Monday, August 11, 2014

Mooncakes : Park Hotel Group




In an era when hotel design gravitates towards either overzealous opulence or architectural wonder, it’s refreshing to visit the understated Grand Park City Hall, located just a stone’s throw from the historic St Andrew’s Cathedral.






Gathered in its open courtyard, themed appropriately with lanterns and jazzed up renditions of Chinese classics playing in the background, we had the opportunity to try Grand Park’s mooncake selection for the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival.

singapore mooncake

These days, the usual chocolate truffle filled, champagne infused, snowskin mooncakes are no longer a novelty, and so Grand Park has had to outdo its competition with more interesting
flavours.


We liked the Royal Topaz with Nougat and Chocolate Pops. Visually reminiscent of the potong red bean ice cream we grew up with (albeit a gold dusted version), it surprises you with its accents of crunchy chocolate cereal and delicate bits of nougat - certainly not what we expected from a traditional Chinese sweet treat, but delightful nonetheless.

champagne

Those seeking a more refreshing alternative could opt for the Pearly Lychee, finely balanced between sweet and tart. More discerning palates may also enjoy the Imperial Jade and Coconut Truffle as well as the Golden Cognac Truffle snowskin selections. Together, these range of snowskin moon cakes evoke interesting tastes without any over-ambition in the novelty mooncake race.

Verdict: The snowskin versions can rival those usually popular snowskin ones by other brands. The cognac stands out together with the lychee and choco versions.

And if you’re old school, perennia baked classics like the White Lotus Seed paste with single or double yolks are available. Health conscious consumers may mitigate some diner’s guilt by choosing the Low Sugar variety that comes with Macadamia Nuts. Rest assured, your enjoyment remains undiminished by the lesser amount of sweetness. 


Together with the Vegetarian Gem, these trio of baked options come with the right density and fluidity of filling, without that annoying cloying sticks-to-top-of-mouth feeling that the younger generation has come to detest.




End off your Mooncake indulgence with the Golden Fried selection of Pumpkin or Yam. The fluffy skin breaks off gently yet the mooncake proper does not disintegrate easily, holding itself well in the hands of clumsy eaters like yours truly. 

Verdict: This got to be one of the best crispy skin mooncakes we had year after year. The pumpkin version stands out, edging the yam version to claim top honours. Well balanced in sweetness and savoury for the egg yolks, it is indeed a match made in heavens.


Grand Park puts a further twist on an old tradition, by pairing mooncakes with Champagne instead of Chinese tea as tradition holds. The champagne of choice being Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, which the hotel group has packaged together with mooncakes, making it an excellent gift to score points with anyone from key customers to Mother in Laws. It have to impress if it comes with FOUR mooncakes that contains bird nest.

PHG also offers a festive pack that comes with Bottega Gold Sparkling wine with 4 baked mooncakes.

Overall:

Good selection of snowskin and baked moooncakes, and of course the Teochew crispy skin (yam and pumpkin) ones. The gift packs are designed to impress and they are limited in quantity.
 

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