Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mooncakes From Ti Chen, Saujana Resort

One of the most wonderful things about living in this melting pot of cultures is the continuous and never ending stream of festivities and the foods associated with them.  I mean, if you lived in say, a Caucasian country, the highlight of the year might be ... Christmas? or a thanksgiving turkey, but in Malaysia,.... beginning of the year, we have the endless yee sang promos... quickly followed by easter offerings, usually in the form of high teas, and chocolate eggs, then the dumpling festivals, and depending when Ramadhan strikes, the endless Iftar buffets, followed by Aidil Fitri, then we have the mooncake festival.  But of course in between times, there'll be all sorts of other non festive promos, because let's face it, eating is our national pastime, only next to shopping.

Barely have the gates of Hades closed, and the hungry ghost festival over, (apparently some vagrants are still wandering around), that the appearance of the ubiquitous mooncake makes its presence felt.  Gone are the days when mooncakes were made either from lotus paste, red bean paste, or nuts, the main variation being the number of yolks.  These days, every imaginable filling fills these skins, be they baked or snow skinned.  Someone should have a nasi lemak mooncake soon, afterall, the egg yolk would be the perfect complement.

A lazy hot Saturday afternoon in Ti Chen, Saujana Hotel (but at the Club annex) introducing their range of mooncakes, and a quick workshop demonstrating how to make the snow skinned mooncakes.

Almond with black sesame paste mooncake....

Golden Mixed Nut Mooncake

Low Sugar White Lotus Single Yolk Mooncake....Sigh, whatever happened to double yolks.  Nevertheless , this traditional mooncake remains my all time favourite.

Jade Custard Mooncake

All laid out for the demonstration, Chef Yaw Kim Yew, had crafted the mooncake to represent 3 unique symbolic shapes in accordance to Chinese folklore...and I did  not know this before.
The heart shaped mooncake represents the myth of the Old Man and The Moon, ...who has the prestigious job of keeping a book of records with the names of all newborns and their future partners.  Boy, would I love to sneak a preview into THIS book.  Wonder if it's online now.

The other shape is the Oval Mooncake, with the legend of The Lady of the Moon, who stole and consumed an immortality pill from her husband the Great General Hou Yi.  Poor lady, stuck up there all this while until she was discovered by Neil Armstrong in 1969.

The round mooncake symbolizes the Chinese revolt against Mongolian rule with the hidden messages in the mooncake.  This is the story we're most familar with.

The heart shaped Almond With Black Sesame Paste.  Love the combination actually, black sesame is an ideal filling.

Green tea with Citrus Red Bean, almost quite traditional with the red bean, and the slight bitterness of the green tea complements the sweet filling.

Of course, in demos, the Chefs make the process look as easy as opening a can of soup.  Toss the snow skin powder, add liquid, knead, and voila, you have the snow skin...ready for immediate use.

You basically roll out the skin, add your filling of choice, plop it into the mould.....

Give it one fell press, to flatten the mooncake into the mould and fill it up, ....

And with one deliberate thud, invert the mould, and tah dah, moon cake is made.

In case you missed that, again, fill filling into snow paste skin, place in mould, flatten,

Plop it out... tah dah...

Riotous applause...

And Chef Yaw Kim Yew proudly poses with his gorgeous heart shaped almond black sesame mooncake.

For the chocolate lovers, the German Blackforest Mooncake is a must...

..... as is the Durian Custard Mooncake, which will give shivers of pleasure to the durian lovers, and send non durian lovers screaming into the sunset.

Priced at RM19-23 each for the baked skin and RM18-RM22 for the snow skin, SGCC members get 20% off, Lifestyle by Saujana Members get 15% as do CIMB Card members.

The workshop was followed by a delectable lunch, as one does not survive on mooncake alone.

Luscious prawn dumplings, with fresh crunchy prawns...

My favourite, deep fried beancurd roll with cheese...such a great marriage of ingredients from east and west.  Melt in the mouth cheese and crispy foo choke... best!

Wok Fried Radish cake with seafood

Deep fried prawn roll with Jackfruit... most novel, and a great combination, if you like jackfruit, which I do.  The light crispy wrapping, the sweetness of the fruit, and the prawn... a lovely menage a trois.

Steamed Chicken Siew Mai...actually these halal restaurant chefs have almost mastered the art of making pork free dim sum, I'd say.  I almost could not tell the difference. Almost...

Steamed glutinous rice with chicken... aka Loh Mai Kai... rice was nice and grainy, not mushy and stodgy.

But the piece de resistance would have to be these pan fried chicken buns.  Absolutely to die for.  A lightly fried bread dough, enveloping delicious bao type filling, sooo sooo delicious!
Ti Chen
Saujana Hotel, Saujana Resort
Jalan Lapangan Terbang SAAS
40150 Selangor Darul Ehsan
Tel: 03-7843 1234


Ciki said...

Chef Yaw has got to be the cutest looking chef i know! :) hehe

KY said...

no double egg yolks? And here I am hoping for 4 egg yolks!