The story of how I chanced upon TWG's mooncakes was somehow similar to the plot of a telemovie I watched over the weekend, Big Time In Little Street. It was about some friends hunting for long lost family treasure hidden under a vacant shop. Instead of trespassing, they decided to rent the adjacent shop to sell nasi lemak during the day and gradually tunnelled their way to the treasure at night. The nasi lemak business was poor, much to the disappointment of the wife of the lead character, whom was an aspiring cook and oblivious to the treasure hunt. A writer from Today (yes, the free tabloid that get us queueing every morning) paid a visit and gave good review. The next day saw a long line of customers waiting to try the nasi lemak that reminded the writer of her grandmother's delicious recipe. Business grew and...
Back to TWG, well, I'm not sure if it was an advertorial but the pictures of the black and white Silver Moon Cakes got me intrigued as I flipped through the weekend edition of Today. I must admit that I'm quite jaded by all these glamourized mooncakes over the pass few years and decided that I'd stick to the plain, cheap ones. In fact, I can survive mid-autumn festival without them. Not in the case of rice dumplings though. But somehow, the photo plus the description of the unusual ingredients used resuscitated a breath of enthusiasm towards mooncake in me.
Unlike the movie, I didn't need to beat the crowd to it. Probably because the price was relatively higher and that people were more interested in other fancier flavours. The plan was just to get a piece or two, as a certain website did mention that they do sell the mooncakes individually and at a cheaper price too. Well, neither was true but heck, given all the trouble I took to speed from the Ion Orchard branch (I didn't realise that it is still under construction) to the Takashimaya booth and rushed to catch a bus back to KL, I'd better GET myself some regardless of the price. And I did, a set of 4 which cost me S$48. Oh, they came with forks, knife and a very cool box.
The black, snow-skinned type was called Illumination where the filling consisted of praline custard cream while the traditional salted egg yolk was replaced with a shell of white chocolate encapsulating orange marmalade infused with 1837 Black Tea. The combination of flavours was smart and exquisite. It did look quite unpleasing when left exposed in room temperature, even for a while, but I guess the smooth praline cream made up for that sloppiness.
On the other hand, the white, known as Pure, was filled with a chocolate mousse and centered with white chocolate crusted tangy blackcurrant marmalade infused with 1837 White Tea. Very much like Illumination, if you ask me. Both gave a refined texture, be it the skin or the filling. So, in choosing the black or white, I guess it all boils down to the choice of marmalade.
Although I'll be nowhere near durians, I thought it was quite impossible to give the Jade Mountain a miss. So, I got one for XLB to try. The mooncake made up of green tea leaves, Mountain Cat durian paste and a chestnut heart. Yupe, green tea leaves and durian. How weird is that? XLB said that the taste was definitely interesting but sweetness could've been reduced further.
Still left in my fridge is Bliss (so profound), a traditionally baked mooncake with candied orange and caramelized chestnut filling. I'm keeping it for the mid-autumn celebration this Saturday and hopefully, it'll turn out good.
Except for the skin and the construction, I still can't bring myself to associate TWG's creations with mooncakes. Especially when they are comparatively much sweeter. That's not to say that they are unappreciated, of course. On the other hand, think of them as a good alternative to the run of the mill desserts like tiramisu or creme brulee. It'll be great to savour them at TWG's Tea Salon with a nice cup of hot tea. They recommend the Silver Moon Tea.
TWG Tea Salon & Boutique
Takashimaya Department Store
Ngee Ann City, Orchard Road.
Tel: (+65) 6738 1111