Mid-Autumn Festival Mooncakes at HKK
Published 16 August 2014
To mark the upcoming Chinese mid-autumn festival, HKK are incorporating mooncakes into their 15 course tasting menu. Mooncakes are round pastries, with a soft crust and a sweet filling, and are eaten in the month up and until the mid-autumn festival (8th September this year). As someone of Chinese origin, I was intrigued when I heard that Michelin-starred HKK were creating special mooncakes this year, and incorporating it into their 15-course tasting menu for dinner. They only have a 15-course tasting menu for their evening sittings, so this was a rather brave move in introducing quite an “exotic” pastry into the London food scene! Chef Tong Chee Hwee, Executive Head Chef of Hakkasan Group, created two moon cakes – a sweet red date moon cake with a delicate pastry wrap enveloping a lotus seed and red date filling, and a savoury and sweet snow-skin moon cake with a nutty, lotus seed centre: When we dined at HKK earlier this week to try the mooncakes, they were first brought out on a plate to showcase the exquisite beauty and craftsmanship required to make them. They looked more a miniature sculpture, and too good to be eaten!
They were then sent to the kitchen, where they were sliced and presented onto dessert plates, and served with Da Hong Pao (大红袍) tea, which is a premium oolong tea from China and one of the most expensive Chinese teas you can buy.
The snow skin mooncake was very delicate, and it was amazing how they managed to create a pastry skin that thin without breaking it. I’m not normally a fan of mooncakes as the mass market ones are usually too sweet, but these ones were perfect and fresh – you could taste the fruity flavour of the dates used to make the filling. As the mooncakes were part of the tasting menu, we did also enjoy the rest of the fourteen courses that evening. The food was so good that it is worthy of a full review all by itself, so look out for part two of this HKK review next week! The moon cakes will feature on the 15 course tasting menu at HKK until the 13th September.