Over the moon(cakes)!
Mid-Autumn season means quality family time, bright lanterns and, yes, mooncakes. We know options are endless and sometimes it can be tricky to pick the best fit without sampling each one. Whether you’re looking for extravagant hampers or quirky flavours, we’ve highlighted the top offerings in Hong Kong.
Sometimes the packaging makes all the difference. Many places put extra care and effort into their mooncake boxes, so we wanted to share the ones we love the most.
This year Duddell’s has taken a contemporary approach to its hand-made cream custard mooncake offerings. Light up your mooncakes with its holographic lantern gift box featuring internal artwork by Marcel Dzama, entitled Blue Moon. A signature box of six mooncakes is $398 and available for pre-order.
Want a traditional cake that’s also in a pretty box? The Ritz-Carlton has just the ones you want. The hotel has teamed up with Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) students in Hong Kong to create two boxes – Stardust and Praise To The Moon – with mini egg custard mooncakes. Stardust was created by Anna Siu and Kaylee Chan, to celebrate bringing families together, while the Praise To The Moon by Olivia Shin and Helen Wong, takes inspiration from the legendary love story of Hou Yi and moon goddess, Chang E. The Stardust box with eight pieces (60 grams each) is $478 and the Praise To The Moon box of eight pieces (45 grams each) is $398.
Ying Jee Club
This year, Cantonese fine-dining restaurant the Ying Jee Club brings back its expertly handcrafted mini egg custard mooncakes from Executive Chef Siu Hin Chi and his culinary team. They are presented in an ornate purple gift box with a timeless full moon artwork. The six-piece mooncake set is available for $358.
Hong Kong’s newest luxury hotel is celebrating its inaugural Mid-Autumn Festival with a range of specially-curated mooncakes from The Butterfly Patisserie. There is something to suit everyone with full-sized traditional white lotus and golden lotus mooncakes, along with mini egg custard and assorted flavour varieties. All come in the Rosewood’s custom, elegant packaging, perfect for gifting during the holiday.
Rosewood Hong Kong, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 3891 8888, www.rosewoodhkshop.com
Ming Mooncakes by Langham Hospitality
The master chefs from Michelin-starred restaurants T’ang Court, Ming Court and Yat Tung Heen have this year ventured into the world of mooncakes. Delivered in a vibrant collector’s box (with artworks by Hong Kong’s own Vivian Ho), each set contains six mini mooncakes in either classic custard or seasonal kumquat flavours ($388 for the box). Order online and collect from one of its five restaurant locations.
Langham Hospitality, www.mingmooncake.com
Vive Cake Boutique
One of our favourite cake shops is bringing back its mooncake creations after a successful debut last year. Vive Cake Boutique is putting together gift boxes and hampers at a range of price points. All include the Shortcrusted Custard Mooncake made with a distinctive cookie style puff pastry (and just a hint of coconut!), filled with a decadent creamy custard. Hampers include Vive’s Organic Taiwan Tea and a selection of other baked goods.
Not your ordinary mooncake
Love the idea of mooncakes but not the treats themselves? These places have come up with some cool twists on the festival’s sweets.
We might be celebrating Mid-Autumn and the change of season that comes with it, but we all know that the heat is sticking around Hong Kong for a little while yet! Cool down with XTC’s Gelato Mooncakes. Available in a set of four flavours – chocolate, strawberry, crispy chocolate drop and HK milk tea – this is a mooncake we’re sure the whole family will enjoy! Get in before Saturday, 31 August for an early bird price of $244 (regular price $329).
Inspired by traditional Chinese blue and white porcelain, Sugarfina is offering its first-ever Mid-Autumn Festival candy and gift collection. Its Mooncake Candy Bento Box comes shaped like a Chinese vase and decorated with handcrafted paper flowers and glittering LED lights. The box includes two traditional mooncakes (baked to perfection), but more importantly, two signature Candy Cubes – Sparkle Pops and Champagne Bears! The Mooncake Candy Bento Box is $458 or if you’d prefer to skip the mooncake altogether, the Sweet Bloom 2-piece Candy Bento Box is $258.
Sugarfina, Shop 1023, 1/F IFC Mall, 1 Harbour View Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2868 5578
Original (but with a twist)
Want some variety in your mooncake selection? These shops have taken the traditional route but some have added to the ingredients to give their own take on mooncakes.
John Anthony has teamed up with The Cakery to create an innovative range of mooncakes that are all vegan as well as being free from gluten, dairy, egg, refined sugar, preservatives and artificial colouring (they are also low carb and have around 40% fewer calories than traditional mooncakes!). That doesn’t mean they have sacrificed on flavour! John Anthony contributes a Dark Chocolate and Sichuan Chilli Pepper mooncake to the box set of four, while The Cakery is including three flavours: Black and White Sesame, Rose and Mixed Berries and Mango, Ginger and Turmeric. Individual mooncakes are available for purchase for $88 and the set of four is $398.
W Hong Kong
Treat yourself (and your loved ones) to a signature W Hong Kong mooncake box. Two types of mooncakes have been whipped up by Sing Yin Cantonese Dining: the White Lotus Seed Paste Mooncake (with two egg yolks!), sold in a set of four for $458, and the Mini Golden Custard Mooncake which comes in a six-piece set for $428. Both come with two teabags of Teguanyin Classic tea.
For a taste of Shanghai, head straight to Old Bailey. Shanghai-style mooncakes are characterised by their crisp and buttery pastry (in contrast to their glossy Cantonese cousins). Old Bailey has taken this tradition and created a savoury pork mooncake alongside a sweet red bean mooncake, both with a rich, crumbly pastry. A box of six is available for pre-order for $238.
This year Starbucks has looked to its customers’ favourite drinks to inspire its mooncake selection. Choose from the Mocha Mochi Mooncake, made with a coffee flavoured mochi centre encased in a decadent chocolate filling or the Black Tea Earl Grey Mochi Mooncake which features a soft earl grey mochi centre. Pick some up at Starbucks stores across Hong Kong and Macau.
Blesscuit Bakery has a range of mooncake flavours and includes teas to match in its box sets. We like the sound of the Lychee Bird’s Nest and Citrus Custard flavours, but the traditional Creamy Custard and Rose Bird’s nest are also sure to please. Not so into mooncakes? Dive into the colourful blessing cookies instead!
Supporting a worthy cause
Kely and The Peninsula Boutique
Put your mooncakes (and your money) towards a good cause this year. KELY Support Group is an HK-based non-profit with the mission to equip young people with skills, knowledge and opportunities to support themselves. The year they are focusing on mental health and wellbeing. Since 2008, KELY has been partnering with The Peninsula Boutique for its annual charity sale. Order your box of eight Peninsula Mini Egg Custard Mooncakes for $328 and support this worthy cause (get in quick – orders close on Friday, 16 August).
Sassy Mama Tip: If you’re not a massive mooncake fan but have been given a lot as gifts, you can actually donate any extra or unwanted mooncakes to charities like Foodlink or Food Angel. This ensures they don’t go to waste and will give someone else some festive cheer over this important Hong Kong holiday. Additionally, please remember to recycle all boxes to help reduce rubbish. Lead by example – our little ones need it.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on 12, September 2017 by Sassy Mama Hong Kong and updated on 12, August 2019 by Jess Mizzi.