GONE are the days when mooncakes took centre stage as now their eye-catching packaging, especially those designed by hotels, have become the main attraction.
From simple square cardboard boxes to metal ones, mooncake packaging has evolved through the years to become collectors’ items and reused as decorative items at home.
One particularly gorgeous design which stands out is the one by Hilton Kuala Lumpur, done in collaboration with international fashion designer Khoon Hooi.
Designed in the shape of a satchel and enveloped in brocade fabric from Khoon Hooi’s fall collection, the case can be carried like a handbag as well.
It comes in two designs – a black limited edition Midnight Bloom and a fuchsia collector’s edition Blossom Series.
Each bag comes with four mooncakes, and this year, Hilton is showcasing its Dragon Blossom snow-skin mooncake, which is a vibrant blend of bright fuchsia and cobalt blue to match the dragon fruit and pineapple flavour inside.
There is also the Musang King and unusual Blue Moon snow skin with blueberry cheese feuillantine and amaretto lotus paste.
St Regis Kuala Lumpur also has an innovative design whereby the mooncakes are encased in a mini purple faux-leather trunk ornamented with studs and silver locket.
This design reflects the hotel’s heritage and can hold four pieces of mooncakes.
There is also a one-tier box option which contains its 16.5cm classic white lotus seed paste super mooncake with eight yolks.
Over at Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, its handcrafted mooncakes are presented in an iconic fan-shaped box, decorated with an illustration that depicts a scene from ancient Chinese times.
To make it more traditional looking, a subtle integration of classic Chinese poetry has been added to the front of the box.
Sold in a box of four, there are 14 flavours to choose from, ranging from classic to snow skin versions.
Its limited-edition mooncakes are the gold-coated lotus paste with single yolk and the gold-coated pandan with single yolk.
Among other flavours are chocolate mooncakes, Musang King, yam with apricot and lychee with lotus paste.
Meanwhile, “Colours of Mid-Autumn” paints Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur in light pink, blue, yellow and orange hues.
Coming in four different lacquered boxes, the pretty packages are adorned with silver rabbit and deer figurines on top.
Each square box contains a mooncake, and this can later be reused as a jewellery box or decorative piece. There is a choice between the two-piece mooncake gift box and the four-piece package set.
There are about eight flavours available, including the Japanese red bean, green tea pure lotus single yolk and pandan pure lotus paste.
The snow skin mooncakes, on the other hand, offer Musang King, yam with egg yolk, dried longan with wolfberry and lotus paste with roselle.
Sheraton Petaling Jaya presents three intricately designed jewellery boxes in three designs: the Beautiful Peacock, Glittering Butterflies and Delicate Plum Blossom.
There are six flavours to choose from, ranging from the conventional pure lotus paste, white lotus paste with single yolk, pandan paste with single yolk, red bean paste and mixed nuts to the unique baked durian with single yolk.
At Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur, it turns out more is better than less as its three-tiered premium gift box can fit 12 varieties of baked mooncakes.
This gift box resembles a square tiffin carrier and can be used as decor for the home or to carry other items. Among the flavours sold this year are yam paste with single yolk, assorted nuts and sun-dried fruits, red bean, lotus seed paste with single or double yolk and white lotus seed paste with or without yolk.
A unique choice would be the durian, custard and bird’s nest, lotus paste with ginseng and single yolk, dark chocolate with almonds and mini golden Musang King in snow skin.
To make the snow skin mini Musang King durian even more desirable, there is a shiny red signature gift box which holds six.