Although mooncakes have been eaten since the Tang Dynasty, the Mooncake Festival wasn’t celebrated until the beginning of the Ming Dynasty when the founder of the Ming Dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang had defeated the Mongols. It was thanks to mooncakes that Zhu Yuanzhang’s troops were able to defeat the Mongol army as secret messages were hidden within mooncakes which the Mongols did not consume.
Of course nowadays wonderful ingredients are contained within mooncakes instead of secret messages and it seems to be that year after year, mooncakes are more innovative and the selection is bigger. I am not a huge mooncake fan but I do appreciate the ingredients that go into each one and am somewhat fascinated by new flavours I have never encountered before.
My earliest childhood memories involved mooncakes as there’d always be at least a box of mooncakes when it was approaching the Mooncake Festival. I guess I am a traditionalist at heart because my favourite mooncake is still the lotus paste and I don’t fancy all the nuts and other unusual ingredients but that doesn’t mean I won’t check out new flavours.
Renaissance KL invited a group of media and bloggers for a mooncake tasting session a few days ago, my first mooncake tasting experience which I hope won’t be my last. Award-winning Dynasty Restaurant’s chefs have created a selection of fourteen homemade traditional mooncakes making pure and natural ingredients. These mooncakes are available from now till 8 September 2014.
Chef Chai demonstrated how mooncakes are made with great dexterity and speed. I am sure it is a lot harder than it looks but the way he created each one, it looked like anyone could do it. Talking to the Chef afterwards, I realised why certain mooncakes are so expensive, ingredients such as chestnuts from China have increased in price by 400% due to flooding in China.
Even the mooncake moulds are expensive as each of these custom-made plastic moulds cost a few hundred Ringgit. The Chef explained that plastic is more hygienic than wood and is easier to clean. These moulds are not light, they are hefty and can probably cause GBH (grievious bodily harm)! So it’s best not to have an argument in the kitchen, just kidding! Chef can make 1000-1200 pieces of mooncakes per day as he starts work at 5am and finishes around midnight. What a hardworking and industrious Chef! I take off my hat to him! I would be lucky if I could produce half as many mooncakes as Chef in those hours. In any case, I am sure my mooncakes would not be approved for sale by Chef.
Where were we? Ah yes, let’s go back to the mooncake flavours. Mooncakes are essentially in 2 categories – Baked and Snow Skin. On this plate, we have:-
1. Black sesame with chestnut lotus paste
2. Precious black tiramisu (low sugar)
3. Taro paste
4. Mint with lotus paste
The best tasting of them all (in my opinion) is the precious black tiramisu, it’s exquisite and so smooth that it literally melts in my mouth. I can have quite a few of these as they appeal to my low sugar tolerance level. Also, the melon seeds in the paste are so yummy!
Quite a few of my fellow mooncake tasters declared that they liked the Fruity Durian Paste as the smell of durians isn’t too heavy. The Pumpkin Paste is good as it isn’t too sweet and rich in pumpkin, very dense and one feels like a lot of real pumpkin has been used instead of pumpkin essence.
Back by popular demand are Dynasty’s home-made signatures : Baked Assorted Nuts & Seeds, Baked ‘Jiang Nam’ Red Bean Paste with melon seeds and Snow Skin Fruity Durian Paste.
This autumn’s new exciting creations are Snow Skin Mint with Lotus Paste, Snow Skin Red Bean Paste, Snow Skin Taro Paste with Egg Yolk, Snow Skin Pandan Paste Single Salted Yolk and Snow Skin Pumpkin Paste.
These mooncakes are ideal as gifts for business associates, family and friend. Visit the Mooncake Odyssey Counter located at Renaissance Hotel Kuala Lumpur Hotel, East Wing Lobby from now until 8 September 2014 or from 20 August until 8 September 2014 at Mid Valley Megamall. Every purchase of 4 baked mooncakes which range from RM22 nett to RM25 nett or 6 mini Snow Skin mooncakes which are priced at RM13.80 nett will be packed in one of the hotel’s elegant red wooden boxes (these boxes look really expensive and will ‘wow’ your recipient).
Be eligible for a Lucky Draw with purchase of 8 boxes of mooncakes or more….
- 1st Prize 3 days 2 nights stay including breakfast at Renaissance Johor Bahru Hotel
- 2nd Prize 3 days 2 nights stay including breakfast at Miri Marriott Resort & Spa
- 3rd Prize 3 days 2 nights stay including breakfast at Putrajaya Marriott Hotel
Free delivery to one (1) location within 5km radius of Renaissance KL Hotel for purchase of 20 boxes and above. Additional charges apply for locations outside 5km radius.
Receive RM10 voucher (valid for 3 months) for every RM100 spent on mooncakes to be utilized at Dynasty Restaurant only.
Get a 25% discount on all pre-paid bulk mooncake orders before 18 August for pick-up between 25 August to 1 September 2014.
To discover more, please call 03 2162 2233 or email email@example.com
Please note that Dynasty Restaurant is NON-HALAL.