Getting bored of the usual Cantonese-style mooncakes? Makers of these festive pastries are getting creative with fruit and floral fillings, low-sugar alternatives, lotus seed paste infused with tea or coffee, and other savoury varieties – the surprise keeps us on our toes every year. And don’t forget mooncakes from other Chinese provinces too!
*Ratings below are given out of five to help you select mooncakes based on your preference of sweetness, moistness, oiliness and size.
Text by Iris Wong
Cuisine Cuisine – Mini Rose Purée and Roselle Mooncakes
$398/a box of eight
The Taste: encased in a thin, milky skin, the rose jam-infused egg custard purée filling – though a bit powdery – is certainly one-of-a-kind, while the healthy addition of dried roselle gives the pastry a zesty kick.
Crave Verdict: the fuchsia-coloured filling wasn’t very appealing, but it definitely tasted better than it looked. We loved the warm rosy aroma that gushed out upon tearing open the packaging, as well as the tartness of roselle.
Dynasty, Renaissance Harbour View – Mini Pandan Paste and Salted Egg Yolk Mooncakes
$258/a box of six pieces
The Taste: having tried so many mooncakes, the pandan flavour has proven to be quite a refreshing one, as it is well-balanced with the sweetness of the lotus seed paste. Though the salty egg yolk didn’t quite come together with the rest of the mooncake.
Crave Verdict: we enjoyed the sweet pandan taste, but probably more so without the yolk.
Harbour Plaza 8 Degrees – Fresh Pineapple and Custard Salted Egg Yolk Mooncake
$288/a box of six
The Taste: this mooncake reminds us of the Taiwanese pineapple cake, except in mooncake form. The fresh pineapple makes the mooncake creamier, while still retaining a rich custard flavour.
Crave Verdict: we were surprised with how moist the mooncake is. The zestiness of the pineapple worked wonderfully with the custard.
Hullett House – Lotus Seed Paste with Green Tea and Lemon Mooncake
$388/a box of six assorted mini mooncakes
The Taste: Hullett House infused their house green tea into this mini mooncake and we were quite impressed with it. The tea flavour appeared as a subtle, slightly bitter aromatic aftertaste that lingered on. We couldn’t quite taste the lemon, and would suggest adding actual lemon bits for more bite and zest.
The Taste: the taro paste is used to substitute lotus paste in authentic Chiu Chow mooncakes, which means lighter flavours and less sweet. The yolk is powdery, and overall a bit dry, but the flaky puff pastry is a welcoming alternative to the traditional doughy crust.
Crave Verdict: if Cantonese-style mooncakes are all that you’ve been having, we would certainly recommend Pak Loh Chiu Chow’s mooncake for a change.
Tai Pan – Mango & Mung Bean Paste Snowy Mooncake
$205/a box of nine assorted mooncakes
The Taste: as the bakery to popularise snowskin mooncakes, Tai Pan’s mango and mung bean mooncakes certainly didn’t disappoint. The skin is deliciously mochi-like, while the fruity mango purée centre really lifts the mushy mung bean paste without being too sweet.
Crave Verdict: snowskin mooncakes are a generally healthier option, and we really liked Tai Pan’s. The chewiness of the skin worked really well with the fruity flavour. It’s a thumbs-up from us.
The Mandarin Cake Shop, Mandarin Oriental – Mini Low-sugar White Lotus and Pine Seed
$378/a box of six
The Taste: while the skin is bit dry, we like the less sweet lotus seed paste that didn’t stick to the roofs of our mouths. The pine seeds added texture and crunch without overpowering the rest of the mooncake.
Crave Verdict: they got us at low-sugar, and then there’s the immaculate packaging. The inclusion of pine seeds is great, which gives a nice crunch that is not found in traditional mooncakes.
Tsui Hang Village – Mini Cumquat Purée Mooncake with Mandarin Peel
$288/a box of “Full Moon Duo” of assorted mooncakes
The Taste: the mandarin peel takes centre stage here, but works quite well with the citrusy cumquat purée. We also found chunks of mandarin peel in the filling, which provided a nice bite to it.
Crave Verdict: if you’re looking for something less sweet, or if you like the taste of chen pi, this is the one for you. With both mandarin peel and cumquat, it doesn’t get more Chinese than this.
Yan Toh Heen, Intercontinental Hong Kong – Spanish Iberico Ham & Mixed Nuts Mooncake
$328/a box of six
The Taste: Seems dry upon first look, but as we bit into the mooncake the skin and fillings all melted together with a pleasant savoury taste of Iberico ham. The mixed nuts (walnuts, cashews, macadamia and pistachio) gives the mooncake a nice bite.