This year, the Mid-Autumn Festival is on October 4, Wednesday, but the celebration is said to last for a week—from October 1 to 8. The second biggest occasion celebrated by the Chinese community after Chinese New Year, Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 15th day of the eighth month according to the Chinese lunar calendar.
In the olden days, the Chinese recognized the direct relationship of the moon with the cycle of agricultural produce and harvest. Thus, the people celebrated the full moon and harvest season by offering sacrifices to the moon during autumn days. According to Travel China Guide, it was during the Northern Song Dynasty (960 – 1127 AD) when the Mid-Autumn Festival became a recognized folk celebration.
Besides feasting and enjoying a hearty meal with family, it is also known as a season for giving and receiving mooncakes, which is also why the occasion is called “mooncake festival.”
The classic moooncake is a baked pastry with either lotus paste or red bean paste as filling and with salted duck eggs and macadamia nuts. Hotels and restaurants try to make their mooncakes even more special with unique ingredients or elegant packaging.
In the metro, we found five of these mooncakes that will surely delight one’s taste and vision as well. Drum roll, please
1. New World Makati Hotel
These mooncakes are special as they are handcrafted by Hong Kong Chef Wong Sing To. Guests can select from four flavors—White Lotus, Red Lotus, Red Bean, and Five Seed—and have them packaged in stylish boxes.
Price: White Lotus and Five Seed mooncakes, Php528 per piece and Phphp1,688 per box of four pieces. Combination box of White Lotus, Five Seeds, Red Lotus, and Red Bean are priced at Php1,888 per box of four pieces. The mooncakes are presented in its traditional shape and packaged in an intricately designed box.
Mooncakes available till October 15. For inquiries and orders: Toni Lou (+632) 811-6888 local 3338.
2. Marriott Manila
Thoughtfully packaged in an elegant handcrafted two-layer box, Marriott Manila’s mooncakes come in a variety of fillings: White lotus, red dates, and pineapple paste. Available at Marriott Café Bakery.
Price: Mooncakes per piece are at Php288 nett and a box of 8 pieces is Php 2,488 nett.
For inquiries or orders, (+632) 988 9999 or visit www.manilamarriott.com.
3. City of Dreams Manila
Crystal Dragon, the property’s modern Chinese restaurant offering premium Cantonese and regional Chinese specialties, and Café Society, a gourmet café, offers its own rich version of mooncakes that can be given away to family and friends in a pretty box.
Price: Mooncakes with white lotus paste and double egg yolk is priced at Php3,988 net for a box of four. Available till October 4.
To order, interested parties may call Crystal Dragon or Café Society at (+632) 800-8080 or e-mail email@example.com, or visit City of Dreams Manila’s website www.cityofdreamsmanila.com.
4. TWG Tea
Perhaps the fanciest mooncake this season is from TWG Tea, which pairs its Lotus Jade Tea with its Lotus Jade Tea Mooncake Collection. The featured mooncakes come in delectable tea-infused flavors.
Daydream mooncake has a perfectly baked bold red crust, with blueberries, white lotus paste, and a unique almond and blueberry purée heart infused with Red Balloon Tea. Cerise has a luxurious white chocolate and crunchy coconut heart with Amarena cherry surrounded by a brown lotus paste infused with Pu-erh 2000.
The Moonlit mooncake has a luscious jade green snowskin. It has a Lotus Jade Tea-infused mousse line and a white chocolate heart filled with a sweet Nashi pear marmalade. Blossom mooncake in brilliant orange is filled with a Geisha Blossom Tea-infused mousse line contrasted by tangy apricot marmalade encased in a white chocolate heart.
Price: TWG Tea’s set of four Mooncakes retails at Php1,850 for Traditional and Php2,188 for Snowskin. Individual mooncake gift boxes retail at Php488 for Traditional and Php588 for Snowskin. The mooncakes are packaged in a Lotus Jade Tea Mooncake gift box. Available at all TWG Tea Salons till October 7.
Also available are TWG Snowskin Mooncakes with flavors like Moonlight, Blossom, Pure, and Illumination.
TWG Tea Salon and Boutique is located at Greenbelt 5, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Central Square and S Maison Conrad Manila. TWG Tea Boutique is located at Okada Manila and Ayala Center Cebu. For more details, visit TWG Tea Philippines’ Facebook page.