During the Mid-Autumn Festival, Singapore's Chinatown is festooned with colorful paper lanterns and festive parade floats. In this famously food-obsessed country, shops ranging from high-end hotels to the average Starbucks hawk their own special rendition of a Mid-Autumn Festival speciality: mooncakes.
These beautiful pastries, made of a thin pastry layer wrapped around a dense filling (traditionally sweet bean/seed paste and a salted egg yolk), are considered a delicacy and customarily given as gifts to family and business relations.
Nowadays, competition for Singapore's savvy consumer has inspired bakers to innovate with their recipes and presentation. Nowhere is this more apparent than at Ngee Ann City's annual mooncake fair, where rows of the region's most acclaimed pastry chefs set up stalls to hawk their wares.
Make an afternoon of perusing the stalls. Many offer free samples to try, and it's possible to buy mooncakes to take home. After selecting your pastries, take the ticket from the vendor to the cashier's booth to pay, then pick up your package. Mooncakes are served sliced in wedges, and best enjoyed with tea.