This year, Mid-Autumn Festival falls on Tuesday, 21 September, and Wednesday the 22nd is a public holiday here in Hong Kong, a great midweek day off to celebrate this very special Chinese holiday, second in importance only to Chinese New Year.
Mid-Autumn Festival is annually observed on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese calendar, when the full moon is ablaze. Mooncakes, rich, round pastries with a variety of fillings, are traditionally eaten throughout the holiday period – delicious calorie bombs.
We started getting mooncake press releases back in mid-June, and since then, they’ve come in fast and furious. It’s taken us some time to sort through them to pick out the best of the lot, those with flavours and packaging that are more innovative than standard boxes in classic flavours like red bean and lotus-seed paste.
Get your daily dose of caffeine with this coffee mooncake box set ($298 until 5 September or $338 from 6 September) by popular coffee specialist Between. The four low-sugar mooncakes are made with the brand’s No.10 house blend coffee, roasted by Lok Chan, the 2017 World Cup Tasters Champion, and are described as having tasting notes of dark chocolate, cherry and muscovado. These mooncakes are joined in the set by a bag of No.10 coffee beans. Order online for collection at the Between Tai Kwun or Wanchai branches from 6–20 September.
Charbonnel et Walker
British chocolatier to the Queen Charbonnel et Walker has launched its very first mooncake offering in collaboration with local bakery Imperial Patisserie, well known for their palmiers and sweet “honeycomb” egg rolls. The Mid-Autumn chocolate and mooncake collection ($398 until 31 August or $468 from 1 September) gives us the best of both brands, with two lava custard mooncakes sitting pretty alongside a box of Charbonnel’s dark chocolate and truffle selection – what a lovely East-meets-West match! Order online or at Charbonnel’s LANDMARK outlet, with collection from 23 August–21 September.
Those with a fondness for spice will get a kick out of Chilli Fagara’s mochi mooncakes infused with chilli and chocolate (2 for $98); we’re fans of the Sichuan eatery’s chilli-infused chocolate ice cream, so we know this ingredient combo is a hit. These babies are available in-house from 15–21 September and feature chilli-spiked dark chocolate ice cream nestled inside a soft, chewy mochi.
Dang Wen Li
Another East-meets-West Mid-Autumn twist comes with Dang Wen Li’s adorable Fly Me to the Moon mooncake gift set ($498) depicting iconic features of New York City – and, yes, it lights up! The mooncakes within are all made in the 852; each set contains three original custard mooncakes and three Earl Grey custard mooncakes. The mastermind behind Dang Wen Li is Dominique Ansel, with his bakery born in the Big Apple, hence the connection to New York. Order online for pick-up from 16 August–24 September.
It’s the packaging of these mooncake beauties that first sparked our interest. Duddell’s beloved lava cream custard mooncakes are showcased in two gorgeous gift boxes designed by Hong Chong Ip of Macau-based MO-Design. The signature gift box (6 for $398) has a striking 3D design with gold, red and blue accents. The limited-edition LED lantern gift box (8 for $588) in an illuminated gold lantern design is even more covetable. For the plant-based eaters amongst us, vegan Tie Guan Yin mooncakes (6 for $498) are also available. Order online until 20 September, with collection from 23 August.
Fortnum & Mason
Tea-infused mooncakes seem to be a thing this year, and there are none classier than those by Fortnum & Mason. We recommend the signature Mid-Autumn Festival gift box ($588), which contains six mini egg custard mooncakes infused with Fortnum’s tea blends of Earl Grey, rose pouchong and matcha, as well as three mini tea tins (Earl Grey, Queen Anne and Victoria Grey) for pairing. These are all packaged within a beautiful box in the brand’s iconic eggshell blue. Purchase in-store or via the F&M e-shop on the K11 app.
Green Common is normally our go-to when it comes to vegan mooncakes, and this year, they’ve outdone themselves with three made-to-order flavours: vegan custard (6 for $268 until 29 August or $308 from 30 August), fig with pistachio and oats and mixed nuts with blueberry and purple sweet potato (3 of each flavour for $285 until 29 August or $328 from 30 August). The vegan custard variety is brand new, made with plant-based milk, agave syrup, flaxseed powder and Miyoko's organic vegan butter. These guilt-free mooncakes contain no cholesterol or trans fat and are preservative free. The reusable, compostable gift sets, which are printed with soy ink and utilise sugar-cane bagasse for the mooncake trays, can also be upcycled into mini tables. Order online or in-person at all Green Common locations, with redemption from 28 August–21 September.
KiKi Noodle Bar
KiKi Noodle Bar’s popular dried sakura shrimp with taro mochi mooncakes are back – a unique mix of sweet and savoury. The mini mooncake box set (6 for $238 until 31 August or $298 from 1 September) comes packaged within a cute bunny-shaped tote bag, along with two peach oolong teabags from Taiwan. Order online or in-house at KiKi’s three shops (ifc mall, K11 MUSEA and Telford Plaza), with redemption from 6–20 September.
Another shop we can always count on for creative mooncake flavours and fun packaging, Lady M’s Celebration of Life mooncake gift set ($528) has a vibrant Ferris wheel design that also lights up (we think this one would be particularly suited to kids). Each side of the wheel opens to reveal Lady M’s mini mooncakes in custard and chocolate flavours (three of each). Order in-house at Lady M boutiques around town (except the airport branch) and pick up from 26 August–24 September.
We love these savoury mooncakes to the moon and back! The brainchild of IG shop Phoebe’s Kitchen, these beef Wellington mooncakes (2 for $238) come vacuum-sealed and ready to bake at home. Inside the shortcrust pastry, you’ll find beef tenderloin, mushroom duxelles, mustard, truffle sauce and – to really gild the lily – foie gras. We tried them, and they’re scrumptious! Order online, with collection available until 15 September.
Bonus: #Kindnessmatters mooncakes
ImpactHK’s Mid-Autumn offering is a collab with the folks over at Cacao, who provide ethically sourced chocolate to create these #Kindnessmatters mooncakes (4 for $380; minimum 5 boxes) with a 65% dark chocolate shell. There are two flavours per box – caramel and walnut and young ginger ganache – and the packaging is completely sustainable. All profits go to projects supporting those experiencing homelessness. Order online and delivery will be provided from 6–17 September.
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