Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most spectacular celebrations on the Chinese calendar. The Sybaritic Single remembers the day when he tasted his first moon cake, synonymous with the celebration: 27th September, 2013. Over lunch at the Billiard Room at the Raffles Hotel Singapore, six years before it was refashioned by Alain Ducasse who dared to remove the billiard table from the billiard room, he had lunch with Diana Ee-Tan who presented him a small box which contained a savoury egg yolk mooncake. The unusual delicacy captured his taste buds and heart. Ever since, he would return to Singapore every year just to get a few boxes of mooncakes, always from the Raffles – what a romantic tradition.
It is said that the Raffles Hotel sells more than 100,000 mooncakes every year, from the perennial favourites with white lotus paste and mother-of-pearl to more innovative recipes with Champagne, Earl Grey, Cognac, sour plum, yuzu and osmanthus. The global pandemic, however, affected many travel plans, including the annual mooncake trip to Singapore. The Sybaritic Single wrote to the hotel’s butlers hoping they would be able to find a way to ship his favourite Champagne truffle snow-skin mooncakes overseas, however the plan fell apart.
Once in Hong Kong, the Sybaritic Single always remembers to pass by The Peninsula, where Michelin-starred chef Tang Chi Keung prepares his famous walnut and dried longan egg custard mooncakes – sold-out in a matter of days both online and offline, and impossible to ship anywhere further than Hong Kong Island. The Russian in Sybaritic Single can also never resist extravagant caviar and truffle mooncakes from the Royal Caviar Club, known as the finest purveyor of caviar in Hong Kong. Presented in authentic caviar tins, they are the epitome of modern luxury and timeless tradition.
He even tried getting mooncakes from a pastry shop of a famed Asian hotel in Dubai, which will remain unnamed – and what stone-hard culinary atrocity it turned out to be. It seems like getting proper mooncakes is only possible in the Far East. Familiar with his obsession, Dior once flew a special box of its own mooncakes, paired with its own tea blend, to surprise the Sybaritic Single. But shouldn’t more luxury hotels, especially those with Asia in their brand DNA, promote the 3,500 years’ old tradition and its exquisitely delicious side?