You don’t need to feel guilty about indulging in a spot of Mid-Autumn Festival fun. These are 2016's best low-sugar baked mooncakes.
You don't have to choose between reducing your sugar intake and indulging in your love of traditional baked mooncakes.
Xin Cuisine Chinese Restaurant, Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium, tel: 6731-7173. $62 for a box of four, available from Aug 13 until Sep 15. This is perhaps the ideal of traditional baked mooncakes. The skin is thin and not too oily, while the white lotus paste is silky. The yolks hold just the right amount of saltiness and are perfectly cooked, evident by the light crumb. Baker’s Well, 35 East Coast Road, tel: 6348-6864. $68 for a box of four, available from now until Sep 15. The aroma was promising, and happily, the baked mooncake lived up to our expectations – the paste was yielding, and we were impressed that the generous amount of melon seeds was evenly spread. Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, tel: 6831-4708. $188 for a box of four, with an Aged Old Pu’er Tea Set, available from Aug 11 until Sep 15. An herbal mooncake seems like a long shot, but don’t write it off too quickly. The angelica (dang gui) was aggressive on the nose but subtle on the palate. Together with the chewy slivers of karasumi (Japanese salted mullet roe), it made for a deeply savoury mooncake that grew on us. Shang Palace, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, tel: 6213-439. $75 for an assorted box of eight mini baked mooncakes, two of which are these low-sugar mini baked mooncakes; available from now until Sep 15. This one ticked most of the right boxes. The skin is thin, the paste is smooth and gently sweet, and the miniature size is great for portion control. Macadamia nuts also make for a nice change from the usual melon seeds. However, we would much prefer if the macadamia nut was chopped up and mixed in – all the better for crunch in every bite. Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant, Sheraton Towers Singapore, tel: 6839-5623. $65 for a box of four, available from Aug 15 until Sep 15. The skin may be a tad oilier than Xin Cuisine’s double yolk mooncake, and slightly burnt too, but what made this mooncake so compelling was the yolk – moist, with a good gau saltiness. The luscious paste also gets another nod of approval from us. Wah Lok Cantonese Restaurant, Carlton Hotel (Bras Basah), tel: 6349-1292; Carlton City Hotel (Tanjong Pagar), tel: 6632-8921. $64.20 for a box of eight, available from Aug 18 until Sep 15. How adorable are these pint-sized walnut moon tarts? This retro number has a buttery shell with a cookie-like snap, and the requisite smooth paste. The fat chunks of walnut are a nice change from the usual melon seeds too. Crystal Jade, available at all Crystal Jade outlets, including #B1-04A Bugis Junction, tel: 6339-6902; check crystaljade.com for store locations. From $29 for a box of two, available from Aug 15 until Sep 15. This was one of the most fragrant mooncakes we tried, and it didn’t disappoint – the skin had a nice sheen and was supple to the bite. We were pleased that the macadamia nuts were fairly distributed too. Our only quibble: The paste is a trifle sweeter than we would have like. Cherry Garden, Mandarin Oriental Singapore, tel: 6885-3081. $35, available from Aug 10 until Sep 15. Although certain aspects need a little more finesse – the yolk here is a bit oilier than the other mooncakes, and the baked crust is just a few steps shy of tasting burnt – the salted caramel and lotus paste melange kept us reaching out for more.
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