I first got to know about SunnyHills 微热山丘 because of the avant-garde architecture of their outlet shop in Japan. The shop specialized in selling pineapple cakes (they call it cakes instead of tarts) in Taiwan is so popular that they set up overseas stores. The building in Japan was featured on a television programme as it is in the shape of a bamboo basket and built on a joint system called “Jiigoku-Gumi,” traditional method used in Japanese wooden architecture.
Didn’t know that they have an outlet in Raffles Hotel Singapore until I received a mailer about a tea appreciation event recently. I’ve always been a fan of Taiwanese style pineapple cakes that are in cube shape, some of them even have salted egg yolk in the filling.
Headed down to Raffles Hotel to get my hands on the pineapple cakes, which interesting to note Taiwanese have the tradition to eat them during Mid-Autumn (unlike in Singapore whereby we tend to eat them only during CNY). I remembered Din Tai Fung also carry pineapple tarts during Mid-Autumn in Singapore.
The retail outlet in Raffles Hotel looks like the office of a sleek designing firm or a furniture store. You wouldn’t know that they are selling pineapple cakes if you simply walked past the shop. There are no shelves displaying their products and no price list posters.
The staff warmly greeted me and asked if I have time to enjoy a cup of tea. I took a seat at the large communal table and they served me a complimentary tea with pineapple cake.
I end up bringing home a box with 15 pieces. Right now they have the special Mid-Autumn packaging, that explains the bright yellow moon printed on the box. They also come in box of 10 or 20.
The outer crust of the pineapple cake was quite firm such that it doesn’t crumble easily and baked to a nice golden brown colour. The filling was dense and you can certainly taste the pineapple pulp, the sweetness was just right. SunnyHills takes great care in selecting only the perfect pineapples to make their cakes. Recently there was a news report that they returned a batch of pineapples from their vendor as they were overly-riped.
My only slight disappointment was that the crust was less buttery than I expected it to be. Other than that I do enjoy eating these golden ingots, hopefully bringing me some luck after that =)
[Updates in 2017]
Due to major restoration programme at Raffles Hotel, SunnyHills has relocated to Ngee Ann City Tower B, Takashimaya Shopping Centre, #B2-27A, Singapore 238872