Thursday, August 30, 2012

Takashimaya Mooncake Festival 2012 Review

It's time for mooncakes again!!! :) I look forward to the Takashimaya Fair every year 'cos I'd wanna try all the new creations that hotels/restaurants/overseas restaurants/bakeries come up w. In this post, I'll feature some of the more interesting and unique flavours that I've yet to come across and was seen at the fair! So not so much on the traditional mooncakes, but I'll definitely cover a bit of that + flakey yam mooncakes and stuff!

To me, this year's one has more umm non-traditional-mooncake places coming to join the mooncake pie as well. Places like dessertcup, Obolo, Fruit Paradise etc. Then the fair also sells many Jap related foodstuff on the "outskirts" or the "diameter" haha like basically surrounding it la. Stuff like dried food, nuts (those that you keep seeing at Isetan!! The aunties here DAMN enthu abt letting you try everything, super cute), seaweed, etc. 

Oh yes, there are many more mooncake places making their mooncakes on the spot this year!

Fruit paradise counter to your right!

Amenthyst Pastry

Huge-ass mooncake from Lao something and made on the spot! 

Random shop selling mini egg tarts, etc chi food. There was also a stall selling MEGA BIG paus.


We tried the red date paste one and it wasn't v good 'cos a little dry

Home's Favourite

Always the hot favourite for durian mooncakes!!!! They only let y'all try their black skin mao shan wang and the D24 one and the mao shan wang is totally enough to win you over! This year they have this new Gang Hai (top grade durian) one thats $72/box for 4 pieces!! So you've gotta ask the sales ppl themselves what kind of durian filling it is, the sweeter kind or wtv your preference is!

I forgot which place this is but think its near Home's Fav? Anw they had this Oreo Cream Cheese one and A said its not too good!

Peony Jade

They were v proud of their angry bird snowskin and the guy says you've gotta put it in the freezer then defrost before you wanna eat lol. So much colouring omg. Oh we tried the champagne truffle snowskin and it was q good! Q strong champagne taste then truffle wasnt too sweet either!!


Last year I had a good experience w this bakery so I was looking forward to theirs again this year but this year they totally revamped their offerings! We tried their Violet Almond or sth like that and it kinda tastes a little artificial? They have coffee w white sesame then red bean w pumpkin seeds I think? Yea but not that great this year :/

Zhen Wei Mooncake

On the spot mooncakes as well! We tried the flakey yam mooncake and this was not bad! Not too sweet fillings which I like and kinda flakey skin too. If I'm not wrong, their black sesame mooncake is not bad!!


The mooncakes below are from this place called Tai Thong (Da Tong) and apparently its made by Sam Leong's Dad? The promoter was telling us this and v proud of this fact haha. Their creations are v interesting and most of them work q well!!

Low Sugar Wasabi Lotus w Wakame Seaweed: Okay cant really taste the seaweed but the wasabi taste is certainly there though it doesnt choke you/isnt v strong!

Low Sugar Black Sesame White Lotus Single Yolk: indeed it wasnt too sweet though I'd like more black sesame!

Didnt see these ones on display but I'd certainly have liked to try them!!

Low Sugar Fuji Apple & Violet Lotus w Pumpkin Seeds: this one tasted like a sweet called HiChew! Not that its sweet but it feels like you're eating candy! Mainly cos of the apple.

Charcoal infused Mocha Milk Tea: this was good, nice coffee taste, q strong and then afterwards you taste the milky part of it.


This store's mooncakes are all filled w Jap chestnut paste (kuri) and the only one that's not is filled w adzuki beans (Red beans) from Japan as well, according to the lady. When I tried the red bean one, it was kinda bitter at first then it gets less bitter but it was good 'cos not sweet!! The brown kuri just tasted like normal lotus paste

Eater Palace

This place seem to specialise in teochew flakey skin mooncakes! This was the yam and pumpkin one and it was "fresh" out of the oven! The paste is good, very orh nee (Yam paste) like but the crust is too hard for me, not flakey soft like how I like 'em to be. 

Dont rmb where this was frm but I think beside Eater Palace. Not very interesting flavours.


Salted Caramel Chocolate Macaron w White Lotus Snowskin Mooncake: A says she couldnt taste any salted caramel, just a little sweet.

Purple Sweet Potato Paste w Water Chestnut & Melon Seeds: this was uh mediocre, couldnt taste purple sweet potato at all 

Black Sesame Paste w Roasted Melon Seeds: the black sesame taste wasnt strong enough

The snowskin here is q good tho, not too thick and kinda "melts" in the mouth

Shang Palace

Baked Yuan Yang Chestnut Paste w Dried Longan Paste: the taste of this mooncake clashed in our mouths, we didnt know what was going on. And it was too bitter, kinda like those chi herbal medicine?

Didnt manage to try the snowskin but think they're q interesting!!! Maybe will go back to try then update this post :)


The one at the bottom left front corner is Oreo Choc w Rice Crispies and Pistachios which A said was q nice. I tried the Green Tea Lotus w Chesnut, there wasnt any chestnut taste and green tea taste was q faint for me too. Roasted Sweet Potato w Yam wasn't good, couldnt detect anything that I was eating.

Kwong Cheong Tai Mooncake

They have a big variety of snowskin and this is just part of the variety! We tried the red wine and it tasted horribly like bubblegum so we didnt try anymore.

Unique flavour from Goodwood Park but we didnt try it

Pandan w Gula Melaka from Fullerton! Singaporean style~

Fullerton Hotel
White Truffle Snowskin Mooncake

This tastes reallyyyyyy like truffle cos they use truffle oil to make it! First taste, mmm you can taste the truffle but after that the taste is gone. Nice savory tinge to it!

Fullerton as well! This wasn't v memorable

Quite pretty display of mooncakes from Fullerton!

TWG Snowskin Series

On the brochure, this is the last one featured for the snowskin series and they have a whole lotta things going on in this mooncake. I remember rice pudding, raspberry, pistachio and many other things!!! This just mainly tasted like rice pudding. 

Also tried their baked mooncake, the one w the mango filling, umm didnt taste like mango, v normal in fact.

Crystal Jade

They sold this cute pig ones!! But we didnt try this. The woman recommended us the mocha one and we tried but the Tai Thong's one was still better!

Long Jiang

This has nice flakey skin yam mooncakes!

Grand Hyatt

Sesame Lotus Single Yolk w Bamboo Ash: ok this tastes like a normal mooncake, no sesame/bamboo ash taste or wtv. Good thing was, it wasnt too sweet! Not v memorable though.

Grand Hyatt

Black Sesame Yuzu Truffle: a little bit of milk choc-ish taste towards the end but you cant taste any black sesame or yuzu!!! 

Mei-Xin Mooncakes

I think they have very interesting flavours but pity they werent available for taste testing!! (I wanted to try tiramisu & sesame w macadamia nuts but wasnt available for trying)

The Regent

I was most impressed w their snowskin 'cos I think the flavours shone really well and it was done well!! The following are all snowskin mooncakes!

Signature Black Sesame Paste w Melon Seeds: one of the few w a strong sesame taste!!
Saint-Tropez Vanilla Cream: dont expect strong vanilla taste, this is more like a cream/custard kinda taste. No vanilla taste actually.
Italian-Spicy Chocolate: this is so deceptive!!! First bite - all you feel and taste is the smooth chocolate and then towards the end the spicyness suddenly hits you and it was really quite spicy!
Vanilla Rooibos w Passion Fruit Paste: okay this wasn't v nice either, not strong taste of passionfruit or vanilla.
Wasabi and Seaweed: now this was good! The wasabi was strong, and reminiscent of eating actual wasabi w/o the texture but instead in the snowskin mooncake texture!
Durian: This wasnt the super pungent durian but it was passable!
Green tea w Melon Seeds: we both agreed that their green tea was done really really well!! Super strong green tea flavour! NICE

The guy says you can mix the flavours for the 8 pieces so have fun! :)

Li Bai (Sheraton Hotel)

We didnt manage to try this mooncake but we tried their Mini White Lotus Seed Paste w Red Wine and Cranberry Truffle and this one wasn't good (like the previous red wine one tho this was marginally better) 'cos we couldnt tell what we were eating and the red wine taste was just v artificial!

The Cookie Museum 
Golden Bunny
Mango Snowskin w white lotus paste, Philadelphia Cheese & Mango Truffle

This had a v faint mango taste only, average to us.

The Cookie Museum
Drunken Durian
Baileys Irish Cream Snowskin with 100% Premium Durian & Baileys Liqeur

We didnt really like this cos there was like this bitter taste once you try it and the durian taste is kinda overpowered but then you cant really taste the baileys either so yea just a mishmash of stuff!


I also tried this lycheetini snowskin at one of the stalls, I cant rmb which one and it tasted v artificial as well so I didnt like it!

My fav baked mooncake will always and forever go to St Regis, Yan Ting. Theirs is uncomparable. The smoothness of the paste and the fragrance!! You'll definitely love it!! Bakerzin ones are q good too but idk if standards have changed so no comments but I know St Regis will definitely still be good :)

If y'all have any mooncake recommendations, please dont hesitate to post comments! :)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Yan Ting Weekend Brunch: Part II (Rest of the menu)


This is part 2 of the post. SO sorry I split it into 2, because it is just too image heavy + too long!! In this post, I'll similarly tell you how many portions we ordered 'cos you can tell the wait staff how many portions you want. Do note that some portions are much larger than what you'd think is suitable for 1 so do keep a look out for this!! I'll categorise them according to the headings in the menu in Part 1. (click here for Part 1)


Deep-fried Whitebait flavoured w Garlic, Salt and Pepper
1 portion

Soggy, tasteless, tasted more like flour 2/5

Cheese Rolls with Crispy Fresh Fruits
1 portion

Nothing special, just cheese, fruits and a crispy batter. Could only taste the batter. 2/5

Stuffed Chicken Wings w Century Egg and Ginger
1 portion 

Tastes faintly of chinese wine, a little bit salty, and there's chinese ham inside as well. Its a cold dish btw. Good cold appetiser. 3.8/5

Char Siew - wasnt good 'cos too lean
Roasted Duck - the boy says not nice but my Mom says its q fragrant and not bad
Roasted Pork Belly - v strong pork smell, not crispy skin, too lean!


Deep-fried Soft Shell Crab
2 portions

Cant really taste the crab, just the batter. Also, all the fried batter taste the same so we got kinda sick of it aft awhile! Quite big piece though! 2.5/5

Poached Cod Fish with Chinese Cabbage in Superior Broth
3 portions

Very very generous w the cod fish!!!!! Cod fish lovers must order this! Steamed nicely though could have been softer & flakier but this is q good alr. The cabbage doesnt really like go well with the cod fish (they wrap the cabbage arnd the fish) cos like when you bite it at first, the cabbage is a bit hard to bite through! Unless you cut w the knife. We ordered many more portions of this! 4.6/5

Deep-fried Prawn with Mayo
1 portion

Batter's a little too thick, prawns v fresh and crunchy like in the dimsum, v big portions too! Mayo dressing is just nice, so you won't feel jia lat. The roe atop makes it more crunchy and a little salty! 

Deep-fried Prawn Coated w Crispy Cereal 
2 portions

This was spicy and cant taste the cereal. More egg shreds than cereal. The same fried batter too! 


Forgot to take a picture of this dish but it was quite good! Steamed Scallop w Tofu in Szechuan Style. For people who do not take spicy food, you can ask them to just steam it w/o the sauce! It was v light and can taste the sweetness of the scallop! Each portion = one tofu w a scallop on top. Tofu was very soft almost like a cross btwn chinese tofu and egg tofu! We later tried it with the Szechuan sauce and it wasn't v spicy! Quite sour and sweet actually w small hints of spiciness! 4.4/5


Crispy Roasted Duck in Taro Crust
1 portion

Very crispy but there isnt a discernible taste for the duck or the taro, its kinda like mashed tgt! 3/5

Slow-cooked Pork Belly with Golden Crispy Man Tou
1 portion

Lots of fat meat, very soft and juicy. Pure. Decadence. The sauce alone was v good, would be good with rice but the "man tou" didnt go well 'cos it was a little too tough and cant really soak up the sauce. 4.5/5

Steamed Pork w Water Chestnut and Salted Fish
1 portion

The meat was mashed up too soft and everything seems like its "glued" together, cant really feel the "individual balls" of the minced meat. Cant taste the pork or salted fish. Luckily there was the water chestnut to help neutralise things. Wasnt a good dish though. 1.5/5

Honey-glazed Pork Ribs w Garlic
3 portions

Meat was quite tender though from the looks of it it'll be hard! Sauce was nicely done, not too sweet! No strong pork smell. The indiv ribs are q small in portion so can just keep popping them in your mouth! :) 3.6/5


Braised Seafood w Mixed Veg in Claypot
Not sure how many portions this is, I just ordered!

There's tang hoon inside and it soaked up the broth here which was sweetened with the myriad of vegetables in it! So it was a v light dish, good source of your fiber!!! Seafood included was like few slices of squid and some dried shrimps + dried scallop. Good to order! 4.6/5


Mini Egg Tart
3 portions

Not very fragrant but passable and quite a joy to eat since its so small. Quite buttery and the egg custard's quite nice! Do note that this is under the dessert section and NOT dimsum so dont fret if you cant find it in the first few pages of the menu!! 3.7/5

Our desserts!

Crispy Red Bean and Banana Fritters
2 portions 

By then my Dad and the boy were too full haha. My dad tried and he says its like goreng pisang! I tried a bit of the red bean paste and it was kinda sweet!

Refreshing Mango and Pomelo Soup w Almond Pudding
1 portion (top left corner)

This was not bad I think!! And it was the coldest amongst the 4 glasses shown here. I think the almond pudding didnt have a strong almond taste and the mango was not bad too!

Refreshing Aloe Vera Jelly w Fresh Fruits
1 portion

I ate like 2 cups full of this cos they were just too full haha. The aloe vera is like small cubes of jelly and a jelly that fills the entire cup too! Am glad they give sour fruits like passionfruit and raspberry! The former being rarer in Chinese desserts but I loved it! Needed something tangy to help digestion :) Mango was sweet and sour so kinda helped too! Overall this was not really refreshing but a q good end to a heavy meal.

Firstly, I said I'll touch on how to make the most value of this weekend buffet brunch, so here are some tips specific to Yan Ting:
  1. If you like fried food, just try some of your more fav ones but dont order all 'cos the batter's all the same and they're q mehh~~ (Average, passable) so dont waste your stomach space! Plus it gets q sick after awhile if you order too much fried food
  2. Take note of the portion sizing I've given and ask the waiter how big is a portion before ordering! So that y'all dont order too much and then end up wasting food/forcing yourselves to finish it!
  3. Take note of those I think are v lackluster and have big portions (Eg the steamed pork w water chestnut), then you might consider not ordering them and trying sth else
  4. Order small portions of many dishes, try a bit and see if you like. Then order more!
  5. Do order the salmon sashimi early (appetisers) cos when we arrived at like 12.30 they say no more already! The salmon was thickly cut and looked q fresh! We saw a plate of it that's why.
  6. The dishes come quite quickly! And the table doesnt really have ample space if you order a lot so it kinda pressures you into eating to free up space for more plates to come!
  7. Order the cod fish! Usually cod fish is very expensive, and here they're v generous! Oh yes, the scallops too and whatever seafood you like. Heard the beef is q good too.
Ambience: royal, grand feel to it but the 4-seater tables in the middle are a tiny bit close although you have privacy still. Nice setting overall!

Service: lacking at times 'cos well too many ppl and too shorthanded? Not attentive too. We poured our own tea almost throughout and cleared our own tables many times (ie put the empty plates on the "serving" table behind us). Had to remind them about our orders. They forgot about our soup and when we reminded this waiter abt it he said "uh okay I'll get the kitchen to make again". No apologies, instead it implied that we alr had it but we're just asking for more? But the same waiter was v nice to us later when we ordered the egg tart and it had to wait cos it was being baked at that moment! He kept coming back to tell us it'd be ready soon and sorry for the wait etc :) Sometimes can be q hard to get their attention.

Value: the boy and I both think that its quite value for money!! Even though at first glance, $98++ may seem a lot (its about $115 and some cents aft tax + service charge) however for the ambience and the quality of food + you get to sit there from 11am-3pm for your brunch (which will actually keep you full till dinner so its actually all 3 meals!!!) its worth it! Plus you get complimentary parking when you dine there and the best thing is on Sunday & PH, aft getting the complimentary ticket, you can just park your car there for the whole day for free! Use this chance to go shopping in Orchard!! Its just a short walk and can help digest your food :) 

Phew finally done posting. Sorry it's so long guys :) Hope this info helps!!! Oh and do make reservations early cos it was full that day we went I think!

Yan Ting
St Regis Level 1U
6506 6866
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