Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM
Copyright all rights reserved
The irrepressible and indomitable Travelling Gourmet goes to the…
MARRIOTT Singapore to taste Marriott’s Mooncakes for 2019. There are splendid suprises in store like a special ham from France, lavender and raspberries too. Marriott’s Mooncakes are always lovingly hand-crafted piece by piece. Cheerful Executive Chinese Chef Brian Wong and his team brainstorms to come up with new and thrilling flavours for the Mid Autumn Festival every year. Marriott’s new Food & Beverage Director, Owen Cooper, is also very innovative when it comes to new trends in Food & Beverage.
According to legend, the beautiful Moon Goddess Chang-O lives on the moon with her faithful companion, a white jade rabbit. Legend notwithstanding, Mooncakes have never been more popular. Only in Singapore are there so many creative and innovative flavours each year. In Hong Kong, the traditional Lotus Seed Paste Baked Mooncakes are more popular. For corporate gifts, Baked Mooncakes are de rigeur and in the past, the more salted duck egg yolks the more prestigious. Now, due to health concerns, usually two salted duck egg yolks suffice.
The presentation box for the Mooncakes this year is also very special. It is a two tier Chinese cabinet with auspicious floral motifs and sparrows that symbolize joy. It can be reused to keep your knick-knacks and jewellery.
I was very honoured to do a special tasting of Marriott’s NEW hand crafted Mooncakes for 2019 with innovative Executive Chinese Chef Brian Wong in Wan Hao. Wan Hao is the Singapore Marriott’s premier fine dining Cantonese restaurant.
Red Date Baked Mooncake with Bayonne Ham dusted with 24 karat GOLD!
Celebrated Bayonne Ham or Jambon de Bayonne is only produced in Bayonne in the Basque region of southwest France. It has a history of over a thousand years and was loved by the Kings of France. This superb ham that has IGP or Protected Geographical Indication, is in Marriott’s Red Date Baked Mooncake with Pistachio, White Sesame Seeds and Salted Egg. You will find that savoury Bayonne Ham dissolves on your palate to release its rich, smoky flavours. Well matched with the mellow sweetness of Red Dates or Jujubes that lingers on your taste buds…Healthy Red dates are full of Vitamin C and fibre! The recipe has reduced oil and reduced sugar while the special jade green pistachios are from the USA. Sweet and savoury flavours please your palate! In the Wan Hao Premium Gift Set, the mooncake is matched with a sweet dessert wine from France, Chateau Rieussec Cru Classe Sauternes 2015.
White Lotus Seed Paste Baked Mooncake with French Jambon de Bayonne, Lavender and Pistachio.
To make this mooncake, expensive fresh Lavender flowers were imported from France. Chef Brian explained, “Dehydrating and processing 1 kg of lavender produces only 400g of Lavender!” The golden brown crust covers a silky smooth fragant paste whose flavours harmoniously meld with the Bayonne Ham and Pistachios. I was pleased to find that the addictive fragrance and taste of Lavender lingers on in the aftertaste…Heavenly!
Raspberry Yoghurt Snowskin Mooncake with a Praline Centre
This mooncake has sweet and slight sour tangy flavours from the yoghurt which give is a unique taste profile/ The Praline centre is created with honey and Rosemary and some salted duck egg yolk. Due to Chef Brian’s expert combination of the ingredients it is not cloying at all. Yoghurt always goes very well with raspberries. You will be happy to learn that red raspberries have many health benefits. Raspberries contain ellagic acid, a phenolic compound that fights cancer. Quercetin, a flavanol in raspberries, also has cancer fighting properties. Powerful antioxidants that combat aging and heart disease are also plentiful in raspberries. Stay healthy eat more of this Raspberry Yoghurt mooncake!
Mocha Snowskin Mooncake with Rose Liquer Praline
This new flavour features Rose Liquer Praline. The Rose liquer from France is made with an infusion of rosebuds in alcohol. The praline has this lovely perfume of roses which is sure to appeal to ladies. The white lotus seed paste is infused with Mocha. A wonderful melange of luscious and unusual flavours to tease and pleasure your palate simultaneously.
Wines and liquers go every well with Mooncakes. When I was the first gourmet in the world to match Marriott’s Mooncakes with Wines many years ago, I was amazed to discover how well they married together!
Marriott Magical Mooncakes will be vailable from 8 August to 13 September, 2019! Perfect for celebrating the Mid Autum Festival. The 15th Day of the 8th Lunar Month when the moon is full is 13 September 2019.
My personal motto is: Das Leben es ist unbestimmt, isst erst den Nachtisch!
Life is uncertain, eat dessert first!
Friends and food and wine lovers, Bon appetit! 🙂
Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza
320 Orchard Road
Tel: 6735 5800
To be continued…please stay tuned