What’s better than dainty mooncakes to sum up a hearty Mid-Autumn Festival feast? Little parcels of sweetness packed with unexpected surprises within. Or even better, spiked ones.
This year, restaurants and bakeries have gone way beyond the classic combination of sugar and flour — churning out immaculately crafted desserts made from unique ingredients such as Tualang honey, rose jam and calamansi. Yuzu, the citrusy fruit popularised in Japan and Korea, has also been given a starring role in most mooncake menus this year.
Whether you're gifting or treating yourself, here are ten out-of-the-ordinary iterations of the traditional mooncake you’d happily surrender to.
Buy it at Valen’s Patisserie
Valen’s annual mooncake collection welcomes two new flavour combinations inspired by the flavours of Japan. Encased in a dark chocolate shell, the Matcha Sakura mooncake is filled with a fragrant green tea ganache and a delicate cherry blossom centre. On the other hand, the Yuzu Jasmine chocolate mooncake boasts floral jasmine notes and a bold, citrusy profile that cuts through the sweetness. Take your time to enjoy these decadent treats. And if you want a visually stunning cross-section for the 'Gram, cut them up with a warmed, sharp knife.
Email [email protected] or Whatsapp 019 260 2777 to order. Until Oct 4. RM98 for a set of four.
Bulgarian Rose Petal Jam and Pine Nuts
Buy it at Hilton Kuala Lumpur
The hotel has launched its “Royal Midnight” mooncake series, housed in a case (which can be repurposed into a jewellery box) decked out with a lunar medallion and silver embroidered clouds on a navy blue sheen fabric. However, the standout this year belongs to Chynna’s Bulgarian Blush, which comprises custard cream cheese, Bulgarian rose petal jam and pine nuts, enclosed in a delicate baby pink snow skin. To make your Mid-Autumn Festival an elaborate affair, round up your family members for a jovial high-tea session that includes traditional and snow skin mooncakes, complemented by Dilmah’s natural rosehip with hibiscus tea.
3 Jalan Stesen Sentral, KL. 03 2264 2264. Order via www.takehome.hiltonkl.com. Bulgarian Blush, RM38 nett. High-tea is available on weekdays, 12.30pm-5.30pm until Oct 4; RM236 nett for two.
Buy at Kitchen Confidante
Chef Karen Chai puts a unique spin on the traditional Cantonese mooncake with unconventional flavours and textures. Made with quality ingredients and natural colouring, the floral mooncakes are hand painted with edible gold ink and are available in six variations. The Baba Nyonya option is set apart from the rest as it incorporates savoury ingredients — belacan, dried shrimp chilli and chicken floss with lotus paste — which seems intimidating, but is an enjoyable change from the usual cloying mooncakes. But if you insist on something closer to a dessert, try the Honey Longan or Chocolate Peanut Mochi.
Email [email protected] or Whatsapp 012 898 2772 to order. RM68 for four; RM92 for six.
Rainforest Tualang Honey and Figs
Buy it at Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur
Creating creative mooncakes doesn’t necessarily need a whole lot of bells and whistles. Tapping the richness of our local bounty, Le Méridien has crafted a honeyed dessert imbued with the fruity fragrance of figs. Collected from the Malaysian rainforest by the Tualang Orang Asli, the “tualang” honey not only lends a tinge of sweetness to the snowskin mooncake but also provides wound-healing benefits. Get your cameras ready — the mooncake with a violet white marble exterior is made for social media.
2 Jalan Stesen Sentral, KL. Call 03 2263 7434 or email [email protected]
Buy at Keju by Carmen
Wagashi nerikiri are a type of Japanese confectionery often served alongside green tea. Handmade with a mixture of white bean paste, glutinous rice paste and filled with adzuki bean paste, these elegant sweets are less chewier than your average mochi but tastes just as good. As part of their Mid-Autumn offering, Keju by Carmen is including three of the desserts alongside cheese, grapes, peaches, raspberries, cherries, blueberries, crackers and other snacks in their grazing box. The boxes make impressive gifts and are sure to stand out.
Whatsapp 012 605 5481 to order. Delivery available. RM350 per box.
Yuzu Pandan with Pumpkin Seeds
Buy it at EQ Hotel
While EQ’s Nipah is famous for its musang king durian mooncake, executive sous chef Tan has created a selection of mini snowskin mooncakes that cater to the adventurous as well as the health-conscious. The pandan version is elevated with citrusy yuzu and speckled with pumpkin seeds for a bit of crunch. For more extraordinary flavours, pick from the restaurant’s inventive list that includes Taro with Red and Black Goji, Rose Lychee and Green Tea Red Bean with Mixed Nuts.
EQ, Equatorial Plaza, Jalan Sultan Ismail, KL. 03 2789 7777. Until Oct 1.
Moët and Chandon Champagne Snow Skin
Buy it at Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur
Li Yen has deftly transformed the bubbly fancy dinner staple into minutely detailed desserts with its champagne snowskin mooncakes. Regulars of the restaurant would also be familiar with dim sum chef Tan Tiong Guan’s exclusive Rosé Imperial Champagne variant, which has been a firm favourite every Mid-Autumn Festival. A dessert for the adults, this mooncake will give you a delightful rush, and have you seeking another drink (or two) right before bed.
168 Jalan Imbi. WhatsApp 018 646 8033 or WeChat @LiYenKL to place orders. Moët and Chandon Champagne Snow Skin, RM18 per piece; RM144 for a box of eight pieces.
Buy it at Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur
Nothing feels more celebratory than a dessert that combines the alluring properties of chocolate and brandy. Petite and nicely chilled, this snowskin mooncake is a treat that takes a long time to craft, but less time to eat. If you have a penchant for quality teas, chef Jimmy Wong has also prepared specialty tea mooncakes that highlights the flavours of pu er with tangerine skin or Yun House’s signature tea blend. The mooncakes come in a custom gift box, available in single- and double-decker editions.
145 Jalan Ampang. Call 03 2382 8640 or get in touch via the Four Seasons App. Until Oct 1.
Ice Cream Mooncake
Buy at Inside Scoop
If the ice cream parlour’s giant Supermoon Ice Cream Mooncake is too oversized for your family, get the four-piece mooncake box to enjoy your cold treat in small doses. We suggest the Lotus Biscoff caramel biscuit ice cream mooncake with the oozing salted caramel centre and the unicorn-looking snow skin mooncake with raspberry yoghurt and blue pea flower ice cream. Spare yourself the trouble with the knife and just go right in with a spoon.
Available online and in store. RM118 for four.
Kabocha (Pumpkin) Lotus with Single Yolk
Buy at Nobu Kuala Lumpur
Ever had vegetables in your mooncake? Nobu’s innovative option combines sweet pumpkin into a smooth lotus paste that wraps around a savoury yolk. The balance of flavours are spot on and the pumpkin lends an earthy flavour to the mooncake without being too overpowering, making it an ideal breakaway for the traditionalist. The Kabocha Lotus mooncakes are included in the Full Moon box, which also houses a Green Tea Lotus, Black Sesame Lotus and Red Bean Paste mooncake.
Menara 3 Petronas, Persiaran KLCC, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, KL. Call 03 2164 5084 to order. Until Oct 1. RM128 for four.