Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Maxim's Mooncakes

Finally! It's that time of the year again - the Mid-Autumn Festival!
And that can only means one thing: MOONCAKES GALORE! Yup, mooncakes. My favorite special-occassion-dessert/cake/pastry!

I'm very picky when it comes to mooncakes. I used to prefer snow-skin mooncakes (popular in places like Taiwan and Singapore), but for the past 3 years or so I reverted back to the classic, Cantonese-style mooncakes. And as far as I'm concerned, there are only 3 brands of mooncakes that are worth your money: Wing Wah, Kee Wah, and Maxim (Mei Xin / Mui Sam). All 3 brands are from Hong Kong, of course - I wouldn't settle for anything else. Na-ah. Not those Singaporean ones, not those horrible, horrible mainland Chinese ones. Hong Kong mooncakes are the creme de la creme of mooncakes. And there's only one type of filling that satisfy my craving: the traditional, luxurious, and much-coveted Lianrong (white lotus seed paste).

This year, I'm getting Maxim's mooncakes. Maxim's is still my favorite (and apparently, many others agree since it's the most award-winning Hong Kong mooncake manufacturer, gaining international accolades).

I bought the mooncakes in Chinatown's Thai Kee, because they're the only one who always reliably supply the matching carrying bags to the mooncake brand. Kind of feels authentic, like you've just dropped by Maxim's in say, Yau Ma Tei MTR instead of a dull supermarket in Sydney's Chinatown.

I just love Maxim's tin, which in my opinion kicks other brands' arses. They issue the same tins every year, but they also put the current year on emboss, so it's sort of a collectable item.
The design is very interesting - It depicts the goddess Chang-E and a cute little bunny in front of a full moon background. The border is garnered with the characters "Heung kong mui sam yuet ping" (Maxim's mooncakes, Hong Kong), as well as famous Hong Kong landmarks such as the Bank of China building and the Golden Bauhinia Monument.

Being a top-quality manufacturer, they also use bio-degradable materials for their inside packaging. Now that's great.

The catalogue. The items on the catalogue is so pretty! too bad most of them aren't available outside Hong Kong. If I'm in Hong Kong now, I'll probably buy the lot. Look at those cool tins! Seriously, Maxim's packaging is almost reaching the standard of really, really nice bakeries such as Japan's Minamoto Kitchoan.

The plastic knife included inside the mooncake tin. Notice the pattern on the handle reads "Mui Sam".

This year, I'm getting the Chunzheng Lianrong (pure lotus seed, without yolks) in an effort to restrict excessive protein intake! (nah, I'm kidding. I don't care about calories, I'm just bored and don't feel like egg yolks this year, hahaha)

It's irresistible. Such perfection. How indulgent. I just love, love this once-a-year treat!


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