The Mid Autumn Festival is also known as the Chinese Moon Festival. It falls on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, which is in the middle of autumn (in China) & for this year, that would be somewhere mid Sept 2011.
I remembered that mooncakes are usually sold about a month before the actual day, but now, or at least for this year, I noticed most hotels are already selling & taking orders for this traditional treat! And I had my FIRST mooncake of 2011 just last week courtesy of Sunway Resorts Hotel & Spa!
To be honest, I’m not a mooncake fan. And neither do I like rice dumplings. But when prepared well, I do enjoy both of these traditional delicacies, even up to the point of being addicted!
And I have certainly developed an addiction for some of the mooncakes available here at West Lake Garden Chinese Restaurant, especially so the Snow Skin Green Tea with Royal Milk Tea and Mocha Paste; a delightful creation that’s absolutely “bursting” with the aroma of tea. It first hits your palate with bitter-ish nuances from its outer green tea layer, followed by the creamy fragrant layer of milk tea reminiscent of our local favourite “teh tarik” (pulled tea) & then the familiar favourite of mocha ends it all on the perfect note. Oh, I’m certainly in love with this one!
There were a total of 6 baked versions & 4 snow skin ones from West Lake Garden Chinese Restaurant this year, and yes, I managed to sample all of them at one go! I only took a slice each from each variety of course, but I had no “heavy” stuffed feeling even after 10 “wedges” of mooncakes, primarily due to the “low sugar” & ” low oil” content of each.
BAKED: Golden Baked Assorted Organic Nuts.
This is one of the traditional flavours – and one I hated the most. LOL. The primary reason would be the cloyingly sweet taste, followed by the funny taste of candied melon (one of the ingredients commonly added into this version) & also because it’s annoyingly sticky.
But the one I had here surprised me, and proven to me once again that minor tweaks to old traditional recipes (adjusted correctly) bears favourable results, and may even convert a non-traditionalist like me.
BAKED: Golden Baked Low Sugar White Lotus Paste with Salted Dried Shrimp.
This hits all the right notes between savoury satisfaction & sweet pleasure. I relished the spicy kick, coupled with the fragrant dried shrimp’s, which was distinctive yet subtly pungent & very cleverly partnered with the sweetness and smooth texture of the lotus seed paste. *DOUBLE THUMBS UP*! If you have to go fusion this year for mooncakes, let this be your choice!
SNOW SKIN: Snow Skin Chocolate Whisky Paste.
This is one of the “modern” hip flavours for this year! The whisky was very subtle though, so don’t expect too much. Still, if you want your mooncakes with an alcoholic twist, this would be the only version available here that contains booze.
SNOW SKIN: Low Sugar Sesame with Pistachio Paste.
From what I have tasted that evening, Chinese Master Chef Chan Choo Kean’s recipes of the original/basic paste of lotus, sesame & red bean for the mooncakes are perfect (for me personally at least). It was smooth, non-oily, doesn’t stick to the roof of your mouth palate & tasted purely of the original seed (be in lotus, sesame or red bean) flavour.
Take for instance the one below; a snow skin layer encloses the thick, tar-black puree of pure roasted black sesame; & the pistachio paste added a nice nutty flavour to the overall mooncake.
SNOW SKIN: Snow Skin Golden Baked Low Sugar White Lotus Paste with Black Sesame and Custard Paste.
This is another flavour making its debut this year. This one is matched with the perennial favourites of lotus seed paste & black sesame paste, with an added silky smooth custard centre in replacement of the salted egg yolks.
SNOW SKIN: Snow Skin Low Sugar White Lotus Paste with Red Date Paste.
The faultless original filling of white lotus seed paste paired well with the subtle sweet aroma of red dates. Two different dimensions of sweetness on the palate at once.
We can ignore traditions entirely, and the conventional BAKED varieties of Low Sugar White Lotus Paste and Golden Baked Low Sugar Red Bean Paste are available of course.
** marvellous thin pastry..
Chef Chan creates low-in sugar mooncakes without compromising their delicate taste and traditional ingredients. And after tasting his creations, I can attest to that claim.
BAKED: Golden Baked Low Sugar Jade Custard Paste.
A personal favourite of mine. Well, everything flavoured with pandan is!
Oh, I had all that as desserts by the way, and this was my dinner prior to the MOONCAKE FEST!
SOUP: Double-Boiled Soup with Dried Seafood and Cordyceps. Amazingly rejuvenating & wholesome soup.
MAIN COURSE: Crystal must have read my mind, for I LOVE fried rice & couldn’t have asked for more when I was served this ‘Yong Chow’ Fried Rice served with Sauteed Prawn Ball in Superior XO Sauce‘. Who cares about carbs really? Heh..
DESSERTS before desserts.
Homemade Ginger Tea with Black Sesame Rice Dumpling. Perfect for my stomach wind ailments.
About West Lake Garden Chinese Restaurant:
Located on the Lobby Level of Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa with a stunning view of the lagoon….
……….has 8 private dining rooms that can accommodate between 10 – 20 guests respectively. (pic below: the private rooms are at the far end)
..boasts of an open & spacious dining area & my personal favourite – high ceilings!! I don’t think I’m claustrophobic but I love the feeling of space..
Lunch: Open daily 12.00pm – 2.30pm (Mondays to Saturdays)
10.00am – 2.30pm (Sundays & Public Holidays)
Dinner: 6.30pm to 10.30pm (Mondays to Sundays).
For reservations, call (6-03) 7495 1888.
To place mooncake orders, please call West Lake Garden Chinese Restaurant at +6 03 7495 1421 or visit http://mooncakes.sunwayhotels.com
Priced between RM21+ to RM23+ per standard piece, the Shuang Wei mooncakes, made with less sugar, free of artificial colouring and preservatives, are available for take-away from 11.00am to 9.30pm daily at West Lake Garden Chinese Restaurant from 12 July to 12 September 2011.
Prices are subject to prevailing Government Tax (take-away only) plus 10% Service Charge (dine-in).
As a corporate gift, select from West Lake Garden’s Secret Treasures gift set or Timeless Classics gift set at a mere RM98 nett for four selected flavours of mooncakes respectively. For large quantity orders of 100 boxes and above, logo customisation on the mooncake box is allowed. Orders for corporate package must be placed from NOW until 12 August 2011.
Prior to this mooncake session, I was here for the innovative MONSTER 3kg dumpling (Read about that HERE) !!!