When my editor asked me to write a story about where to get Teochew mooncakes in Singapore, I was flummoxed.
But I have been ignorantly eating them all along. Pre-covid, a trip to Taipei usually ends with my father and I ducking in and out of airport souvenir stores to devour free samples of their flaky yam pastry, a descendant of Teochew mooncakes.
What we think of as mooncakes in Singapore is of the Cantonese variety. For the Teochew kind, the crust takes the form of a crispy, multi-layered dough, and the filling is the same yam paste found in orh nee.
In Singapore, most places that sell Teochew mooncakes still offer them in their classic guise with a choice of salted egg yolk, but more modern bakeries have begun to experiment with flavours from molten custard to Earl Grey. Check them out below.
(Hero and featured image credit: Swatow Seafood Restaurant)
Where to get the best Teochew mooncakes in Singapore
East Ocean is a long-serving Teochew restaurant in Orchard. They have been dishing out the classics at their original home in Shaw Centre since 1992, and continue to do so from their current location in Ngee Ann City. Likewise, their crispy mooncakes follow their focus on traditions with a bite-sized version with yam, or yam with salted egg yolk.
From a kampong bakery to a brand recognised by Singapore’s National Heritage Board, Gin Thye has been making traditional Teochew-style pastries for over half a century. Now run by the founder’s second generation, it’s still a throwback to the old days with their yam mooncakes either with or without egg yolk. Got a Chinese wedding coming up? They also sell betrothal hampers tailored to Teochew, Cantonese, Hokkien, and Hainanese families.
(Image credit: @mayyho / Instagram)
Fyre is an artisanal bakery that puts modern spins on traditional festive eats, and they are doing the same with Teochew mooncakes. For this Mid-Autumn Festival, they are offering flavours like shrimp pandan lotus, chicken floss, and the floral sakura lychee with lotus. All their Teochew mooncakes are baked rather than fried for a healthier choice.
Jalan Besar bakery La Levain specialises in French pastries, but they also venture into Asian-style bakes thanks to pastry chef Wythe Soon’s background of growing up in a Malaysian family who ran a traditional Chinese bakery. Their versions keep the signature flaky crust but fills it with flavours such as molten salted egg yolk custard, bobo chacha, and Earl Grey latte.
The Michelin-recognised Chinese restaurant brings back its popular flaky mooncakes for the Mid-Autumn Festival with classic and unconventional fillings. Traditionalists can take heart in flavours such as yam with pumpkin and egg yolk, while the more adventurous can look forward to taro with molten salted egg yolk, and Japanese sweet potato.
Taking after the ancient name for Shantou, Swatow restaurant delivers Teochew-style seafood restaurant year-round and mooncakes when Mid-Autumn Festival comes around. They hand-make them fresh every day in two flavours, either yam or black bean.
The Pine Garden is a heartland bakery that has seen its ups and downs. Founded in Ang Mo Kio in 1984, they almost closed 12 years later due to competition from more modern bakeries, but owner Wei Chan took over his family business and refined their traditional pastries to great success. Besides the classic yam flavour, they offer a white lotus paste version with Nyonya filling, similar to a rice dumpling.
Zhen Wei specialises in Teochew mooncakes, which are handmade according to a family recipe passed down through generations. With yam as the base filling, they layer flavours such as sesame and pumpkin on top of it.
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