lifestyle • 15 Sep, 2017
Must-Try Mooncakes For Mid-Autumn 2017
We’ve Searched The City For The Best Seasonal Delights
Contrary to popular opinion, mooncakes don’t contain any moon. The small round or square sticky rice or pastry-cased pies are usually filled with a sweetly savory filling, and love. Lots of seasonal love. And as it’s almost mooncake o’clock again it’s time to grab a box or two of these delectable Autumn delights.
Recently more and more boutique brands have been boxing up their very own batches. And so we’ve rounded up this year’s best for you.
The Yen Concept
The Look: Perfect rounds of pastry in a similarly rustic string-tied package, that suits Yen’s handmade-with-love aesthetic. Back, by popular demand, are Yen’s buttery mooncakes.
What's in it: This year, Yen have introduced avocado to their Autumnal mix. But they’re bringing back the favorites like pineapple, cranberry, taro and black sesame too.
Price: 90,000 VND for 1 and 95,000 VND for one with egg (each 150g).
Address: 60C Le Thi Rieng Street, District 1
Phone: 028 392 502 51
Also of note: Yen are so dedicated to this seasonal celebration they’ll be hosting pineapple mooncake baking workshops and Autumn drawing workshops — check their Facebook for more details.
Annam Gourmet Market
The Look: As opulent as mooncake packaging can be from the city’s best boutique supermarket — a big blue and gold one-piece box or served as a set of four in a beautiful presentation case. Inside the mooncake has intricate patterning on the perfectly ochre pie.
What's in it: Annam have a number of options for you that include black sesame, red bean, green tea and apricot, and lotus with dried shrimp and chicken floss, and some more original creations like the roasted cashew.
Price: Single cakes are 180,000VND and there is a range of sets that includes the 750,000VND four mooncake ‘Gourmet set’. There’s also the 1,090,000VND ‘Signature set’, which is the same but with tea, and a ‘Reunion set’ with a bottle of wine for 1,150,000VND.
Address: 16-18 Hai Ba Trung, District 1 (and other locations, check their Facebook for details)
Phone: 1900 636431
Also of note: This is part of Annam’s ‘Autumn Treasures’ series of seasonal offerings, so see what else is on offer beyond the mooncake stand.
Website | Facebook
The Look: Traditionally illustrated boxes crammed with cute folky characters that open to reveal round floral patterned cakes, in white, pink and green, and brown and golden shades of goodness.
What's in it: Some unique flavours, such as coffee, pineapple, leafy greens, or grapefruit peel.
Price: Lots of different sets, including one with a selection of 16 mooncakes (at 50g), and the ‘Collection set’ that comes with 2 cakes (200g) and some premium coffee, filters, and two ornate cups to serve it in.
Address: Cafe RuNam, 96 Mac Thi Buoi, District 1, HCMC and at RuNam Bistro 40-42 Phan Boi Chau, Ben Thanh, District 1 and 2-4-6 Dong Khoi, Ben Nghe, District 1
Phone: 08 3825 8883
Also of note: To celebrate mid-Autumn, RuNam are inviting you inside to reminisce with good friends over a cup of tea and a mooncake, with their special tea and cake set (at 85,000VND).
Website | Facebook
The Look: Morico, the modern Japanese cafe, are collaborating with another local Japanese brand, the chocolatier Koibito, for their mid-Autumn mooncakes. Their small beautifully formed macaron mooncakes are exquisitely topped like glazed ceramics, and shared in a cute box with a little rabbit on top.
What's in it: Koibito chocolate is one of our favorites — rich, buttery, blocks of cacao here flavoured with matcha, morning mint, afternoon spice (which includes orange, lemongrass, grapefruit), and for the first time for 2017 houjicha in their seasonal box-set. But also for this special season there are those delectable macarons, each a tiny work of art with charcoal swirled across the top, and inside matcha and salted egg.
Price: 639,000VND for the gift set (that includes the chocolates and macarons), 363,000 for the mixed chocolate box, and a box of four macaron mooncakes for 176,000VND.
Address: Available at Morico, Vincom Shopping Mall, basement B3, 70-72 Le Thanh Ton, District 1 and six other locations city-wide (see their Facebook and Website for locations).
Also of note: Of course you can also dig into these seasonal delights at any of the seven Morico locations, with their special 88,000VND tea set.
Phone: 028 3936 9779
Facebook | Instagram
The Look: W Gourmet offer us up another ostentatious option, under the theme ‘Beyond the Sky’. The fine food company have been at this since 1991, so they most definitely have the hang of it by now as you can see from their superior orange box that contains their golden cakes (and some extravagant ingredients).
What's in it: There’s the special abalone fish shark, lotus seeds and orange peel jam, tiramisu or green tea with Macadamia nuts and green beans with salted lotus, or with lemon salt and caramel.
Price: 583,000VND for a box of four 200g mooncakes, or six weighing 100g.
Address: Available at White Palace (194 Hoang Van Thu, Phu Nhuan) and the GEM Center (8 Nguyen Binh Khiem, District 1).
Phone: 8 3911 7070 (Gem Center) and 8 3844 7266 (White Palace)
Also of note: W Gourmet are in the same group as the White Palace and the GEM Center, so if you’re popping in to the GEM, give its Alpine-lodge themed rooftop restaurant, The Log, a try, if you haven’t already.
Website | Facebook
Hotel des Arts Saigon
The Look: Not surprisingly for a hotel that takes its visitors back in time to an era of French colonial grandeur, Hotel des Artes’ mooncake box design ‘highlights the timeless mysterious elegance of Indochina in each detail’. And their bold, brightly coloured mooncakes ooze with the same chic confidence as this award-winning rest stop.
What's in it: There’s the ‘Pandan Royal’ with pandan leaf paste, ‘Violet Harmony’ with black lotus, sesame and melon seeds, ‘Matcha Delight’ with premium imported green tea powder, and the ‘Imperial Pearl’ with almond, walnut, melon seeds, and white sesame.
Price: Sets of four, either in a box with drawers for 1,388,000VND (nett) or a special edition lacquered box for 2,388,000 (nett)
Address: 76-78 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, District 3
Phone: 28 3989 8888
Also of note: The Hotel Des Artes won the ‘Luxury Business Hotel’ award for Asia at last year’s World Luxury Hotel Awards which suggests their mooncakes will also be first class.
Website | Facebook
The Look: Gac-Mang-Gie come out on top for their feels-inducing video you can see on their Facebook that shows the care and dedication that goes into their mooncakes. Edible delights which are elegantly packaged in flower-lidded boxes, and an extra essential fabric gift box, made with 23 different floral cloths.
What's in it: The cookie-cutter kings bring you three sizes of mooncake, small, medium and large, each beautifully decorated like miniature minarets. They are filled with mixed chicken filling, mungbean and durian, coconut or lotus seed.
Price: The large gift box comes with 4 cakes in floral-topped boxes, along with 2 jars of tea and a lantern (1,190,000VND). There’s also medium (690,000VND) and small (290,000VND) boxes for scaled-down gift ideas.
Address: 62/11A Tran Binh Trong, Binh Thanh
Phone: 092 461 23 89
Also of note: In case you’re not already in the mid-Autumn mood, here’s a gentle reminder to go check their wonderful promotional video that’s guaranteed to have you making for their mooncakes in a minute.
Facebook | Instagram
The Look: Mid-autumn is a dreamy time of year, so we decided to round out our list with The Dreamers, the traditional handicraft company. The founders searched up and down the Mekong Delta to find the coolest handicrafts to curate, from silks to bronze castings and ceramics. And now they have turned their meticulous care and attention towards our seasonal cakes. Their round and square mooncakes come in old-school woven baskets, with tanned golden crusts.
What's in it: These white glutinous rice flour cakes come with classic sweet fillings.
Price: 50,000-65,000VND for each cake. 350,000VND for a box of 4, and 450,000VND for a box of 6.
Address: 1a Au Co, Tay Ho, Hanoi and 99 / 103b Vo Van Tan, District 3, HCMC
Phone: 0912 400 439 (Hanoi) and 0988 671 193 (HCMC)
Also of note: Their stores are treasure troves of cool items and gifts for loved ones, so rummage the shelves once you’ve shopped for your mooncakes.
Words by David Kaye