Delicious mooncakes for Mid-Autumn Fest
by Jerneh Hong
The Mid-Autumn Festival is not complete without mooncake. A favourite among celebrants, this delicacy has been transformed over the years, appealing to a broader range of consumers and even to those who are health-conscious.
In the spirit of celebrating the spirit and heritage of traditional Chinese culture, Popular Vegetarian Restaurant’s Chef Zheng Shun Qing began researching into ways to make mooncakes more wholesome for today’s health-conscious consumer.
After intense research and experimentation, the restaurant launched its own vegetarian mooncake line in 2008. Made with palm oil and milk powder, the vegetarian mooncake is distinctive for its light, puff pastry crust instead of the more conventional caramel coating.
The vegetarian line may have been unfamiliar to customers in the beginning, but after trying their mooncakes, customers came back to buy more of their specialty mooncakes.
Since then, a few months before the coming Mid-Autumn Festival every year, Chef Zheng developed handmade vegetarian mooncakes in different flavors, including almond, egg yolk, durian, cheese mooncakes and so on.
Since their mooncake has no preservatives or additives, their mooncake has a limited shelf life of 21 days. To ensure the quality of their mooncakes, they are all handmade so they only sell a limited number on a first-come, first-served basis.
Fans as far as Europe
Today, six years later, Popular Vegetarian Restaurant has received orders on their website from all around Malaysia and even as far as Europe.
A few years ago, a local customer brought a friend from Switzerland to the restaurant. As it so happened, his friend came just before the Mid-Autumn Festival, so they got to try the vegetarian mooncake. They liked it so much that every year after that, the customer will buy their mooncakes to send to his friends in Switzerland. The postage fee is equal to four times the price of a box of mooncake!
The key to enjoying mooncake is by complementing it with an aromatic tea. So as you enjoy tonight’s harvest moon, don’t forget to prepare a light jasmine tea to savour some mooncake with family and friends.