I tried Grab’s S$82 box of weird mooncake flavours – and I’d only ever eat one of them again

Hae bee hiam? Sorry, but this is definitely not the one.
Rachel Chia/Business Insider

If you’re the sort who loves to get things delivered instead of going out to buy them, ride-hailing app Grab has a proposition for you this Mid-Autumn Festival.

Instead of plodding to the nearest fair, comparing prices, and getting your ear talked off by salespeople, it’s promising to deliver a nicely-packaged, S$82 box of four handmade mooncakes to your doorstep, without any of the fuss involved in mooncake shopping.

Out of curiosity, I tried it for myself to see if it could be the next trendy way to celebrate.

Here’s how it went:


Grab (yes, the ride-hailing app) is selling mooncakes for the first time this mid-autumn festival.

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Grab

The mooncakes, which you can order and have delivered off the app until Sept 13, come in a pretty box with a mid-autumn festival greeting card.

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Rachel Chia/Business Insider

Four uniquely Singaporean flavours are available: salted egg yolk, bubble tea, hae bee hiam (spicy dried shrimp) and ondeh-ondeh.

The flavours were created by home bakers and made with locally-sourced ingredients, Grab said.

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The palm-sized mooncakes were hefty.
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Rachel Chia/Business Insider

I started off with a taste test of the bubble tea flavour, which is all the rage this year.

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It was made by Melissa and Wesley Hoe of award-winning local bakery Cream and Custard.
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Grab

The mooncake had a not-too-sweet filling that tasted and smelled just like milk tea, and a strip of brown sugar mochi that replicated bubble tea pearls to a T.

I only wish there was more of the mochi, as the lotus paste filling got cloying after a few slices.

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My rating for this mooncake? 6.5/10.
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Rachel Chia/Business Insider

Overall, I was deeply impressed. Given that this was the first mooncake I tried, things were off to a promising start.

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I didn’t expect to like the bubble tea flavour so much.
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Rachel Chia/Business Insider

Next up was a mocha and salted egg mooncake, which Grab described as the “perfectly balanced blend of sweet and savory”.

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It was made by Mooncake Mamas, a trio of three home bakers named Sharon, Christina and Jamie.
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Grab

The mooncake was filled with tiramisu lotus paste, which tasted chocolatey and bitter (probably due to the addition of mocha).

In the centre was a hard and dry salted egg yolk.

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It gave me a newfound respect for smooth, moist lotus paste I take for granted in regular mooncakes.
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Rachel Chia/Business Insider

Unfortunately, I didn’t have a refined-enough palette to appreciate this creation.

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My rating: 3/10 (Sorry!)
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Rachel Chia/Business Insider

I’ll be honest – I was full-on scared to try the sambal shrimp mooncake.

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I prayed hard this wasn’t too spicy.
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Grab

The mooncake, which was inspired by nasi lemak, had sambal and chilli flakes incorporated into its skin. Inside was a filling of shrimp sambal and kaffir lime leaves.

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Also made by Mooncake Mamas.
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Rachel Chia/Business Insider

Again, forgive my unrefined palette, but I couldn’t manage more than one bite of this.

The spice level was manageable, but the sambal shrimp and lotus paste made for a strange combination.

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My rating: 2/10 (Sorry again!)
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Rachel Chia/Business Insider

Last was the ondeh-ondeh mooncake, which I was actually excited for.

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I love ondeh ondeh, and that rainbow aestethic was made for Instagram.
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Grab

The Teochew-style mooncake had a flaky crust containing a layer of pandan flavoured mochi, which I (sadly) couldn’t make out at all.

In the centre was gula melaka lotus paste containing bits of toasted desiccated coconut. 

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This mooncake was made by home baker Raymond Tan.
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Rachel Chia/Business Insider

I ended up being disappointed. This mooncake, like the chocolate one, had a predominantly dry and hard texture – but it could be because I didn’t heat it up in the oven for 12 minutes as recommended.

The filling was so sweet, I had to gulp down water after a tiny bite.

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My rating: 3/10. (Oh mooncake – I wanted to love you.)
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Rachel Chia/Business Insider

Overall? I’d still make the trip to that mooncake fair.

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At least Grab tried.
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Rachel Chia/Business Insider

While mooncake delivery is genius idea, the flavours on offer were simply too out-there for me to enjoy. Adventurous eaters might have a better shot, but this is coming from a person who likes durian cheese sticks.

To be fair, it’s hard to stand out in a saturated market, which probably explains the unique flavours, but parents and grandparents might find these hard to accept – making it difficult to share them with family.

Nevertheless, I didn’t expect to like the bubble tea flavoured mooncake as much as I did – so if you’re a fan of milk tea and pearls, that’s the one to get.


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