With the Mid-Autumn Festival just round the corner, there’s plenty of mooncakes to go around. But if you ever wondered just how much work goes into creating these intricate pastries, the best person to ask would be Chef Lo Tian Sion, the Master Dim Sum Chef for the award-winning Tao Chinese Cuisine at InterContinental Kuala Lumpur. Having spent the last two decades mastering the art of creating delicate bite-sized savouries, Chef Lo’s passion for preserving the tradition of making mooncakes completely by hand is undeniable as he works his magic in front of a handful of lucky journalists who had been invited to witness a private mooncake-making demonstration at the exclusive establishment.
For this year’s mooncake extravaganza, the restaurant has decided to up the ante by introducing a bevy of new flavours that will tickle almost anyone’s tastebuds. First up is the Marble Snow Skin with Butterfly Pea Flower and Bird’s Nest, a quirky creation immediately recognisable by the streaks of blue displayed on its glutinous rice crust which derives its blue hue from the bunga telang (blue pea flower). At first bite, the mooncake’s silky-smooth filling made from edible bird’s nest is light and only slightly sweet. Other flavours to look forward to in the snow skin category include the creamy Snow Skin with Durian Paste with Oats and unexpected combinations such as the surprisingly addictive Snow Skin with Japanese Green Tea and Cherry Jelly.
As for the piece de resistance in this year’s mooncake offerings, Chef Lo immediately highlights the new Shanghai Style Baked Black Pepper Smoked Duck Meat with Yam which was inspired by the scallion pancakes that he savoured during his travels in Taiwan. Encased inside the light and flaky pastry shell is a savoury filling made from smoked duck and sweet yam paste enhanced by pungent hits of black pepper. As a way to ensure optimal taste and texture, this variant is only available for dine-in at Tao Chinese Cuisine.
For traditionalists who prefer to stick with the tried and true flavours of yore, the restaurant offers six classic baked-skin mooncakes, each adorned with elegant illustrations of peach blossoms. These tasty fillings include White Lotus Paste with Single Yolk, Pure White Lotus with Nuts, Red Bean Paste with Nuts, Black Sesame Bamboo Charcoal with Single Yolk, Pandan with Single Yolk and Traditional Mixed Nuts. Those who wish to share these traditional delicacies with their loved ones can opt to have them packaged in a beautiful gift box decorated in bold hues of black and red with luxurious gold trimmings. But hurry, as these exquisite mooncakes will only be available until 24 September. For more details, visit kualalumpur.intercontinental.com