted Green Bean with Taro mooncake – filled with savoury green bean paste, and a creamy purple yam mash centre. Or go for the Lychee Bits with White Lotus Paste mooncake. The lychee bits are fresh and fruity, but a hidden ingredient in the paste – lima beans, enrich the mooncake with a buttery texture. Price: $70 - $138 per suitcase Where: Lobby Lounge at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport, Bugis Junction 8, Tampines Mall, Jurong Point, Changi Airport Terminal 3 (Basement 2, opposite Kopitiam Food Court), Compass One ALSO READ: 5 OF THE BEST HOLIDAY DESTINATIONS FOR SOLO TRAVELLERS If snowskin mooncakes are better than traditional ones in your book, you can be pretty sure you'll take to the Harmony Mochi mooncakes by Häagen-Dazs. These treats come in two flavours, mango and strawberry. The core of the mochi mooncakes are creamy yet invigorating ice creams, and the skins are made from premium Japanese mochi skins that are delectably soft and chewy. The mango mochi mooncake is tart but fresh, with a golden centre of real mangoes. The strawberry mochi mooncake, on the other hand, tastes more like yoghurt and berries. Though there's a slight tanginess to it, it is balanced by the milky taste of cream and sweetness from the strawberry. We loved how the mooncakes were not overly sweet and are great for nibbling on when it's a hot day. Price: $75 per box of four pieces Where: Available at all Häagen-Dazs outlets islandwide ALSO READ: WHERE TO HAVE THE BEST DUCK CONFIT, BEEF TARTARE AND OTHER FRENCH CLASSICS IN SINGAPORE
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