Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Kia Hiang Restaurant 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 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).
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)
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)
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.
The mini snowskin mooncakes. I never quite caught on to snowskin, to be frank. I still prefer the traditional baked types.
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.
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.
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 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.
KIA HIANG RESTAURANT
201 Kim Tian Road #01-400 (junction of Jalan Bukit Merah and Kim Tian Road)
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
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