Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Mid-Autumn Festive Celebration 2013 - Mooncakes Decadence @ Takashimaya Square Basement 2 [Singapore]

I was thinking of giving the annual mooncake fest at Takashimaya a miss this year as i doubt i have sufficient time to cover even a small section! In addition, i am quite sure the selection would not deviate much from last year.

However, mom has coincidentally scheduled an X-ray session in Orchard and being the filial son i tried my best to be, the decision was made to wake up earlier on Saturday to accompany her (and my sisters) after the X-ray.

It was a Saturday that didn't appear to be a Saturday; the crowd was pretty thin and unlike previous years, i could walk leisurely to each and every stall to sample as much as i desire! 

Big brands, as usual, took up the prime spots facing the main entrance. TWG was once again showcasing its tea-infused mooncakes; many of which continued to have yucky colours that do little to whet my appetite.

See what i meant? The name Illumination should have evoked romantic images of a glowing moon yet sitting in front of me were humongous charcoal pill lookalikes that could have resolved any severe diarrhea!

Presentation is incredibly important in marketing! Look at the above mooncakes under Home's Favourite; they screamed of rich opulence with that adoring golden powder shine!

Anyway, the true essence of the mid-autumn festival was to promote family togetherness and bonding. In the older days, they were easily achieved since there weren't much night activities and family nucleus was bigger. Now, it would likely be a challenge to get your child away from the computer / laptop / iphone etc just to admire the full moon and share a mooncake.

Awwww... memories of the piglets in bamboo cage! Actually, i am quite curious on how they came to be associated with the mid-autumn festival.

Frankly, these cute piglets were often displayed in my house as items offered to the ancestors and deities; strangely enough, my siblings and myself have never enjoyed the taste!

In a way, it was money saved for the family as mom simply bought lesser and lesser as time goes by! For the same price i would have paid for the fake piglets, I could have a luxurious plate of char siew made of real pork.

I was commenting to my colleagues the other day that my preference for the type of mooncakes changes with age; when i was younger, the obvious choice would be snowskin mooncakes.

Progressively, i came to the realisation that traditional mooncakes with their lotus paste filling and salted egg yolks are still the most delicious! Furthermore, they are cheaper!

Once again, please leave chocolates out of the picture! I don't recollect any stories where chocolates are part and parcel of the mooncake festival!

Look like pralines but these snowskin D24 durian minis are definitely not.

Packaging tea with mooncakes? In my opinion, the idea was to have tea with mooncakes which would help to dilute the sinful guilt of ingesting too much calories! For those who are unaware, a typical sized mooncake contains a whooping 1,000 calories! 

Such a healthy initiative could not be overlooked by profit making companies in health conscious Singapore; hence, i found a few vendors selling teapots, tea leaves alongside or together with mooncakes. Don't remember seeing that last year.

Teochew mooncake - i still could not get over the fact that a mooncake can appear to be so flaky and dry! 

Not even if you add an adorable teddy bear next to them! Well, i should not speak too fast; this kind of mooncakes could be my favourite another ten years down the road. 

Tai Chong Kok (大中国) mooncakes - the most famous mooncake bakery in Singapore with a history spanning over seventy five years! Those interested to know the prices can click, save and view the picture with more clarity.

Checking out the different types of mooncakes using innovative flavourings is not as fascinating as seeing the varied packaging from each vendor. Business students would understand that in many products, the packaging can constitute a substantial percentage of the cost price. 

Sadly, there was barely any excitement this year. 

Most useful would have to be the above packaging that acts as a cosmetic box with a photo frame. I am not so sure about you but in my family, we often recycle the boxes as storage for small items. 

Fish-shaped mooncakes; too adorable to be eaten!

Do feel free to sample! For the sake of my tummy and the promise to show my abs to my colleagues in two months time, i had to refrain myself!!!!

Nutritious mooncakes from Hua Ting - said to be rich in protein, fibre, anti-oxidants and omega-3 fatty acids! Interesting although people who know me well would know i am not those consumers who are easily taken in by healthy messages. 

This setup by Swatow seafood restaurant was so classic! For better effect, the vendor should have the salespeople dressed in traditional Chinese costumes! 

Even though there's nothing outstanding from Kooi Kei's (鉅記) design, the image was reminiscent of those often used in advertising and propagandizing before the 80s.

Wing Wah (榮華), popular for their wives cake in Hong Kong, is once again back in Singapore for the mooncake fest. My gut feeling tells me it is only a matter of time before they set up an official branch in Singapore. 

Initially, i thought this was such a good deal; every one came in individual box and yet the price was tagged at only S$7! Upon a closer look, i realised they were all MINI mooncakes...

As a practical person, i find mini mooncakes very uneconomical! Freshness is an issue as i can always put them in the fridge. Hygiene is not an issue for normal sized moonkcakes too since i can always cut them into small pieces before passing them around. 

Egg custard mooncake! I took a teeny-weeny sample and found them to taste similar to custard buns (奶黄包). There's a major difference though; 奶黄包 normally costs less than S$1.50.

Walnut lotus with yolk? The diversification from non mooncake-related products is expected to continue with increased competition and pickier customers.

Last photograph for the day! 


Takashimaya Square, Basement 2 of 
Takashimaya Shopping Centre [Orchard]

List of Participating Vendors
As above

Till 19 September 2013


  1. Woah! That's a lot of mooncake. Great blog, Cavin!

    - Dom

    1. So this is you! Haha. Thanks for the compliment, Dom! Just to clarify, i took loads of pictures but i didn't eat much!! :P


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