The Mid-Autumn festival falls on the 15th of Aug of the Chinese lunar colander every year. People celebrate the festival by eating moon cakes, sipping a cup of tea while appreciating the round moon, while children run about holding their colourful lanterns.
Moon cakes are Chinese pastries eaten during the Mid-Autumn festival, while they traditionally comes in lotus seed paste, the food & beverage experts have constantly come up with creative and exotic ingredients to pair up with the moon cake. Snow skin moon cakes are not uncommon now, with most places offering it as an alternative to the traditional moon cake.
I was given the opportunity for a moon cake-tasting session with Yan Ting’s snow skin moon cake. They are available at the lobby of St Regis hotel, the snow skin moon cake comes in 6 different flavours, and there’s also the traditional baked moon cake to choose from.
St Regis, with the 6 Star luxury hotel tag, pays full attention to detail. According the Yan Ting’s manager, Mr Danny Chan, the box containing the moon cake samplings are made of superior wood and does not come cheap.
Besides the lobby booth, you can also pick up their moon cake directly outside the restaurant on the second level after you finished a meal there.
The box for 8 snow skin moon cakes is also nicely designed, with majesty gold set as the theme. This is a great box to give to relatives, or business associates as gift during the Mid-autumn festival. Alternatively, there’s also another premium gift set which features Yan Ting six uniquely flavoured snow skin moon cake with two tins of Dammann Frères tea, set in an elegantly designed casing.
For the mini snow skin selection, there are 6 different flavours to choose from, you can either have 8 of the same flavour, or choose a mix of all the flavours.
Almond snow skin, martell cordon bleu cognac truffle, custard paste ($8 per piece)
Martell drinkers would rejoice with the martell cordon bleu congac moon cake. Made with almond, the snowy-white skin like all the other moon cake bears the signature Chinese name of Yan Ting on the surface.
Beneath the snowy white almond skin, there’s the custard paste filling with the luxurious martell cordon bleu cognac truffle in the heart. The almond taste was quite heavy, together with the strong martell cognac, the overwhelming taste covered the custard paste.
It was interesting to try martell truffle inside a moon cake, and it came in a generous portion. There’s a strong after-taste of the martell truffle. Overall an interesting take on snow skin moon cake, and if you like Martell and almond, this novelty might just work for you.
Seven perfumes snow skin, martell cordon bleu cognac truffle, white lotus paste ($8.5 per piece)
This one was quite similar to the previous one, with the use of martell cordon blue cognac truffle, but in place of the almond skin and custard paste were seven perfumes snow skin and white lotus paste respectively.
I love the aromatic and subtle seven perfumes snow skin, which was made from St Regis’s exclusive Dammann Frères tea from France. And at the centre of the moon cake, the martell cordon bleu cognac truffle. There’s no clashing of flavours because the subtle tea snow skin and white lotus paste seemed to blend in perfectly with the stronger Martell truffle.
Almond snow skin, advocaat egg liqueuer truffle, black sesame paste
($5.25 per piece)
Besides having custard and lotus paste as fillings, Yan Ting also used the fragrant and rich black sesame paste. Under the dainty white snow skin, the black sesame provided a good contrast to the colour of the moon cake.
I felt that almond worked better with black sesame than custard paste. The advocaat egg liqueur truffle was also unique in its own right. Advocaat is a rich and creamy liqueur made from eggs, sugar and brandy, its smooth taste was rather similar to the almond skin. And the liqueur taste wasn’t as robust as the martell cordon bleu cognac truffle.
Bloody mary snow skin with custard paste ($5.25 per piece)
Inspired by the iconic signature cocktail at the original St Regis New York, Yan Ting introduces the first-ever Bloody mary moon cake. The bloody mary snow skin brought the innovation level for moon cakes to another level.
The unique use of bloody mary is worth mentioning, but bloody mary being a mix of vodka and tomato juice, having a stronger taste, covered the custard paste. Personally, I felt that it would be better by combining bloody mary and white lotus paste instead. But I guess Chef Chan Siu Kong and his culinary team would have experience with many different combinations and felt that this is the one that provides a different view.
Seven perfumes snow skin with single yolk and white lotus paste ($6 per piece)
Moon cake purist need not fret; the seven perfume snow skin came closest to the traditional moon cake with your white lotus and egg yolk, the only exception the snow skin. The scented Seven perfumes snow skin gave it an edge over other normal snow skin with white lotus paste.
This was the most ordinary and simple moon cake among the snow skin offered by Yan Ting. The superior quality of the white lotus paste meant that it’s not overly-sweet, smooth and silky. Together with the salty egg yolk, like they say, simple is beautiful.
Almond snow skin with premium bird’s nest and custard paste ($28.5 per piece)
The moon cake with edible gold foil and premium bird’s nest screams extravagant. The gold foil on the top looked magnificence, I’m not sure about the taste of gold though. This among the 6 flavours, is the most expensive at $28.5 per piece, while the rest are all in the $5-8 repertoire.
Manager Mr. Chan mentioned that 1 “jin” of premium bird’s nest goes into making 4 bird’s nest moon cake. And for once, i thought that the use of custard paste worked very well with the whole-strand bird’s nest. The ultimate indulgence, glittering gold and top-grade bird’s nest.
The total cost of this particular box of 8 snow skin moon cake (mix-and-match) comes up to a princely $75.25. According to St Regis, customers usually get a box of 8 of the same moon cake, otherwise they will purchase St Regis Premium gift set at $98. But as this was a moon cake tasting session, I had the mix of the 6 flavours.
Yan Ting’s extensive use of custard meant that if you do not like custard, then your judgement of Yan Ting moon cake will likely be affected. Nevertheless, they uses top-notch lotus paste, and their unique seven perfume snow skin is very aromatic and i will definitely recommend you to try that at least.
The exotic ingredients such as martell cordon bleu cognac truffle, advocaat egg liqueur truffle, and bloody mary fits the price tag of the moon cakes, and if you do not like liqueur, there’s also a range of traditional baked moon cakes, top quality lotus paste and yolk, fragrant and rich black sesame paste, pandan paste, Jin Hua ham and assorted nuts, all based on recipes of Chef Chan.
The moon cake pricing is indeed hefty, but that is the least you can expected coming from St Regis, the glamorous and prestigious 6 star hotel. Yan Ting. The St. Regis moon cakes are available from special retail booths at Change Alley in Raffles Place and the hotel lobby, by visiting Yan Ting restaurant in the hotel or by placing orders over the phone or email.
29 Tanglin Road
The St Regis
Tel: 6506 6888
Disclaimer: This is an invited review
” Moon cake extravaganza “