Not everyone is a fan of the traditional-style Hong Kong mooncakes. Instead of suffering through the season's specialty, the solution is to change the game and find a different way to celebration Mid-Autumn Festival.
These are our top recommendations of Hong Kong's mooncakes targeting those pick eaters, we mean discerning pallets, amongst us.
1. Most Decadent: Kowloon Shangri-La
The chef here has creates two mooncakes with his own twist: one with an infusion of French black truffles and one with bird's nest. These crispy custard-based mooncakes are sure to impress whoever you give them to -- or, we'd keep the black truffle ones all to ourselves.
The Kowloon Shangri-La is also offering two types of Mid-Autumn Festival cookies called "Celebration" and "Oneness". The former includes lotus paste, nuts and dried apricots, while the latter has a choice of white lotus paste or red bean paste with crispy biscuits.
The mooncakes are priced at HK$458 per box of four pieces, and the cookies at HK$258 for 18 pieces of Celebration and HK$388 for 12 pieces of Oneness.
Kowloon Shangri-La, 64 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2721 21111, www.shangri-la.com
2. For the Health Conscious: Miramar
We all know that the Mid-Autumn Festival means a lot more family gatherings and large meals. It also means eating mooncakes, complete with extra calories, cholestrerol and fat, but a healthier option is available.
The Miramar group offers a low sugar version of their white lotus puree moon cakes for those who have a sweet tooth, but are also watching either waistline.
A box of four low sugar moon cakes is priced at HK$196 if purchased before August 30, and their original price is HK$248.
The Mira, 118 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2368 1111, www.miramargroup.com
3. Most Savory: Harlan's
Leave the boring Hong Kong mooncakes for other families and treat yours to some more intriguing flavors of black truffle and Iberian ham. Olive oil is also used in these cakes to balance the other savoury flavors.
If grandma would rather something a bit more traditional, mooncakes with white lotus paste or custard are also available with truffles.
A box of the truffle and Iberian ham moon cakes are priced at HK$289. A box of the custard moon cakes with truffle are priced at HK$228 and the white lotus moon cakes with truffle are priced at HK$268. Also try a box of assorted truffle moon cakes which are available for HK$260.
Harlan's, 19/F The One, 100 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2972 2222, www.harlans.com
4. Most Interesting: Ming Court
Every year sees same classic Hong Kong mooncake flavours on the shelves, but this year the chef at Ming Court decided to mix two classics together and created a mooncake filled with light taro, pine nuts and egg yolk.
A box set of eight is available for HK$191 before August 24 and for HK$238 from 25 August to 11 September 2011.
Ming Court, 6/F Langham Place, 555 Shanghai Street, Mongkok, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 3552 3300, www.mingcourt.com
5. Most Creative (Yan Toh Heen InterContinental)
For those who are wary of mooncakes, get a bit better acquainted with yours this season by making your own -- everything tastes better when you make it yourself, even mooncakes. A mooncake making class is now available at the InterContinental.
Make your own custom mooncakes with a tailor-made mould as executive chef Lau of Yan Toh Heen guides participants through the entire process.
The class is priced at HK$988 per person plus 10 percent service charge. The class includes a dim sum breakfast, mooncake making class and tasting, a cake mould set and apron and a box of six custard cream mooncakes. Book your class by 29 August 2011.
Yan Toh Heen, InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2721 1211, www.yantohheen.com
6. Anti-Mooncake: Edible Arrangments
There's always a person who just doesn't enjoy mooncakes no matter what luxurious ingredients are put into it, but don't fret, Mid-Autumn Festival Scrooge can still partake in the celebration. Edible Arrangements is offering a box set of Mid-Autumn Dipped Daisies -- fresh pineapple dipped in dark chocolate. They're even stamped with festive Mid-Autumn festival decorations.
A box set of six or 12 pieces are priced at HK$308 and HK$398 respectively.
Edible Arrangements, Shop 3012, IFC Mall, Podium Level 3, 1 Harbour View Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2295 1108, www.ediblearrangements.hk
7. Chocolate Lovers: VERO
Shy away from traditional mooncakes, and treat yourself to something different -- indulgent chocolate mooncakes made from artisan, Venezuelan chocolate.
These mooncakes come in a variety of different flavours such as mango kaffir lime, pink Himalayan caramel, glenmorangie whisky and balsamic raspberry. They're sure to be a crowd pleaser and a hit for any chocolate fanatic.
A chocolate mooncake gift box is priced at HK$188 for two pieces and HK$288 for four pieces.
VERO, Shop 236, The Landmark, 11 Pedder Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2559 5810, www.verochocolates.com