The Sweet Spot

Pastry Chef & Traveler

Archive of ‘Eating Out’ category

Kee Wah Bakery Mooncake Workshop in Hong Kong 奇華餅家「分享‧福份」月餅工作坊2013


As you know, I was in Hong Kong last month, and I was invited to one of a Mooncake Making Workshop by Kee Wah Bakery in Hong Kong itself. Mooncakes are abundant when it’s September or as the 8th lunar month of the Chinese Calendar arrives. Making and sharing mooncakes is one of the hallmark traditions of this festival. In Chinese culture, a round shape symbolizes completeness and unity. Thus, the sharing of round mooncakes among family members signify the completeness and unity of families.

kee wah lyndhurst street

Kee Wah was originally founded in Hong Kong in 1938 by Mr. Wong Yip Wing (1911 – 1999). The Company is well known in Hong Kong and overseas for its signature products; Chinese Bridal Cake (老婆餅) and Mooncakes (月饼) - though a wide range of Chinese and Western delicacies is equally popular.

Kee Wah has grown from a small store in Shanghai Street in Yau Ma Tei to a renowned brand with outlets throughout Hong Kong, and has also expanded overseas by setting up factories and outlets in Taiwan and North America. Carrying the founder’s no-nonsense approach, it’s tradition and philosophy still remains in this family operated company while at the same time striving to preserve the long tradition of high quality Chinese pastries to modern day customers.

kee wah store in lyndhurst terrace hong kong

It’s a great place to get some souvenirs back to be shared amongst family and friends. With 75 years of experience in food production, you will find a diverse range of traditional Chinese confectioneries and pastries such as Chinese Bridal Cake, Tea, All Time Favourite snacks (Eggrolls, Assorted Chinese Sweet Crispies) Walnut cookies, Pineapple Cakes, Mooncakes and so much more at Kee Wah.

In recent years, Kee Wah also introduced a new range of healthy products that are low in sugar and cholesterol free such as Brown Sugar Chinese Crispy (Shak Kei Ma), Egg-white and Wheat Cakes, Egg-White Swiss Roll and Black Maltose Toast.

Kee Wah Bakery Mooncakes Hong Kong

Taking pride in its traditional baking techniques, all Kee Wah Mooncakes are produced locally in Hong Kong plants. The mooncake fillings are all made locally with the finest ingredients sourced. While the most common of mooncake fillings are Lotus Seed, Red Bean or Mixed Nuts, Kee Wah has also a different type of mooncake filled with Egg Custard. A few variety of fillings such as Egg, Black Sesame, Mango, Green Tea and Chocolate. A new healthier low-sugar mooncake made of maltitol is also available.

kee wah bakery mooncake classIn this workshop, we were thought how to make the Egg Custard and Chocolate Custard Mooncake, as well as the traditional Golden Lotus with Double Yolk and Mixed Nuts with Chinese Ham Mooncakes.

chefs from kee wahHere we have 3 chefs from Kee Wah Bakery; Chef Tong 湯師傅, Chef Ken 小師傅阿健 and Chef Chan 燦師傅. Participants for the workshop are media from Hong Kong magazines, newspapers and such. You can’t tell but I’m very lucky and honoured to be in there as well :D

kee wah - making custard mooncakeSo first, Chef Tong shares the step of making the Egg Custard Mooncake Skin. It is unlike the traditional mooncake skin with maltose and oil, this skin resembles a soft and buttery cookie dough with its addition of pure butter (lots of it!) First, flour and other dry ingredients are sifted. A well is made in the center and sugar is mixed in with eggs in a swirling motion till sugar has somewhat dissolved. Then butter is added and the flour is pushed inwards towards the eggs mixture creating a dough-like texture. It is then chilled at least 7-8 hours or overnight for easier wrapping.

custard filling

So here we have the chilled Custard Mooncake Skin, Chocolate Custard Filling and Golden Egg Custard Filling. Now let’s see how Chef Tong wraps them and knock it out from the wooden mooncake mould.

wrapping mooncake

That’s 20g of filling, and 20g of skin. Roll the skin flat into a round shape. Place the filling in the middle. Place it in between your right thumb and index finger, using the left thumb, lightly press the custard in while your right hand is cupping it till it resembles a ball.

With your fingers, pinch the ends together and seal it.

Lightly dust the wooden mould with flour, push the mooncake into the mould and press flat with the back of your palm.

On a wooden table or chopping board, line a dry towel. Knock once on the left side, on the right side, then invert it and knock the top part while your other hand catches the mooncake at the bottom.

custard mooncake - unbaked

Egg Custard Mooncake 迷你蛋黃奶皇月 and Chocolate Custard Mini Mooncakes 迷你朱古力奶皇月 ready to be baked! And I also want to share with you another picture of how the baked Custard Mooncake looks like. It’s unlike the traditional with glazed and shiny golden brown skin. This one, is more yellow and the golden brown, comes only at the sides and because it’s not glazed with any egg wash, it is not shiny.

kee wah bakery hong kong mooncakes

Top pic : Panda shaped Custard Mooncake and Lotus Paste Mini Mooncake. Can you see the difference in colour ? The panda range were from the 2013 Kee Wah x Ocean Park Mooncake Gift Box Set. It’s only available in Hong Kong unfortunately, but it is available all year round! So if you’re travelling there, remember to get some of the Ocean Park Gift Box Sets, they are SO SO cute!!

Bottom pic : Left Kee Wah Mixed Nuts with Ham Mooncake 五仁什錦(火腿)月餅 and, right, Golden Lotus Paste with Double Yolk Mooncake 金黃蓮蓉月餅 which we will be making next!

kee wah mooncake workshop - salted yolks

The quality of ingredients being put into the mooncake makes a very big difference to the outcome. For some instances, I actually find that the yolks used in mooncakes from Hong Kong are better than the ones here in Malaysia. They are not dry but still moist, bodied and so so fragrant! The picture above shows two different quality of yolks, albeit looking very similar. But the one on the right, which looks more round and brighter in colour are preferred for a better quality mooncake.

kee wah mooncake workshop - lotus seedLotus seed plays a big part in traditional mooncakes. As traditionally, there are both Golden Lotus Paste and White Lotus Paste, and Red Bean Paste mooncake filling, choosing any lotus seed that is just mediocre does not make the cut in producing an aroma enticing and delicious mooncake. The lotus seed paste, is made in Kee Wah’s plant itself, ensuring its quality control. As you can see, in the picture above, there are 3 types (conditions) of lotus seed, the fairest one makes the best. The difference between golden and white lotus comes down to the type of sugar that is used to cook the paste.

make traditional mooncake skin

I always have a very faint idea on how to make the traditional mooncake skin. I’m a fan of mooncake skin, which is why I love to eat the little Piglet Treat.  Here, Chef Chan demonstrates how to make the mooncake skin. First, a flour well is built, and in the center, a mixture of wet ingredients is added in, of which includes, maltose (sugar syrup) peanut oil and alkaline water. Then, using fingers, mix in a circular motion to incorporate both wet and dry ingredients.

Gradually push in the flour with a spatula and knead into a dough. With the back of your hand, drag the dough outwards to stretch the gluten. Do it a couple of times until it is a little elastic / stretchy.

Leave it to rest in the fridge for 15 minutes so its gluten relaxes and is more pliable.

kee wah wrapping traditional mooncake

Now to wrap the Golden Lotus Paste with yolks, weigh out approximately 140-150g of paste. Firmly push in 2 yolks into the paste, making sure there are no void in between.

Cut out 26g of mooncake skin and press flat. Place it on your palm in a cupping position.

Using another hand, gently press the filling in a circular motion, once it becomes like a mushroom cap, gently push the skin inwards so they meet and form into a ball. The key point is just to make sure that the  skin and mooncake filling do not mix together.

wooden moulds

They are now ready to be knocked into shape. Similar to the Egg Custard Mooncakes, lightly dust the mould with flour. Press mooncake into the center and press flat with your palm. Knock (much harder) on both sides and also the top part of it while your other hand catches the mooncake as it falls out from the mould.


ingredients for mixed nuts chinese ham mooncake

Next for the Mixed Nuts Ham Mooncake, the steps are similar. It’s only the ingredients that are different. Mixed Nuts Ham Mooncake may come as a sweet and savoury delight. For all the years I’ve eaten Mixed Nuts Mooncake here in Malaysia, I hated it. Well maybe in a nice way, I’m not a big or small fan at all. The artificial and waxy taste is not appealing to me. So I held my distance back when I was learning how to make this and I didn’t put much expectation to how it would taste. But I was wrong. I actually liked it alot!!

Mixed Nuts Ham Mooncake consists of 5 different nuts and seeds, mainly Melon Seed, Sesame Seed, Walnuts, Almond Nuts and Date Seed. In some places, Chinese ham are used, some may not put it in. In Kee Wah, the ham is shredded, not minced or chopped and it results in a very textural mooncake filling. Not only that, you see whole almond nuts being used.

kee wah wrap mix nuts mooncake

The wrapping process is the same as wrapping any other mooncake. But because this filling is very compact and heavy, you need to apply more pressure when moulding and wrapping it with the mooncake skin.

Swee San in Kee Wah

Here are my mooncakes, ready to be baked.

kee wah mooncake workshop media

Here are the rest of attendees in the workshop. Chef Tong, Chef Chan and Chef Ken were very helpful in explaining more about the to dos and donts of making mooncake. It seems a little awkward to attend a class in Cantonese, but well, these decades of TVB Drama has paid off ;P

kee wah bakery mooncake group photo mediaNow that we are done making mooncakes, let’s savour some delicious mooncakes.

Kee Wah Mooncakes will now be available in Malaysia, specifically in 1 Utama’s Mid-Autumn Festival Roadshow in Oval New Wing starting this Friday (6th September 2013) Do catch them and have your hands on these specially flown in from Hong Kong Mooncakes. They really do taste different than the locally made ones ;)

Thanks Kee Wah for the invitation!

Desserts @ Thirty8, Grand Hyatt KL

Can we start Monday with some awesome desserts please ?

mille feuille thirty8

There aren’t many places in town that has goooood dessert. Good for me is like … things I won’t take the trouble to make at home. I have to admit, being someone who knows how to bake more than just a regular cake and cupcakes, I get very picky when it comes to eating desserts outside. For some reason, I don’t do those RM 40 per souffle, or reheated chocolate fondant cake with store bought ice cream.

thirty8 grand hyatt signature cake

Having said so, I’ve recently found some nice places just to have desserts. Yala I’m weird like that, I go to places to eat desserts ONLY.

One of them is Thirty8 in Grand Hyatt KL. Located strategically on the 38th floor, THIRTY8 comprises of a 360-degree city view, restaurant, bar and lounge. It’s beautiful both day and night. THIRTY8 Lounge also serves a daily afternoon high tea which makes for an elegant mid-day treat. The menu hints at a traditional English tea featuring items such as fresh cut finger sandwiches, homemade scones and a delicious selection of fresh baked cakes and pastries combined to tempt the palate. But we were there only for the plated desserts, so we skipped the Afternoon Tea sets.

thirty8 banana crumble ice cream

First we had the banana, pineapple and coconut crumble with vanilla soft serve ice cream. The comfort of warmed caramelized bananas, with a hint coconut would remind you, that you should be on an island, next to the beach instead. RM 18

thirty8 millie feuille hazelnut praline


Mille feuille, white chocolate macadamia ice cream, gianduja cream, chocolate glass tuile. It’s hard to find a mille feuille that cuts properly without breaking the entire structure. But this one, the pastry layer was brittle and flaky enough to let the knife cut through in a straight cut without deliberately deconstructing the dessert. I wished that the pastry layer was thicker so there was more crunch to it. RM 25

thirty8 signature chocolate cake

This was definitely the eye catcher. I’ve seen this one blogs, instagrams and all over, I must go try the THIRTY8 signature cake (RM 25). It comes in a white cake stand, with a dome lid, fogged up with dry ice. Talk about making an entrance!

thirty8 signature cake caramel sauce

Once lifted, warm caramel sauce is poured in the center of the chocolate mousse cake. It is a very attention seeking cake I must say, Haha.

thirty8 signature cake inside

Cut through, it’s a light as air chocolate mousse, layered with chocolate cake, disks and maybe some feuilletine. Very rich and decadent, especially eaten with the banana ice cream served on the side. Definitely a delight for your tastebuds

I hope they have new stuffs, or something special seasonal. They do not have that much choices but there are a few good winners to make you go back again. I would say their desserts are not very expensive considering it’s a hotel lounge.

All prices above are excluding of government tax and service charges.

THIRTY8 Restaurant and Lounge
Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur.
Hours (THIRTY8 Restaurant and Lounge):
Daily, 6:00am – 11:00pm
Hours (THIRTY8 Wine Bar):
Sunday to Thursday, 12:00pm to 12:00am
Friday and Saturday, 12:00pm to 1:00am
Tel: +60 3 2182 1234

Hotel Parking
In-house guests: Complimentary
Non in-house guests:  6:00am – 6:00pm – First hour MYR 10.00,
Subsequent hours MYR 5.00
6:00pm – 6:00am – MYR 10.00 flat rate

Hong Kong trip, in a summary


Now this will be a quick and very summarized post about my Hong Kong trip. As this is my 3rd time in a year’s time, I think I can say I’ve done it all. LOL Now let’s see, most photos are from Instagram for now.

Here’s my post during my trip in July ’12, and here’s for Jan ’13

Now, here are the photos and names of restaurants or cafe which I visited this time.

#1 Barbeque char siu bun from Tim Ho Wan.

G/F, 9-11 Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po

#2 Kam Wah’s Egg Tart

 G/F, 47 Bute Street, Prince Edward

#3 Latte from 18 Grams

Shop C, G/F, Hoi To Court, 15 Cannon Street, Causeway Bay

#4 Mango Sago with peanut ice cream in Tin Yin Dessert, Cheung Chau.

G/F., 9 Tai Hing Tai Road, Cheung Chau

#5 In the ferry, soaking up some sun after all the rain in Cheung Chau T__T

#6 Pierre Herme’s Macaron.. damnit HKD 330 for 12 pcs. You do the math.

Shop 1019C, Podium Level 1, International Finance Centre Mall, 1 Harbour View Street, Central

#7 Sushi galore in Itamae Sushi. Apparently, Causeway Bay has LOTS of japanese food!!

Shop 1-3, Chee On Building, 24-26 East Point Road, Causeway Bay

#8 Scrambled Egg Bread and French Toast in Australia Dairy Company. How can something so simple taste so good. Highly recommended to include this place in your ‘must eat list’

G/F, 47-49 Parkes Street, Jordan

#9 Part of my recent HK trip was also to try coffee. v60 in Knockbox Coffee Company

G/F, 21 Hak Po Street, Mong Kok

#10 Hello Kitty expo in Langham Place (it’s a shopping mall). DAMN CUTE OK!!!

Langham Place, 8 Argyle Street, Mong Kok
#11 Gingerpaste Chicken chop instant noodle and the ever famous milk tea in Lan Fong Yuen. I was at the store in TST instead.
Shop 26, LG, Chung King Mansion (Woodhouse), 36-44 Nathan Road , Tsim Sha Tsui
#12 Lush in Harbour City. There’s also another one in TST. I went abit crazy shopping there.
#13 oh my so yummy and melt in your mouth tonkatsu. There’s pork and there’s mixed seafood; oyster, crab croquette, prawns and scallop.  Tonkichi Tonkatsu Seafood just right next to were we stay.
Shop 412, Podium 4, World Trade Centre, 280 Gloucester Road,Causeway Bay
#14 Another recommeded coffee place, Coco Espresso.  I tried both outlets. Yes, very well recommended.
G/F, 2 Anton Street, Wan Chai
G/F, 197 Queens Road Central, Sheung Wan
#15 Also visited chef Gregoire’s new kitchen, Bread Elements and tried to make some croissants. HAHA (what is it I forgot to ask for his autograph!!)
#16 No roast goose this time, so we went for Peking Duck in Empire City Roasted Duck in k11 Mall. HK is so filled with shopping malls you cannot imagine.
Shop 221, Level 2, K11 Art Mall, 18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
#17 Black Sesame tong sui from a random dessert shop in Tsim Sha Tsui after dinner.
#18 The one where it appeared on one of Anthony Bourdain’s show and people say they have bad service ? Macaroni in tomato broth with luncheon meat and egg. Also did try the crispy bun and some drinks .. It’s the ultimate dai pai doong style.
2 Mei Lun Street, Central
#19 Also made some Mooncakes at Kee Wah Bakery. Please do keep an eye, they are coming to Malaysia!!! You can get their Mooncakes soon!! Thank you Kee Wah Hong Kong for all the yummy goodies!!
#20 bumped into The Coffee Academics in Wan Chai while I was looking for the Egg Tart shop. here is another to the list, The Coffee Academics, which also has an outlet in causeway bay
35-45 Johnston Road, Wan Chai
#21 Well, there’s also Gundam Exhibition in front of Times Square. Look at the size!! The first 2 are really huge!! and the one on the right is a human-sized Gundam.
#22 because we didn’t have any wanton noodles, we decided to go check out the 1michelin star Ho Hung Kee. My only comment is…. how did they even got the star…. :(
Shop 1204-1205, 12/F, Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay

Ok… I guess these are some photos to keep you busy if you’re planning to go Hong Kong. There are more photos but I need some time to get them up and ready.. :P



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