With “autumn” just around the corner, it’s time for mooncakes in Singapore, mama!
In our recent roundup of 51 Things We Love about Singapore, we covered a number of our favourite local food and drink items, but it would have been impossible to include everything worthy of a mention. But we love mooncakes so much we wanted to give them their own article! If you’re not familiar, mama, mooncakes are a special, traditional way to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, which will happen on 15 September this year. Kiddos love it for its enchanting tale of Chang Er, the moon goddess, as well as the opportunity to play with all sorts of fun lanterns. We love it for these super yummy sweet snacks, which can range from the traditional (baked flaky pastry with a salted egg yolk – representing the full moon – and lotus seed paste), to the lighter “snowskin” varieties that can feature chocolate, fruits, and even Champagne or liqueurs. (Pro-tip: according to The Straits Times snowskin mooncakes are ever so slightly healthier and lower in calories in sodium.) This year there’s even a special Minion mooncake that we think toddlers would love.
Mooncakes are only available for a couple months a year, and the best places often sell out with pre-orders. Here’s a guide to the best and most inventive varieties available for 2016. Get ’em while they last, mama!
Emicakes are some of the most beautifully colourful mooncakes on the market, and they’re particularly known for their eggless and durian varieties. We know durian is generally a love-it-or-hate it proposition, mama, but if you’re a fan, emicakes’ Mao Shan Wang durian snowskin mooncake is an absolute must!
Emicakes Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road #B2-04 Singapore 238839, Tel: (+65) 6338 5433/6338 6433 (10am-10pm (Daily)
Emicakes Bedok, Blk 56 New Upper Changi Road #01-1298, Tel: (+65) 6441 8635 (10am-10pm Daily)
Emicakes Bukit Batok, Blk 636 Bukit Batok Central #01-08,
Tel: (+65) 6563 1508, 10am-9pm (Tues-Sat) 11am-8pm (Sunday-Monday-PH)
Emicakes Causeway Point, 1 Woodlands Square #B1-K25 Singapore 738099, Tel: (+65) 6891 0801 (10am-10pm Daily)
Emicakes Clementi, Blk 328 Clementi Avenue 2 #01-190 Singapore 120328, Tel: (+65) 6775 1361 (10.30am-8.00pm Daily)
Emicakes Kovan, Blk 203 Hougang St 21 #01-65, Tel: (+65) 6858 1563 (11am-9pm Daily)
Emicakes Tampines 1, 10 Tampines Central 1 #B1-15 Singapore 529536, Tel: (+65) 6789 5143 (10am-10pm Daily)
Emicakes Toa Payoh, Blk 116 Lorong 2 Toa Payoh #01-170, Singapore 310116, Tel: (+65) 6353 3282 (11am-8pm Daily)
We’re digging the flavour options at this newly-opened hotel along the river! They’ve of course got the baked classics with egg yolk and lotus seed paste, but how amazing does Cranberry Snowskin with Mochi sound, mama? Or Earl Grey with chocolate chips? There’s also a melon seed variety for the calorie-conscious!
The Deli at Goodwood Park Hotel is covering all the bases this year: on the avant garde front you’ve got Gin Pineapple Snowskin Mooncakes; for chocolate lovers there’s Dark Chocolate Crunchy Hazelnut Snowskin Mooncakes; and fruit lovers can choose from snowskin varieties like Yuzu Lychee, Mango with Pomelo and Cempedak (jackfruit). They also live up to their reputation as a durian lovers’ haven with a special Mao Shan Wang flavour to complement the other fruits.
Goodwood Park Hotel (The Deli), 22 Scotts Road, Singapore 2228221, Tel: (+65) 6730 1867/68, [email protected],
An early front-runner for fave mooncake of the season emerged when we went to Man Fu Yuan’s preview in June and were instantly smitten with the Snowskin Avocado with Chocolate Pearls and White Lotus Paste, which is smooth and creamy but less cloyingly sweet than you sometimes get with mooncakes. Another winner is the refreshing Yuzu Citrus with White Chocolate Truffle and White Lotus Paste. We also love the cool shophouse-style boxes these come in to evoke the hotel’s heritage district makeover!
Cherry Garden, the beautiful Chinese restaurant at Mandarin Oriental, focuses more on the traditional baked style than snowskin, but we like that they’ve got some low-sugar flavours including Silver Lotus Paste and Macadamia Nuts (for the hedonists among you don’t worry, the quartet also has a decadent Sea Salt Caramel and Single Yolk option!). There are just two snowskin flavours to choose from, but we’re intrigued by the combination of Green Tea Paste and Cranberry.
Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant at Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel is offering 11 different varieties to choose from, including low-calorie baked options like White Lotus Seed Paste Golden Baked Mooncake with Black Truffle, Waxed Duck, and their signature White Lotus Seed Paste. They’ve also got bonkers delicious snowskin flavours like Chocolate Brownie with Cookies & Honeycomb and Salted Caramel with Peanut Praline. These mooncakes come in a beautiful two-tier red treasure chest with an oriental trellis motif, so pretty!
Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel (Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant), 320 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238865, Tel: (+65) 6831 4708, www.singaporemarriott.com/mooncakes
Chocolate and peanut butter just might be our favourite dessert combo, so the Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate Feuilletine Snowskin Mooncake has got us salivating, especially since Raffles never disappoints (they also come through with super pretty keepsake packaging year after year). Other varieties on offer for 2016 include Earl Grey Tea and Chocolate Pearl Truffle, and Snowskin Champagne Truffle and Ganache.
Raffles Hotel Singapore, 1 Beach Road, Singapore 189673, Tel: (+65) 6412 1122, www.rafflesmooncake.com
This one’s for the kiddos! Available exclusively at Universal Studios Singapore at Resorts World Sentosa, this set of four baked Minions-themed mooncakes features the faces of the super-silly characters to go with four different flavours: Matcha, Banana, Pandan and Red Bean. They all come in an absolutely stunning Minion-yellow mooncake box that’s perfect to repurpose for play, along with a fun DIY Minion lantern.
Universal Studios Singapore, 8 Sentosa Gateway, Singapore 098269, www.rwsentosa.com/uss