A slice of HK in Singapore

Hong Kong mooncake brands may not have permanent retail shops in Singapore, but they are no less popular than mooncakes made here.

In fact, the mooncakes - mostly traditional baked ones - are selling fast at mooncake fairs. The Mid-Autumn Festival falls on Sept 19.

Many Hong Kongers are buying them to take home because some brands sell out fast there.

Those which have made a name here are Wing Wah, Kee Wah, The Hong Kong Peninsula Confiserie, Mei-Xin and Koi Kei.

Kok Kei set up its first outlet outside of Hong Kong in Temple Street in Chinatown last December.

While the outlets focus mainly on traditional baked mooncakes, some sell egg yolk custard ones and a few others have introduced a range of snowskin mooncakes too.

Mr Sebastian See, 61, general manager of The Hong Kong Peninsula Confiserie in Singapore, says: "As the brand became more popular in Hong Kong, people started rushing for the mooncakes. Here, we see many Hong Kongers, as well as tourists from Malaysia and China, buying at least 10 boxes of mooncakes from Singapore.

"Now that we are the sole distributor of the brand, I have brought in three times the amount of mooncakes we had before and stock is depleting fast."

Kee Wah's director Jonathan Lee, 57, says that business has been "stable" during the 15 years of mooncake sales. "We are constantly improving on the product and slowly moving to modernise with snacks such as coffee egg rolls.

"But we still stick to our traditional roots and do not depend on gimmicks. Another market we are looking at is corporate sales."

Both The Hong Kong Peninsula Confiserie and Kee Wah also say they want to open shops here.

Mr Lee adds: "I have been considering an outlet here for a long time, but we need to have the right strategy and shop space.

"We sell our products in Singapore during Chinese New Year and Mid-Autumn Festival. We need to make sure that we can sustain the business for the rest of the year as the market here is still quite small, and a lot of the younger generation do not have the culture of drinking tea and eating mooncakes."

Andrew and Anderson Patisserie, which brings in the Wing Wah and Choi Heong Yuen brands, says: "Wing Wah has been making mooncakes since 1950 and the quality has not changed. They use 100 per cent pure lotus seeds from the Hunan province to make their own lotus paste. The mooncakes have gained recognition among local customers and demand has been increasing in double digits since 2008."

It brought in Choi Heong Yuen, another popular brand, from Macau last year and that has also been gaining ground among corporate customers.

The spokesman for Mei-Xin says there has been "double digit growth" annually for its mooncake. The brand is also behind the cheeky butt-shaped mooncakes at lifestyle store Goods Of Desire.

While the traditional white lotus paste mooncakes are their best-selling items, low sugar options as well as custard ones are gaining popularity too.

Housewife Stacy Koh, 43, who buys mooncakes from Wing Wah and Kee Wah every year, says: "I prefer the traditional baked mooncakes from these Hong Kong brands as I trust their quality.

"You always know the standard you are getting and we like the flavour of their lotus paste and the thin baked mooncake skin.

"The older generation is also familiar with these brands. If I buy the unusual snowskin flavours, my older uncles and aunts will not touch them."

euniceq@sph.com.sg

Mooncake fairs

Till Sept 18

Ion Orchard, Basement 4, 10am to 10pm daily

Till Sept 19

Takashimaya Square, Basement 2, 10am to 9.30pm (Sundays to Thursdays), 10am to 10pm (Fridays and Saturdays) VivoCity, 10am to 10pm daily nex, 10am to 10pm daily Chevron House, Raffles Place, 11am to 6.30pm (weekdays), closed on weekends

What's in town

Kee Wah

What: This family-run business has more than 70 years of tradition behind it. Try its golden mooncake with double yolk ($52 for four pieces), egg custard mooncake ($36 for eight pieces), and new maltitol sweetened, low sugar golden lotus seed paste mooncake with double yolk ($56 for four pieces).

Where: Mooncake fair at Takashimaya Square

Info: Call 9005-8118 or e-mail keewah.sg@gmail.com

The Hong Kong Peninsula Confiserie

What: Stocks are running low for mooncakes flown in from the hotel, so be quick to pick up its mini egg custard mooncakes ($46 for eight pieces), assorted mooncakes ($68 for four) and assorted mini mooncakes ($51 for eight pieces, four custard, four golden lotus seed paste with yolk).

Where: Mooncake fairs at Takashimaya Square, VivoCity and Chevron House

Mei-Xin

What: New items include the brand's low sugar white lotus seed paste mooncakes with either salted egg yolk ($48.50 for six pieces) or tropical almond ($46.50 for six pieces). It also has red bean paste mooncake with dried citrus peel ($35.50 for six pieces) and premium egg custard mooncake ($42 for eight pieces). Snowskin options (from $11 for two pieces) include flavours such as mango with pomelo, pink guava and apricot, and green tea with red bean.

Where: Available at 10 locations, including mooncake fairs at Takashimaya Square, Ion Orchard, Bugis Junction and Cold Storage outlets in Great World City, Holland Village and Causeway Point

Koi Kei

What: Go traditional with white lotus seed paste mooncakes with double yolk ($44.90 a box) or with the premium mooncake gift box ($55.60 a box) with four assorted flavours. Other options include mini dried mandarin orange peel mooncakes ($44.90 a box) and mini Portuguese-style custard mooncakes ($44.90 a box).

Where: 56 Temple Street and mooncake fair at Takashimaya Square, open: 11am to 9.45pm daily (Temple Street)

Info: Call 6225-7677 or go to www.koikei.com

Wing Wah

What: Classic baked mooncakes start at $62 for four, with white lotus paste and single yolk, or with assorted nuts. A recent favourite is Icy Party bird's nest deluxe snowy mooncakes ($76 for six pieces) featuring flavours such as bird's nest with coconut milk and green bean, and bird's nest with royal custard and Japanese sweet potato. Snowskin flavours include black sesame with green bean paste, apple and cranberry, and apple with pandan paste. The brand's other popular snacks include wife cakes, egg rolls and walnut cookies.

Where: Mooncake fairs at Takashimaya Square, VivoCity, Bugis Junction and nex

Choi Heong Yuen

What: Popular traditional flavours include white lotus paste with double yolk ($59.90, $69.60 for Butterfly Elegance gift set) and single yolk ($57.80). Other popular items include almond cookies, walnut cookies and phoenix rolls with vegetarian floss.

Where: Mooncake fairs at Takashimaya Square, VivoCity and nex

 

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