August 14th, 2014. I came to Mandarin Oriental Jakarta with fellow foodies. We had chance to try their new mooncakes creations. They proudly present handcrafted mooncake delights.
courtesy of MO
Falling on the 15th day of the 8th month according to the Chinese lunar calendar, the Mid-Autumn Festival is the second grandest festival after the Spring Festival in China. It takes its name from the fact that it is always celebrated in the middle of the autumn season. The day is also known as the Moon Festival, as at that time of the year the moon is at its roundest and brightest.
courtesy of MO
Mandarin Oriental Jakarta offers a selection of traditional mooncake using premium lotus seed and red bean paste from Hong Kong as well as a brand new mooncake flavour, the Mini Egg Custard. They introduced us to the Chinese Executive Chef of Xin Hwa, Jeff Lee.
courtesy of blogspot
A Malaysian citizen, Chef Lee specialises in fine Cantonese cuisine as well as large-scale Chinese banquets. He started his career in the famous Lai Po Heen restaurant at Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur, before moving to Cherry Garden at Mandarin Oriental, Singapore. He has also had the opportunity to work under the supervision of famed celebrity Chef Jeremy Leung, who has honed his craft at some of Southeast Asia’s most renowned hotels.
While having at least 15 years experience in the culinary scene, Chef Lee had the opportunity to learn the techniques in creating mooncakes from a masterchef in Hongkong and continued to hone his skills in Singapore. This year, Chef Lee lends his passion and expertise to create an enticing collection of both traditional and contemporary mooncakes at Mandarin Oriental, Jakarta.
As a tradition, mooncakes were paired with tea. Mandarin Oriental Jakarta also made 4 kinds of traditional mooncakes, and paired them with 4 kinds of tea. But first, they served us a thirst-quenching beverage.
Each mooncake is beautifully hand-crafted using custom-made wooden mould with Mandarin Oriental trademark fan logo as well as the lotus flower.
Chef Jeff Lee was demonstrating how to make mooncakes, and welcoming us to try after the demonstration.
There were 3 type of the mooncakes:
1. Traditional Mooncake salted egg with White Lotus – pairing with Sencha Green Tea
I don’t like salted egg. But, combine with white lotus and sencha green tea, the salted egg wasn’t as sharp as usual.
Sencha (煎茶) refers to Japanese ryokucha (緑茶, green tea) which is made into the green tea beverage by infusing the processed whole tea leaves in hot water. It is the most popular tea in Japan. This is as opposed, for example, to matcha (抹茶), powdered Japanese green tea, in which case the green tea powder is mixed with hot water and therefore the leaf itself is included in the beverage.
2. Traditional Mooncake with Red Bean paste – pairing with Tea guan yin
This was one of my favourites. The red bean paste was delightful. I fell in love after one bite. The tea guan yin was lovely, my favourite tea.
Tieguanyin (simplified Chinese: 铁观音; traditional Chinese: 鐵觀音; pinyin: tiěguānyīn; Jyutping: tit3 gun1 jam1; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Thih-koan-im; literally: “IronGuanyin”) is a premium variety of Chinese oolong tea originated in the 19th century in Anxi in Fujian province.
3. Traditional Mooncake White Lotus paste – pairing with Pu erh Tea
This was delicious too, but it was too common for me. I didn’t really like Pu erh Tea. It was a little bit too strong, and I didn’t like the aroma. Too strong. But, after it went cold, the aroma was less strong.
Pu-erh or Pu’er tea (pǔ’ěr chá) is a variety of fermented dark tea produced in Yunnan province, China. Fermentation is a tea production style in which the tea leaves undergo microbial fermentation and oxidation after they are dried and rolled. This process is a Chinese specialty and produces tea known as Hei Cha (黑茶), commonly translated as dark, or black tea (this type of tea is completely different from what in West is known as “black tea”, which in China is called “red tea” 红茶). The best known variety of this category of tea is Pu-erh from Yunnan Province, named after the trading post for dark tea during imperial China.
4. Traditional Mooncake Macadamia with Red Lotus – pairing with Mandarin Jasmine
This was topnotch!! You could taste the macadamia nut wonderfully mix with red lotus. Then, smell the tea first. You will be amazed by the fragrant of the jasmine. Sip it. You’ll be stunned. That’s why I said this was topnotch. Best flavour with best tea. Breathtaking.
Jasmine tea (Chinese: 茉莉花茶; pinyin: mòlìhuā chá) is tea scented with aroma from jasmine blossoms to make a scented tea. Typically, jasmine tea has green tea as the tea base; however, white tea and black tea are also used. The resulting flavour of jasmine tea is subtly sweet and highly fragrant. It is the most famous scented tea in China.
EGG CUSTARD MOONCAKES
A flaky soft pastry shell filled with sweet egg custard. This popular egg custard uses a refined recipe of the Mandarin Oriental.
This new flavour was cute. Egg custard was a nice filling for desserts. For those who like egg custard, you should try this one. 🙂
Custard is a variety of culinary preparations based on a cooked mixture of milk or cream and egg yolk. Depending on how much egg or thickener is used, custard may vary in consistency from a thin pouring sauce (crème anglaise) to a thick pastry cream (crème pâtissière) used to fill éclairs. Most common custards are used as desserts or dessert sauces and typically include sugar and vanilla. Custard bases may also be used for quiches and other savory foods. Sometimes flour, corn starch, or gelatin is added as in pastry cream or crème pâtissière.
courtesy of MO
This is another new version of the mooncake, using premium Valrhona dark chocolate infused with three fillings – caramel, passion fruit and jasmine green tea.
My favourite: jasmine green tea filling. Caramel filling was number 2. And last, passion fruit filling.
Mandarin Oriental Jakarta’s mooncakes are packaged in an elegant contemporary box of auspicious red and gold, with a touch of vibrant colours inside – making it the perfect gift. It is a gift of prosperity to your loved ones, where each colour boxes resemble the recipients well-being.
Blue resembles a renewal and one with nature.
Green features a clean start and clean well-being.
Orange means to strengthen one’s concentration.
Pink means love for your loved one.
Yellow means nourishing, prosperity, caring and support for the recipient.
Purple means physical and mental health to your well-being.
The outer part of the packaging is dominated with red colour. Red resembles prosperity, good luck and wellness. It symbolises true feelings for the person to do well in each aspect of his or her life.
Clouds represent one of the elements, which is “yun.” It is connected to the water element and symbolises the reference of the moon in that money should freely circulate like flowing water.
The border of the box is gold because it symbolises completeness of one being. The Mandarin Oriental Mooncake gift box is the ultimate perfect gift for this Mid-Autumn Festival.
This mooncakes are available at the Cake Shop since 25th July until 10th September 2014.
Mini mooncakes (box of 6) 418k ++
Large mooncakes (box of 4) 438k ++
Individual traditional mooncakes 108k ++
Chocolate mooncakes 118k ++
After that, they walked us to Xin Hwa to enjoy a delicious dinner.
Old fashioned Shanghai style smoked cod fish fillets 88k
Actually this is a very simple dish. First, cut fillet the cod fish, then fry it until dry. Mix it with honey sauce. Voila!! But for a simple dish, the taste was very stunning. The crispy skin was sweet and addicting. The fish was tender and firm. Recommended dish!!!
A fillet (or filet) (UK /ˈfɪlɪt/, US /fɨˈleɪ/; from the French word filet /filɛ/) is a cut or slice of boneless meat or fish.
Smoking fish such as cod is an ancient practice of preserving it. Fresh fish goes bad after only a few days. By smoking the fish, it will last several weeks. Smoking adds flavor to the fish, depending on the wood and spices used. Using spice rubs, you can bring out the flavor of fish as it cooks. The type of wood you use will change the flavor and smell of the fish. You can experiment with various woods for smoking.
Pan-fried US Omaha wagyu rib eye with Sichuan pepper and mushroom 688k
This was so remarkable. Smashing! The cube-shape wagyu was so tender and savoury. The Sichuan pepper wasn’t so spicy. And the mushroom was scrumptious. And the happiest thing: I was the one that finish the last cube. Yaaaaay..
Omaha Steaks International, Inc., known as Omaha Steaks, manufactures, markets, and distributes steaks, red meats, and gourmet foods.
The Rib-Eye is cut from the roast that sits at the top of the rib primal. As a roast is known as a standing rib roast or, more commonly, Prime Rib (though technically only if it is prime grade beef). The Rib-Eye is a boneless cut. When the bone is attached it is called a Rib Steak.
Deep fried chicken fillet with almond in Thai sauce 98k
The crunchy almond was well-seasoned. The chicken fillet was tender and juicy. A little bit spicy with Thai sauce, but that’s the beauty of this dish. Sweet and spicy flavour. So good.
Cause bay style wok-fried string beans with minced chicken, dried shrimps, garlic and hot bean sauce 78k
This string beans was crunchy. And the minced chicken was so generous. The hot bean sauce enhanced the flavour and will make you craving for more. The appearance was also pretty. It was like a bush with gold on top of it. Tempting.
Green beans, also known as string bean, snap bean in the northeastern and western United States, or ejotes in Mexico, are the unripe fruit of variouscultivars of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). Green bean cultivars have been selected especially for the fleshiness, flavor, or sweetness of their pods.
Yang Zhou style fried rice with chicken char siew, prawns and asparagus 88k
I was screaming, “Yay, rice!” literally. It was so delicious. Love the rice, the char siew, the prawns. Yang Zhou style usually used only egg and shrimp. That’s why this time, I was surprised the fried rice used chicken char siew and prawns. But I loved it, because it was so delicious.
Yeung Chow fried rice (Chinese: 扬州炒饭; variously Romanised Yangchow Yung Chow, Yang Chow, Yangzhou, Yeong Chow) is a popular Chinese-style wok fried rice dish in many Chinese restaurants in China, the Americas, Australia, United Kingdom, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Thanks Mandarin Oriental for those divine mooncakes and the delightful dinner. Special thanks to Chef Jeff Lee. He is so friendly and low profile.
祝你一切順利, 廚師. 謝謝.