It’s the Mid-Autumn Festival or Mooncake Festival again!
The Mid Autumn Festival which falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month is one of the important festivals observed by Chinese all over the world. There’s a folklore about how mooncake came about and the legend is easily “googled” if you’re interested. 🙂
For me, the Mid Autumn Festival is about eating mooncakes. 🙂
Zuan Yuan Chinese Restaurant at One World Hotel, PJ offers a stellar assortment of traditional oven-baked and snow skin mooncakes packed with both conventional and creative flavours this year. The 3 new ones from the Mini Snow Skin Moon Cake range are Honey Dew Paste, Black Sesame Paste and Orange Flavour.
The mooncakes are handmade and Chef Chin has improved the recipe further by using “QQ powder” imported from Taiwan, which enhanced the texture of the snow skin by increasing its elasticity. Hot water was added into the flour mixture instead of cold water, one of the few modifications Chef Chin has made to ensure that the snow skin attained the chewy and soft texture just like the Japanese mochi sweets. Such adaption allows the snow skin mooncakes to be eaten straight from the fridge, a step ahead from the usual snow skin where it is advisable to consume the snowskin only after it’s been left at room temperature for 10 -15 minutes.
Mini Snow Skin Mooncake, Black Sesame Paste – RM10.
Mini Snow Skin Moon Cake, Honey Dew Paste – RM10
Mini Snow Skin Mooncake, Orange Flavour – RM1o.
The black sesame mini snowskin took top spot for me. It has such a glorious nutty, roasted aroma, a must for fans of sesame. Moreover, it was admirably balanced with enough sesame flavour without overwhelming your palate. The orange trailed a close second. It imparts a sunny, happy citrus-y fragrance that perks you up even before you take a bite. Flavourwise it was mild and as expected of fruits from the citrus family, refreshing.
Honeydew is not one of my favourite fruits so that’s probably explains why it came last from the trio. 🙂
It certainly doesn’t mean it’s no good, for the honeydew mini snow skin is similarly fragrant, sweet and as fruity as the orange.
Perennial flavours for oven-baked mooncakes such as white lotus paste with single egg yolk, supreme mixed nuts and red bean paste made its due appearance while new flavours for the snow skin mooncakes like white coffee lotus paste with walnut and red bean paste with pumpkin seed sounded intriguing.
Baked Mooncake, White Lotus Paste with Single Egg Yolk – RM20.
Baked Mooncake, Supreme Mixed Nuts – RM21.
Baked Mooncake, Sweetened Red Bean and Green Tea Paste – RM20
Snow Skin Mooncake, Red Bean Paste with Pumpkin Seed – RM15.
Snow Skin Mooncake, White Coffee Lotus Paste with Walnut – RM20.
If you noticed, the skin of the mooncakes are rather thin, ensuring ample fillings for each mooncake. All Zuan Yuan’s mooncakes; baked or snowskin are not overly sweet nor greasy. For the traditional, grab the lotus seed and red bean. For a bit of the unconventional, I suggest the White Coffee Lotus Paste with Walnuts, my favourite of the lot. Its glorious aromatic scent of roasted coffee and its milky taste was rather addictive!
The Supreme Nuts Mooncake is as traditional as it gets; sticky sweet with a predominant winter melon aftertaste which didn’t augur well for me. If you’re seeking a traditional nut mooncake, this is for you. Likewise, the green tea with red bean would please green tea fans; with its strong accents of green tea in every bite and a creatively added strip of red bean across its middle.
The mooncakes are available in beautiful gift boxes of four or eight pieces from 1 July to 30 September 2012.
For orders or enquiries, please call Zuan Yuan at +603 7681 1159. 🙂