Mid-Autumn Festival 2013 in Singapore : Mooncakes Galore!

Last Thursday (September 19, 2013) was the Mid-Autumn Festival and this was widely celebrated across Asia. What makes it interesting is how exactly each country celebrates this special day. Back in the Philippines, the Filipino-Chinese community would have rounds of Dice Games. This is one of my favorite activities as it's a fun game of luck and whatever happens, you get to go home with lots of goodies, items or if you're really lucky...more cash.

Here in Singapore, I don't think Dice Games are played but instead they tie this day in with the Lantern Festival. As early as a month ago, we have seen a lot of colorful lanterns being sold in mall atriums. I'm not quite sure yet what the lantern stands for but it sure looks really good to see the entire Chinatown district decorated with these colorful lanterns especially at night.

However, the main focus of this season are on these hand-crafted baked treats that we would give to friends, families and business partners as gifts. These are called Mooncakes and the story of how this came about dates back to the Yuan dynasty where mooncakes were made with a message inside. This was how the rebels spread the word about attacking the government on the night of the Moon Festival. Their plan was successful and brought about the establishment of the Ming dynasty.

singapore mooncake festival
I grew up enjoying these baked treats during the Mid-Autumn Festival back home. It was only when we moved here to Singapore that we realized that mooncakes are not just limited to the traditional baked kinds that are filled with lotus cream and salted egg. Our initiation to the world of mooncakes began when we visited the Mid-Autumn Festival display at the Takashimaya Mall. Oh boy, my jaw dropped when I saw the number of mooncake vendors present!

singapore mooncake festival
Here, I also first came across the much-talked about Snowskin Mooncake filled with Durian, Chocolate Truffle, Mango and Pomelo and a whole lot more. There's also an Ice Cream Mooncake by Haagen Dazs and a tea-infused kind by TWG. I love them all!

singapore mooncake festival
We went around for about an hour and went home with a bag filled with flyers! Being really OC, I laid them all down on the table and went through them one by one before making my choice. It was definitely a tough decision!

As we got nearer and nearer to the BIG day, here are some of the yummy mooncakes that Paul and I were able to enjoy this year:

singapore mooncake 1
Tai Thong Mooncake originates from Malaysia. I got us a box of 4 for only S$19.20 (original SRP $44) since they were having a sale as the date got nearer. We had a mix of Paul's favorite White Lotus Paste with Single Yolk as well as two interesting flavors --  Black Sesame White Lotus with Single Yolk and Mocha White Lotus Mooncakes.

singapore mooncake 2
We tried the Mocha White Lotus first and I personally liked the strong coffee taste. Yum! The salted egg inside had a creamy consistency which I prefer over most of the powdery kind we would have back home.

singapore mooncake 7
We also got to try the Baked White Lotus Mooncake from the famous Szechuan Court of Fairmont Hotel. This is one of the more expensive kind of mooncakes being sold and you can really see the quality of this one versus the others. It was less oily and the lotus paste was very good. The packaging was also very pretty as it came in a red velvet drawer-like box with a picture frame on top. It definitely makes a great gift.

singapore mooncake 8
Look at the bright yellow egg yolk inside! I normally remove this as I just want to enjoy the sweet lotus paste but I tried to be more bold this year. Well, let's just say I'm still not very fond of it but I don't hate it anymore. Paul declared that this is one yummy piece of mooncake.

singapore mooncake 3
Knowing how much I love durian, Paul surprised me with a box of Mao Shan Wang Durian Snowskin Mooncakes from Goodwood Park Hotel. Sweet!

You see, I just found out that there are various durian grades available and what we normally have is the D24 which is widely available all over the region. Just recently, I was able to taste the Mao Shan Wang which is one of the more premium durian grades found here in Singapore and in Malaysia. I tell you, I'm never going back to D24 ever again! This one was creamier, more flavourful and had zero bitter aftertaste. I love it! I guess I've been raving about it so much that it was obviously a no-brainer for Paul when he went out to buy some more mooncakes.

singapore mooncake 4
This was my first ever Snowskin Mooncake and it definitely left a wonderful first impression. What makes it different is that it's made of glutinous rice flour similar to the Japanese Mochi. We were also told that Goodwood Park makes the best Durian Snowskin Mooncakes in the land! Of course, Paul didn't settle for less. The trick to eating snowskin mooncake is to take this out of the freezer an hour before slicing it. Super yummy!

There you have it, three delicious kinds of mooncakes for our first Mid-Autumn Festival here in the Lion City. Looking forward to trying more brands and variants next year.

How about you? What's your favorite mooncake?

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