Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Kia Hiang Restaurant Mooncakes

Baked mini mooncakes
Kia Hiang Restaurant has been around for more than 30 years. I never knew they were the first to use durian puree in mooncakes. (Will we ever see a debate on who invented what mooncake first, like the food fight a certain Malaysian minister stirred up recently? Haha) Anyway, Kia Hiang sent me a box of baked and snowskin mini mooncakes each, including their latest creation - the "bak kwa" (sweet BBQ pork) mooncake.

Bak kwa (BBQ meat) and selected nuts mooncake
Bak kwa mooncake? My first thought - oh no, too gimmicky! But I realised if it replaces Jin Hua ham in the "wu ren" (five nuts) moooncakes, then it's actually a much more palatable idea.

Don't worry about biting into mouthfuls of oily BBQ meat. The bak kwa is chopped up into tiny cubes, and sparsely integrated to lend a hint of flavour. The combination of the walnuts, pumpkins seeds, almond, sunflower seeds and winter melon strips make a tasty and chewy combination. These mooncakes are not too heavily spiced either, thankfully. But the almonds did come across as noticeably bitter, for some reason.
Cost - 6 Pieces ($25); 9 Pieces ($36).

Baked mooncakes - red lotus and white lotus with yolk
OK, I'm obviously not going to win any awards for cutting mooncakes. These are low sugar lotus paste (with yolk) mini mooncakes. You can see how thin the skin is, even on such mini mooncakes!
Red lotus paste - 6 Pieces ($24); 9 Pieces ($34)
White lotus paste - 6 Pieces ($25); 9 Pieces ($36)

Baked pastry crust mooncakes with salted egg yolk (macadamia and walnut versions)
What I did like were the baked pastry crust mooncakes. The short crust texture stays crisp, even without airtight storage. There are two kinds of filling, indicated by an entire nut embedded on the outside (see first photo). 6 Pieces ($24); 9 Pieces ($34)
- Red Lotus Paste with Macadamia & Yolk (left)
- Orange Lotus Paste with Walnut & Yolk (right)

Yam mooncake with flaky pastry
There was one single yam mini mooncake with flaky pastry - this kind used to be my favourite, because it's almost like eating orhnee (yam paste dessert). This one is too small to be of much impression, but I liked that it wasn't too sweet. Actually all their mooncakes are not overly sweet, which is good.

Mini snowskin mooncakes
The mini snowskin mooncakes. I never quite caught on to snowskin, to be frank. I still prefer the traditional baked types.

Green tea and Chocolate snowskin mooncakes
Mmmh, I was really looking forward to the chocolate with rum & raisin mooncakes ($28 for 6 pieces, $40 for 9 pieces), but found it rather too rich. Oddly, I wound up liking the green tea mooncake a lot more. It's more lotus paste than green tea, but the subtle flavour is what works. Green tea mooncakes that taste like thick matcha paste are just too overpowering.

Durian and Blueberry snowskin mooncakes
If you're a durian fan, you'll be pleased with the durian mooncake. It is made with deliciously smooth durian pulp ($28 for 6 pieces, $40 for 9 pieces).

Blueberry and cheese mooncake ($24 for 6 pieces, $36 for 9 pieces) tasted like fruity mousse. The cheese is not too strong or tart.

See the real durian pulp!
Here, take a look at the durian pulp! This is after it has "defrosted" a bit, and you can see the texture. Unfortunately, the moistness of the pulp will literally decimate the snowskin, if you leave it out in the hot weather too long. But I doubt that will be a problem, because there's no waiting to eat these mooncakes!

Jolie eating her first mooncake
Jolie instinctively picked up a mooncake and started eating. Her first mooncake! Looks like she enjoyed it.

In the spirit of fostering stronger family ties, Kia Hiang will offer a signature dish (Claypot Chicken) or a box of mooncakes for free if you bring your parents to dine between the month of September to Mid-Autumn Festival (3 October 2009).

Check out Sparklette's review, and Julia's Tried and Tested mooncake roundup on inSing.

201 Kim Tian Road #01-400 (junction of Jalan Bukit Merah and Kim Tian Road)
Singapore 160201
Tel: 6273-7352 (for mooncakes); 6272-0087

Mooncakes also available here:
Century Square Shopping Centre, 1st Storey, Main Lobby
Chevron House (Change Alley)
B2 Takashimaya Square
Vivocity (Facing Tangs)
3rd Storey Raffles City
Bugis Junction
Raffles Xchange


  1. Snowskin mooncakes not bad mah but don't ask me to take durian flavour. I like durian but when it's used to make other food, I can't seems to make myself taste it. :D I like lotus paste too.
    Jolie duplicate look of yr hubby !

  2. Ever since u mentioned about the Bak Kwa mooncake on fb, it has stirred my curiosity and it seems that their wu ren is good. Daddy is the only one that likes wu ren but he felt that the one from Hua Ting is overwhelmed with spices, thereby resembling like satay sauce.

    Their baked selection seems so ideal for my family but alas I have bought the mooncakes for them... Maybe next year bah...

    The problem with durian mooncakes is that it has to be kept in the freezer and only thawed just before consumption. If it is left in the chiller, as you said the moisture gets absorbed into the skin. So durian mooncakes can go either way.

    P.S. Love the last shot of Jolie enjoying the mooncake, her smile says it all... Hopefully Nadine and Jolie will enjoy carrying lanterns and enjoy the light-up at Chinatown... =)

  3. I wouldn't mind some bak kwa mooncake, actually. Time for something savoury after all the sweet snowskin mooncakes I have been having of late.

    But I guess tastes change over time. In the past, I wouldn't even touch mooncakes with salted egg yolk, but now I love it! :D

  4. awesome phtos fo mooncakes! 1st time heard of bak wah mooncakes...trying to imagine how it tastes like. Looks like more and more varieties of mooncakes are emerging. Wonder what next!

  5. Mun: oh didn't know you don't like durian-flavoured stuff. I'm the same for chocolate. Haha, yes Jolie takes after her daddy.

    Fen: overly spiced wu ren is a nightmare! Kia Hiang's one is actually not bad, just that I had some bitter almonds in it. Yes, I should bring Nadine and Jolie for some lantern festivity. Hope they don't burn down Chinatown!

    LFB: Tastebuds turning towards the savoury, Kenny? I love salted egg yolk in mooncakes. It's like what salt does to caramel.

    MaryMoh: yeah lor, wonder what's next. Most "innovative" flavours are a bit faddish though. Here one season, gone the next.

  6. I am going to Singapore at the beginning of November 2009. Am I still able to taste the varieties of moon cake in Singapore?
    Thanks, and best regards from KL!


  7. Hi Sven, if you are in KL, you can enjoy mooncakes there too! The festival culminates today, so mooncakes will not be available in Nov, I think.

  8. I didn't want to have the Durian snowskin mooncake initially. Until my girlfriend forced me to take one small piece. It was good! There were pulp and it taste very light yet have the richness of a authentic durian.

    Very nice.


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