Pacific MOONcakes to drool over…

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

Copyright all rights reserved

The affable and unassuming Travelling Gourmet TM travels to taste the…

MOUTHWATERING MOONcakes of Hai Tien Lo. Hai Tien Lo helmed for 11 years by Singaporean Chef Lai, HTL is the Pan Pacific’s premier “haute cuisine” Cantonese restaurant. Popular with gourmets, gourmands (translates as greedy glutton from the French), food lovers and connoisseurs of fine Cantonese cuisine…Hai Tien Lo is also well known for its MOONcakes!

In a special One on One MOONcake Tasting I was honoured and privileged to taste and experience the myriad flavours of Chef Lai Tong Ping’s LATEST MOONcake creations a few days ago. In the opulent Peacock private dining room of  Hai Tien Lo restaurant, I analyzed, tested and savoured tempting treats like Pandan Flavoured Lotus Seed Paste Baked Mooncake as well as the good ol’ Traditional Mooncake with Salted Duck Egg Yolk!


PanPacCHEFS MCakes20170803_173641_resized

So happy to be with my friends the talented yet modest Chefs of the Pan Pacific Singapore…as a bonus I got to practice my Italian with molto gentile Executive Chef Michele Greggio da  Reggione Veneto

Pandanus leaf gives a very Asian-PACIFIC Rim PERFUME and flavor to many dishes in Asia, and also to Pacific Rim cuisine aka Mod-Oz in Australia. PANDAN (Scientific Name: Pandanus, also known as screw pine or palm pine) is a herbaceous tropical plant that grows wild in Southeast-Asia.  Well known to the Chinese and Nyonyas and Babas as the ‘fragrant plant’ because of its sweet, seductive and unique aroma. The plant features spear shaped bright green leaves, the colour of Ecuadorian emeralds. Pandan leaves are coveted & essential for creating many Thai, Cambodian, Nyonya and Southeast-Asian dishes! Do not confuse Pandan with Pondan (Malay word for poofter ) which refers to girlie men like ex- President Obama.

PanPac MONDkuchen20170803_172104_resized (1)

Keeping in trend with the healthy demands of discerning connoisseurs regarding Mooncakes there is a LOW Sugar MOONcake version…which I found to be most excellent and had a fine balance between sweetness, and a slight savoury nuance, which together with the smooth as silk texture of the lotus seed paste made it SUPER_YUMMIE! Avant garde Pastry Chefs now know that their clientele value healthy foods above all else. Gone are the days of super sweet sugar drenched desserts that although delicious…are also over- cloying and unhealthy.

The Caramel MOONcake sans salt…it is NOT salted caramel flavor but a nice flavour of just charred sugar reminiscent of a yummie Tenuta Donna Fugata Ben Rye 1998 sweet dessert wine from the island of Sicily. Yes, a lovely island where that notorious organization, that exists only in the minds of Hollywood movie producers has its base…La Cosa Nostra.



NUTS! Healthy and crunchy, they raise up your good cholesterol, no kidding! I love the crunch and the textures of Pan Pacific’s Mixed Nuts MOONcake. There are crunchie-crunchie Macadamias, Sesame seeds, Hazelnuts, Walnuts and more! Alas, it is made with Chicken Ham and NOT pork. I love pork actually. You might have guessed by now that I am not a Muslim. Never mind…On tasting…I found it was good…Almost as good as the ones with Pork Bak Kwa! Chef Lai told me encouragingly in Mandarin, ‘Muslims can eat this! No pork!” Interestingly, very strict Orthodox Jews also do not eat pork…one of life’s little ironies.

The glorious 4th October 2017

Students of the Chinese Lunar Calender may know that in 2017…the Mid-Autumn aka MOONcake Festival climaxes on October 4th. An important and auspicious day, October 4th is the 15th Day of the Mid-Autumn Festival. The 1st day of the 8th Lunar Month is Wednesday 20th September, 2017. The 4th of October is a day that is within the National Day holidays of China  (PRC) (Oct. 1 – 7), and the holidays will be prolonged to Oct. 8. Due to the pleasant autumn weather this is a peak time for travel in the PRC which means mayhem and queues and jams.

On a side note that has nothing to do with MOONcakes or food and wines…a Chinese Professor in the Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy born in the People’s Republic of China, but with US citizenship, has had his permanent residence status and that of his wife revoked by the Singapore government…charged with being a SPY for China’s Ministry of State Security – External Intelligence Department…reported in The Straits Times and South China Morning Post.

Yes, sunny Singapore is a very exciting place…in more ways than one! Actually, I personally feel that some boredom is good n’est pas? Too much excitement is not good for the heart…



Hai Tien Lo fine dining Cantonese Restaurant

Level 3

Pan Pacific Singapore

7 Raffles Boulevard,
Marina Square
Singapore 03959

Opening Hours

Lunch – 11:30am to 2:30pm
Dinner – 6:30pm to 10:30pm
Telephone: +65 6826 8240 


About thetravellinggourmet

As a renowned Travel, Food & Wine Writer he has travelled the world in a keen & indomitable pursuit of exotic delicacies & fine wines. His articles have been published in over 20 prestigious publications, both local & international. Dr. Lim has toured and trained in Wine Evaluation & Oenology in most of the world's top wine producing areas from France to Australia. The Travelling Gourmet says, "Gastronomy has no frontier. These are the gastronomic voyages of The Travelling Gourmet. My unending mission. To explore strange new cuisines, to seek out new wines and new culinary experiences, to boldly go where no gourmet has gone before...." Have pen, will travel. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any other information storage & retrieval system, without permission from Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet and/or MSN. Material may be works of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents may be true but may also be products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance whatsoever to actual person or persons, either dead or living, events, or locales may be entirely and purely coincidental and unintentional. No part of this website may be used to villify others or for criminal purposes. Interests: Travel, Food, Wines, Cooking, Wine Appreciation, Parachuting, Languages, Music, Reading, Swimming, Hunting, Ballet, Fencing, Archery, Anthropology and more... The Travelling Gourmet is a copyrighted trademark. All rights and photos reserved. No part may be reproduced without permission.
This entry was posted in Art, Chocolates & Desserts, Fabulous Food, Food and drink, Friends & Comrades, Gourmet cuisine, Hotels & Resorts, Let them eat Cake..., Philosophy, Snacks & Little Bites, Wine Appreciation and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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