Harbour Times is proud to partner with SENSES AMUSEUM in introducing their new SENSES 2021 Mooncake Collection featuring delicious custard mooncakes, Anaglyph 3D playing cards and an (honestly) beautiful gift box that celebrates the beauty of Hong Kong’s skyline under a starry night
Purchase via our link to get a coupon for a box at a discounted price of $288 (original price $338).
When Vincent van Gogh completed his The Starry Night in 1889, it would not have occurred even to the genius bohemian that one day over a century later, that his oeuvre would inspire fusion deserts for Mid-Autumn festival in a small city on the Cathay coast.
SENSES’ 2021 Mooncake collection is an ode both to Hong Kong and the impressionist painter. The outer package of the gift box is a merging of the Victoria Harbour skyline with the meandering hills of The Starry Night. In the upper right corner, the crescent moon has waxed full, bright and yellow as an egg yolk.
The gift box also comes with a pack of van Gogh inspired playing cards crafted with an Anaglyph 3D layer, which alongside the 3D glasses included in the set, brings his pictures to life.
The mooncakes themselves are as bold as the box’s redesign of van Gogh’s moon and takes a modern fusion spin with a rich, creamy egg custard filling and layers of soft meringue.
The whimsical multicultural nature of the van Gogh mooncakes should come as little surprise for those familiar with the work of SENSES. Having previously run a van Gogh styled restaurant at the high-end Heritage 1881 (shut down during the pandemic), SENSES has always been influenced by the soft and emotional, yet fun and colourful nature of van Gogh’s artwork. SENSES continues to maintain an online store, as well as two physical stores in Taikoo and Tsim Sha Tsui.
Mooncakes in Hong Kong: An experiment in food senses
Traditionally, Mooncakes are eaten during Mid-Autumn Festival. In Chinese culture, a round, full moon symbolizes prosperity, completeness, togetherness and reunion for the whole family. Therefore, mooncakes are not just food, but an expression of love and best wishes.
In modern metropolitan Hong Kong, new flavours of mooncakes have become popular such as ‘Snowy Skin’ mooncakes which originated in the 1960s. Influenced by Vietnamese mooncakes, these local variations were made with an outer layer of glutinous rice and fillings such as coffee and mung bean paste. Frozen rather than baked, these mooncakes provided a healthier and more varied alternative to the lard based crust and salted egg filling of a traditional mooncake.
Egg custard mooncakes, the basis of SENSES’ mooncakes, were also created in Hong Kong. The fusion holiday treat was first made in the famous Spring Moon Restaurant, the first Chinese restaurant in the colonial Peninsula Hotel.
Mid-Autumn was a heavily contested season for F&B, and many bakeries sought to differentiate themselves from the competition, recalls Chef Yip Wing Wah in an interview with the Michelin Guide. In 1986, in an attempt to put themselves on the map, the Peninsula, which did not have a Chinese bakery section, decided to take influence from French bakery techniques and created a mooncake with a cookie crust and egg custard filling. To this day, lines snake out the entrance of the Peninsula, down Salisbury and onto Nathan Road, waiting patiently for a box of mooncakes.
SENSES’ use of meringue is one variation in many that attest to Hong Kong’s ongoing (delicious) experimentation with traditional recipes.
Each SENSES’ 2021 Mooncake boxset contains six mooncakes, a set of Van Gogh poker and 4 pairs of 3D glasses. Readers of Harbour Times who purchase via our link can get a coupon for a box at a discounted price of $288 (original price $338).
Coupons can be redeemed at SENSES stores at:
Shop 407, 4th Floor, Ocean Center, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui
Eslite Store 1/F (Counter L135), Cityplaza, Taikoo
Contact us for alternative arrangements