Ah, the humble mooncake. They’ve come a long way from being used as vessels for furtive wartime messages—the only war waged with mooncakes these days is between hotels and restaurants over who has the most outlandish flavours and/or package.
To help you pick out the best mooncake, we’ve sorted them into five separate categories to fit every type of mooncake-lover, and then some. Which one are you?
The One Who’s Tried Everything
Every year we’re inundated by a slew of weird and wacky mooncakes, each one more bizarre than the next. Remember the days where we used to baulk at durian-stuffed mooncakes? If you told someone you were going to make a laksa-flavoured mooncake today, nobody would be surprised. They’ll probably just ask if there’s hum inside or not.
For the jaded mooncake connoisseur, we present a classy—but tasty—creation by the Demon Chef himself, Alvin Leung. In his first-ever line of mooncakes for The Capitol Kempinski, Leung pays tribute to the old Capitol Theatre with these tasty popcorn-flavoured bakes. Each box comes with four baked Caramel Mixed Nuts and four Mini Golden Corn mooncakes. No crunchy bits here aside from the nuts, just the nostalgic taste of buttery sweet popcorn.
If you prefer your mooncakes old-school, Andaz makes them just like they used to—sans secret messages baked into the filling. It’s back to basics with this two-piece baked mooncake collection, one with White Lotus Paste with Yolk, and another with Lotus Paste and Melon Seeds. These tasty treats come in a chic, Peranakan-inspired lacquered box by home-grown brand Qua by Brex. #SupportLocal has never been tastier.
The One Who Doesn’t Like Mooncakes
Shockingly, there are those who just can’t stand the taste of mooncakes, baked, snowskin or otherwise. Whether you find the paste in the traditional baked ones too cloying, and you dislike ice-cream cakes masquerading as snowskins, here’s a suggestion that might pique your palate.
Three words: Pineapple custard mooncakes. Taiwanese bakery Sunny Hills’ sweet-and-savoury collection is just as delicate and delightful as the much-beloved pineapple tart—they taste just like the ubiquitous Chinese New Year treat, but with deliciously savoury undertones imparted by a dash of salted egg. Best of all, they come fun-sized, so you don’t feel too overstuffed (or guilty) for wolfing down an entire mooncake on your own.
The One With The Sweet Tooth
There are sweet mooncakes that are so saccharine they make your teeth hurt, and then there are sweet mooncakes with flavours that make you think back to simpler, happier times (like when mooncake flavours weren’t so complex). Often, people equate liking sweet or snowskin mooncakes to having a more juvenile or unrefined palette. Let Yan Ting at The St. Regis be the first to debunk both of those claims.
Their new Chendol Paste with Melon Seeds Snow Skin Mooncake is filled with aromatic coconut and gula melaka, reminiscent of the refreshing local dessert. And if you like bubble tea, you’ll like the Royal Milk Tea Paste with Oolong Tea Truffle Snow Skin Mooncake even more. It doesn’t come with tapioca pearls, but with an oozing tea truffle core and creamy milk tea paste, we’ll gladly let that slide.
The Health-Conscious One
Let’s be honest: If you wanted a healthy snack, you wouldn’t be eating a mooncake in the first place. And if a mooncake is really that healthy, is it really a mooncake at all?
Still, TungLok Group’s mooncakes stand out as a winner for health-conscious foodies.
Not only are their baked versions Health Promotion Board approved—they come with less sugar and are made with pure peanut oil, which is rich in ‘good’ fats—their snowskin mooncakes come with health benefits, too. The White Lotus Mini Snow Skin Mooncakes are infused with Moringa Leaf, a superfood that’s packed with vitamins, antioxidants and other health benefits. How’s that for a healthy mooncake?