Jade Rabbit Mooncake Series & Mid-Autumn High Tea @ Toh Yuen, Hilton Petaling Jaya

It’s that time of the year again! 

I’m talking, of course, about the Mid-Autumn Festival, which sees hotels, confectionaries and even cafes pulling out all the stops with their mooncakes.

Among them is Hilton Petaling Jaya’s Toh Yuen Chinese restaurant, which recently launched its Jade Rabbit series – inspired by the character from Chinese folklore who lives on the moon and prepares elixirs of life for Chang’E, the moon goddess. The offerings include various flavours of mooncakes and snowskin mooncakes, and come in pretty boxes decorated with images of rabbits.

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Aside from the baked classics such as white lotus paste, red bean paste, black sesame paste and mixed five nuts, Toh Yuen has also put a modern spin into its snow skin offerings, with flavours such as Blueberry Cheese, Pomegranate Raisin, Tiramisu Treasures, Chocolate Walnut Indulgence and Durian Delights. Durian lovers will definitely want to indulge in the latter, which tastes like real durian rather than flavouring, and even has bits of the fruit embedded within.

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Another must-try is the Blueberry Cheese, which has a mild, subtle cheesy flavour in the centre, as well as the Pomegranate Raisin, which is tangy and fruity. The best part is that they’re not too sweet!

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Blueberry cheese. 

You can get the mooncakes ala carte for RM30+ each, purchase a premium Jade Rabbit Series gift box of four pieces for RM118 nett, or two pieces for RM68 nett. The oriental Standard Box of four and the Oriental Bloom Premium Box of four are RM78 nett and RM88 nett respectively.

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Mooncakes aren’t all you can have at Toh Yuen, as they are also having a Mid-Autumn Afternoon High Tea promotion, where you’ll get to enjoy mooncakes as well as several other dishes.

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For our media tasting session, we were treated to plump parcels of har kau, perfectly pleated with chewy, slightly translucent skins enveloping juicy shrimps within. The chicken siumai was excellent as well, topped with delicate fish roe that just explodes in the mouth.

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A more substantial dish would be Chef’s handmade La Mien, which comes topped with deep fried chicken cutlet and bokchoy. Tossed in a light sauce, the noodles have just the right amount of al dente.

The high tea is available until 22 September 2019. For reservations, call +603 7955 9122 or email PETHI_FB@hilton.com.

All of the traditionally baked and snow skin goodies are also available for purchase at the pop-up store in Hilton Petaling Jaya’s lobby or Toh Yuen Restaurant (Level 1) from  until 13 September 2019 as well as from One Utama Shopping Centre (29 August – 13 September 2019).

 

 

 

Hilton Kuala Lumpur Launches Tropical Allure – A Mid-Autumn Series Collaboration With Malaysian Designer Christy Ng

Hey guys!

With the Mid-Autumn Festival just two months away, some hotels and brands are already rolling out their mooncakes. Fans of Hilton Kuala Lumpur‘s mooncakes will recall their unique collection of mooncake boxes last year, which were designed in collaboration with Khoon Hooi (they were absolutely gorg, by the way).

This year, the hotel has teamed up with Malaysian shoe designer Christy Ng for their Tropical Allure series – a beautiful mooncake box that looks great on its own as a statement piece.

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Available in two colours – Crimson Red and Royal Purple – the rounded faux leather bag features hibiscus prints paired with gilded zippers and trimming. Aside from hand-carry, the bag can also be converted into a crossbody bag by attaching a handbag strap (sold separately for RM20). Each box comes with four pieces of Chef’s choices’ baked mooncakes at RM168. The Snow Skin Package retails for RM178, with any choice of four pieces of snow skin mooncakes. If you just want the bag and not the mooncakes, its RM148.

Classy and elegant!

The Hibiscus print also matches the hotel’s signature snowskin mooncake – the Chynna Rose (after China Rose, another name for the hibiscus flower, with ‘Chyna’ being the name of the hotel’s Chinese restaurant).

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The Chynna Rose features lusciously smooth lotus paste infused with ginseng, tart hibiscus jam and crispy almond nibs, all encased within a subtle lavender-hued snow skin.

I’ve never been a big fan of mooncakes because of how sweet they are (you tend to feel queasy after a few bites), but the Chynna Rose is not overly sweet, and the tartness of the jam is rather refreshing.

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Hilton KL chefs demonstrating how they create their signature snow skin mooncakes during the launch of the series.

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The wooden molds that are used to get perfectly shaped mooncakes. The chef explained that traditionally you’re supposed to knock three times to get the mooncake out of the mold, but I can’t remember why lol.

Aside from Chynna Rose, you can also opt for the hotel’s other renowned snow-skin flavours, such as the Heavenly Gold (Snow Skin with Pure Premium Musang King Durian – RM56), Blue Moon (Snow Skin Amaretto Lotus Paste with Blueberry Cheese Feuillantine – RM35) and Flower Drum (Snow Skin Lotus Paste with Soft Custard Egg Yolk – RM35).

For those who prefer the classics, there is Baked White Lotus Paste (RM35), Baked Pandan Paste with Single Yolk (RM35), Baked Red Bean Paste with Almond Flakes (RM35) and Traditional-style with Five Nuts Mix (RM38).

(From left) Hilton Regional General Manager Jamie Mead, model, designer Christy Ng, Director of Business Development Alex Cotterill and Director of Marketing and Comms Eugene Oelofse.

The Tropical Allure series is available for purchase at the pop-up store in Hilton Kuala Lumpur’s lobby until 13 September 2019, as well as at major shopping malls such as Pavilion Kuala Lumpur (23 August – 12 September 2019), Mid Valley Megamall (22 August – 13 September 2019) and One Utama Shopping Centre (29 August – 12 Sepetember 2019). Alternatively, order online at takehome.hiltonkl.com, call +60322642006 or email kulhi_chynna@hilton.com.

*Photos not watermarked courtesy of Hilton Kuala Lumpur. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Champagne and Wine Flavoured Mooncakes @ Shanghai JW Marriott KL and Li-Yen, Ritz Carlton Kuala Lumpur

After Chinese New Year, the Mid-Autumn Festival/Mooncake Festival is probably the next most important celebration in Chinese culture. Held on the 15th day of the 8th month in the lunar calendar, the festival has origins dating back thousands of years and is rooted in moon worship.

Today, it is celebrated in many parts of the world where there are Chinese communities, including in Malaysia.  Families come together to admire the moon, drink tea, play with lanterns, and of course, tuck into mooncakes.

I was psyched to try out the mooncakes from Shanghai@ JW Marriott KL and Li Yen@Ritz Carlton KL at the latter’s venue, where they had set up a special tasting session for us. Aside from traditional favourites like black bean and lotus paste filling, both restaurants are offering innovative new flavours that include – get this – Moet Chandon champagne and port wine with cream cheese.

First, we sampled some of the items from Ritz-Carlton’s award-winning Li-Yen restaurant. Making a comeback this year thanks to popular demand is the Mini Snow Skin Cream Cheese with Port Wine Mooncake (in purple). The skin was sweet and delicate, infused with the rich flavour of port wine, while the cream cheese added a hint of saltiness that balanced everything out well.

Its easy to see why the Mini Snow Skin Moet & Chandon Rose Imperial Champagne Mooncake (in pink) is a bestseller: there is an elegant and distinctive aroma of champagne, coupled with a silky lotus paste centre.

Traditional variants like White Lotus Paste with Double Egg Yolk, Red Bean Paste, Lotus Paste with Single Egg Yolk are also available, as well as the Li Yen Kam Tui which is filled with nuts and Chinese ham.

A box of four baked mooncakes is priced from RM88 nett, while a box of eight mini mooncakes is priced from RM104nett. They can also be purchased individually at RM13 nett per piece. The promotion is available from September 5 to October 4 2017.

We moved on to sample the painstakingly handmade creations from  dimsum chefs at Shanghai @ JW Marriott KL, which featured more baked varieties on top of the usual snowskin offerings. Flavours are decidedly more traditional/Oriental, with the likes of Snow Skin Fermented Black Garlic with Salted Egg Yolkdelicate Snow Skin Shiro Umeboshi with Green Tea and the Snow Skin Custard Paste with Mint. I enjoyed the custard paste with mint – it was like eating a light cake with a refreshing hint of mint.

Other new creations this year include the Baked Pandan Paste with Salted Egg Yolk and Baked Green Tea Paste with Salted Egg Yolk. Durian lovers should definitely not miss out on the popular Snow Skin Durian Paste with Truffle, made with fresh Musang King durians. Of course, one can’t go wrong with gifts of Baked White Lotus Paste with Salted Egg Yolk, Baked Black Sesame Paste, Baked Bamboo-Charcoal Paste with Salted Egg Yolk and Deep Fried Crispy Yam.

Available from 28 August to 10 October, a box of 6 mini mooncakes is priced from MYR 93.28 nett and a box of 4 large mooncakes are priced at MYR 178.10 nett.

After the tasting, we had a mooncake making session with the chefs. Of course, it wasn’t really cooking since all the pastes/ingredients were ready – all we had to do was roll and stuff the snow skin mooncakes with filling and fit them into pretty molds overlaid with Chinese characters. Brought two to take home!

Numbers/info for both restaurants:

Li Yen: +60 3 2782 9033 or send an email toliyen@ritzcarlton.com.my.

Shanghai: +60 3 2719 8288 or email shanghairestaurant@ytlhotels.com.my.

*Photos not watermarked courtesy of Shanghai JW Marriott and Li-Yen Ritz Carlton KL 

Home-Cooked Food /Mid Autumn Fest

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The Mid-Autumn Festival is an important celebration for Chinese and Vietnamese folk all over the world. Celebrating unity, ties and togetherness, family members (and sometimes friends!) will gather at night for a dinner and to play with lanterns, eat mooncakes and chat while gazing at the full moon.

 

As I mentioned before in my previous post, the only gazing we were doing in Malaysia was at the food on the dinner table, because the haze from the fires in neighbouring Indonesia was so bad, we couldn’t go outside. ._.

The fam and I went over to my aunt’s place for a simple but yummy home-cooked dinner. With everyone’s busy schedules, it’s not always that we get to sit down together like this. 🙂

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Curry leaf shrimp. Aromatic taste and smell from curry leaves all coated around springy shrimp, minus the spiciness 🙂

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Chicken with shiitake mushrooms, garlic and dried oysters (hou si). Hou si is often used in dishes, especially during special occasions, because it sounds like ‘good things’ or ‘good happenings’ in Cantonese 🙂

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Traditional snacks eaten during the Mooncake fest – mooncakes! The brown things are small yams, while the black, devil-looking nuts are water caltrop, or ‘devil’s pod’. This was the first time I had them and they tasted terrible ._.

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With the fam. I took the liberty of editing their faces coz I’m not sure if they’d be comfortable having their faces plastered on a public blog. 😀

Once again, Happy Mid Autumn Fest, guys!

 

Soon Lok : Roast meats for Mid-Autumn Fest

Happy Mid Autumn Festival, guys! Did you spend the night gazing at the full moon?

I didn’t, because the haze in Malaysia was too thick. .___.”

For those who don’t know, the Mid Autumn Festival (or Mooncake Fest as we like to call it here!) is a traditional celebration by Chinese and Vietnamese communities all around the world to mark the autumn harvest and to celebrate family unity and togetherness. The festival falls on the 15th day of the 8th month in the Chinese lunar calendar – meaning that the moon is always full on that day.

In Malaysia, Malaysian-Chinese like myself observe it by having a meal with the family (mooncakes is a must), tote paper lanterns around the neighbourhood and play with leftover candles on the sidewalk or in front of our homes (As a kid, I liked to melt cheap wax candles into a puddle and scrape them off when they were slightly hardened.. weird child that I was.)

We had a mini ‘pre-celebration’ before the actual fest… with what else but good food?

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For lunch, we had three kinds of roasted meat from my favourite roast meat shop – Soon Lok in Bandar Puteri, Puchong. I’ve been eating here for years and their roast duck is simply divine, especially when it’s fresh from the oven: crispy on the outside with a melty layer of fat underneath, and juicy meat devoid of that gamey smell duck is infamous for. The roast pork was a bit too fatty but the skin was crunchy and salty.

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Roast chicken was decent, pretty tasty but a little dry. Spice it up with some takeaway garlic chilli sauce or soy/sweet sauce. You don’t even know how many bowls of rice I can eat with these to go with them. 😀

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The place also dishes out ‘dun tong‘ or double-boiled (?) soup. My dad’s fave is the preserved vegetable duck soup because my grandma used to make it when she was still alive. The soup has a sour, tangy flavour that whets the appetite.

Restoran Soon Lok (Bandar Puteri)
32G, Jalan Puteri 5/2,
Bandar Puteri,
47100 Puchong, Selangor

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No Mooncake Fest would be complete without the mooncakes! Mum bought these homemade ones from a restaurant.

I realise that a lot of people overseas outside of the Chinese community do not know what these are. Mooncakes are round (because it symbolises unity and togetherness), baked pastries with various fillings, from red bean and black bean paste to more modern variants like chocolate and green tea. There are a few legends surrounding the origin of the mooncake, one being that they were offered by a merchant to the Chinese emperor Taizong, who liked the ‘cakes’ which became a popular snack. Another spoke of how Han Chinese used the mooncakes to relay messages, helping them to overthrow Mongol rule.

Whatever the case, the pastries are a sweet, yummy treat for everyone 🙂

Happy MidAutumn Fest!