Mooncakes always delight at the first sight.
This Chinese pastry, traditionally eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival in celebration of successful harvests, could pass as a charming tchotchke with its intricately designed imprints on the crust consisting of the Chinese characters for “longevity” or “harmony.”
But once you get past that initial wonder, and perhaps unwillingness to bite into and therefore “ruin” the pastry, what you’ll get is a sweet and dense filling—traditionally lotus seed paste—with a salted egg yolk or two which is said to be the symbol of the full moon.
Aside from the uniqueness of this delicacy, what makes it special are the legends attached to it.
One folk tale says mooncakes were used by the Ming revolutionaries to overthrow the Mongolian rulers of China at the end of the Yuan Dynasty. They used the pastry to pass the secret message to kill the rulers on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month.
But while there are no more secret messages inside this handcrafted delicacy, mooncakes continue to be offered between family and friends as the round shape symbolizes unity and prosperity.
In celebration of this year’s Mid-Autumn Festival, some of the metro’s premier restaurants and hotels, as well as Hong Kong’s famous mooncake maker, are offering their luscious treats.
The Empress Dining Palace
BGC-based restaurant The Empress Dining Palace offers two classic mooncakes, white lotus with double egg yolk and plain white lotus, to attract harmony and prosperity.
Six delightful mooncake flavors comprise the hotel’s Summer Palace Mooncake 2020 Collection: Over the Moon.
Edsa Shang’s white lotus reduced sugar, red bean, mixed nuts, durian, chestnuts, and black sesame are packed in an elegant box perfect for gifting or reusing. Price starts at P2,888+ per box. Those who prefer to buy per piece can get the small variant at P388+ and the large variant at P588+. Bulk orders get up to 30 percent off.
Call (02) 8633-8888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for orders and inquiries.
The five-star hotel’s Mid-Autumn offering is elegantly arranged in a luxurious crimson red lattice box with gold stamping and patterns of cherry blossoms—ideal as gift to clients and relatives.
Mooncakes come with various fillings such as white lotus paste, red lotus paste, and five spiced nuts with dried scallops, with whole salted duck egg at the center. The mooncake gift sets, available until October 2, are available in a box of six priced at P2,020++.
To order, call 0917-624-5980 or visit www.manilamarriott.com. Orders must be placed 48 hours in advance. They are available for pick-up and take-away. Delivery may be arranged via Delishvery or through the customer’s chosen courier.
New World Makati’s Cantonese restaurant Jasmine offers four decadent mooncake flavors, namely red bean, red lotus, white lotus, and five kernel (watermelon seeds, sesame seeds, walnuts, Terminalia seeds, and almonds).
Specially packed in an elegant tangerine box with gold accents, a box of two is priced at P1,088 nett, while a box of four is P1,588 nett. Bulk orders of 30 and up get 20 percent discount.
To place an order, call (02) 8811-6888 ext. 3679 or 0917-888-4194.
Hong Kong MX Mooncakes
Hong Kong’s leading mooncake brand returns to the Philippines for this year’s Mid-Autumn Festival, bringing its classic lineup and brand new offerings.
Available through official online channels and a pop-up store at the main mall of SM Mall of Asia are Hong Kong MX’s flagship White Lotus Seed Paste Mooncake with two Egg Yolks and the Lava Mooncake Series, and the new Lava Duet (combining custard and chocolate goodness), and Lava Chocolate filling.
The brand also offers its Low Sugar White Lotus Seed Paste Mooncake with Egg Yolk, and the Delightful Moon Assorted Mooncake with both three classic and lava mooncake variants.
These mooncakes and more are available until October 4.