October 2, 2020

Mooncake 2020: pandemic edition

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Thanks to the pandemic, travel is severely limited and pretty much non-existent.  That means I don't get to go home to the Parental Units with a selection of mooncakes from Hong Kong.  I don't have much interest to consume a lot of mooncake on my own, although I do try to keep observing this part of my heritage - especially since I am separated from my loved ones this year during this traditional time for family reunions.  The lines "但願人長久, 千里共嬋娟" from the classic poem by the great Su Shi (蘇軾) - aka Su Dongpo (蘇東坡), the person Dongpo pork (東坡肉) was named after - really hit a chord this year...  And I will always remember the poem as sung so beautifully by Teresa Teng (鄧麗君).

So here's a collection of what I managed to taste, between gifts from brokers I shared with the office, some I bought for myself, and others shared at gatherings. 

I got a box of Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong's mooncakes, which came in a box shaped like the hotel group's logo.  There were three different flavors inside, but I only tasted one.

Mini vanilla custard mooncake (迷你雲呢拿奶黃月餅)
, from Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong - this was OK as a custard mooncake, although the vanilla flavor was very faint... and might easily have been overlooked if one did not know it was meant to be there.

I also got a box from China Tang (唐人館), which came in a pretty box with drawers.

Mini crafted egg custard mooncake (匠心奶黃月餅), from China Tang - this was OK.

Pâtisserie La Lune (望月) has been making a name for themselves over the last few years, so we ended up trying out some.

Lava custard mooncake (流心奶黃月餅)
, from 
Pâtisserie La Lune (望月) - pretty good, actually.  The center was indeed liquid after we heated them up in a rice cooker.  This has the best salted egg yolk flavor of all of them.

White lotus seed paste with double yolk mooncake (雙黃白蓮蓉月餅), from Say Hey Bakery (四喜麵包西餅) - the lotus seed paste seemed darker than the typical white variety, but I wasn't complaining.  The paste was pretty smooth and sweet, and the yolk was decent.  Very old school.

I wanted to buy something old school, so I chose this from Dashijie (大師姊).  I would have preferred the traditional "yellow" lotus seed paste, but that wasn't available.  Oh well.

White lotus paste with olive seeds and double egg yolks mooncakes (純正雙黃欖仁白蓮蓉月餅), from Dashijie (大師姊) - I thought the lotus seed paste was a little more dry and grainy compared with the one from Say Hey, although I liked the presence of Chinese black olive kernels (欖仁).

But things got better once it's been heated up.  The pastry crust was crunchier, the lotus paste softened up, and oil seeped from the duck egg yolks.

I knew that Dang Wen Li by Dominique Ansel was selling mooncakes, and I wanted to support my friend, so I picked up this very cute Chef Bunny Mooncake Gift Box after my lunch there a few weeks ago.  Besides the mooncakes, the package came with a bag of yuzu cookie mix and a bunny-shaped cookie cutter so that people can make the cookies at home.

Earl Grey custard mooncake (伯爵茶奶黃月餅), from Dang Wen Li by Dominique Ansel - I really liked this.  The bergamot fragrance and flavors were pretty intense, and Earl Grey is one of my favorite teas.  My only complaint, though, was that there were only 4 of these in the box, which made the pricing pretty steep...

Hopefully come this time next year, I will be able to share some goodies with mom.

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