The Mooncakes Are Out! Here’s Where To Order These Seasonal Treats Until They Last
With the Mid-Autumn Festival and a full moon upon us, we’re on the lookout for cool new variations to this traditional Chinese pastry
It’s mooncake season once again, or more precisely, the Mid-Autumn Festival happening this year on Friday, the 13th of September. This Chinese tradition happens during the full moon, signifying a bountiful harvest and a coming together of family. Starting this August, hotels and restaurants have already started selling this seasonal delicacy to be given as gifts to friends, family, and colleagues.
Essentially, what is a mooncake? While there may be regional variations, the one we’re most familiar with is baked, featuring a thick pastry crust with a paste-like filling, most commonly red bean, lotus seed, or mixed nuts, and sometimes with salted egg yolks inserted inside. They’re usually round in shape with a distinctive molded design and a Chinese character or symbol stamped on top.
These days, people no longer buy mooncakes to mark the harvest, but as a way to come together and celebrate unity and harmony, or simply as an excuse to indulge in this sweet treat. With the continued popularity of mooncakes, even among those who aren’t Chinese, the traditional versions have taken on many modern variations, with chefs and bakers experimenting with new designs, fillings, and crusts.
If you’re adventurous enough to try something new, here are three bold mooncake styles you’ll definitely want to try:
Lava and Custard Mooncakes at Hong Kong MX
Considered Hong Kong’s best-selling mooncake brand for the past 21 years, this esteemed HK-based bakery recently launched two pop-up locations in Manila just for mooncake season. There, you’ll be able to try the “fan favorite” Lava and Custard Mooncakes, among other variants. Just like a chocolate lava cake, this mooncake oozes with a luscious egg yolk custard when sliced open. Available until September 22, 2019 at pop-up stores in SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City and Unimart Capitol Commons, Pasig City, and online via www.lazada.com.ph
Snow Skin Mooncakes at Solaire
While Solaire Resort & Casino offers the usual traditional baked mooncakes, it also has something a bit different. Unlike the baked variety, Snow Skin Mooncakes sport a white glutinous rice crust, aren’t baked, and need to be kept chilled. They come in 5 uniquely complex flavor combinations: Mango Paste and Dried Mango, Raisin and Ang Pili Nut Lotus Paste, Custard Paste and Palet Noir Chocolate, Strawberry with Lotus Paste and Rum Hazelnut Chocolate, and Champagne Paste and Dried Apricot. The Snow Skin Mooncakes come in a set of 5 in a miniature fridge for P3,600. You can also catch Snow Skin Mooncake making classes during lunch hours at Red Lantern on September 1, 8, and 13, 2019. Available until September 13, 2019 at Red Lantern, House of Zhou, Oasis Garden Café, Fresh, The Patisserie, and The Food Court’s Bakery, Solaire Resort & Casino, Pasay City
Tea-infused Mooncakes at TWG
While TWG isn’t a Chinese restaurant, it does specialize in tea, with which mooncakes are best enjoyed. While the mooncakes are baked the traditional way, TWG infuses the fillings with 4 intriguing flavors: the Singapore Breakfast Tea-infused Constellation with brown lotus filling with roasted melon seeds and an embedded salted egg yolk; the Jewel with Chocolate Tea-infused brown lotus paste, chocolate chips, and crumble in a chocolate crust; the black-crusted Harvest with Mistral Tea and lemongrass-infused white lotus filling with strawberry almond paste; and the Moonlight with Matcha-infused lotus paste with a cherry heart. The mooncakes are priced at P398 per piece or P2,050 for a set of four, gift boxes included. Available until September 13, 2019 at TWG branches in Greenbelt 5, Makati; Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong; and Central Square, Bonifacio Global City