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Sep 8, 2000 03:40 PM

Moon Cakes at Eastern Bakery-SF Chinatown

  • m

Reading Maria’s post in General Topics about moon cakes prompted me to seek out these once-a-year treats this week for the first time in a long time. The Autumn Festival is Sept. 9, and then the moon cakes will be gone until next year.

Eastern Bakery in SF’s Chinatown on Grant (at Commercial) has been our family’s favorite for many years. The many varieties are laid out in the display case; different fillings are identified and prices (ranging from $2.25 to $6.00 with discounts for quantity) are clearly marked. My favorite, lotus bean paste with salty egg yolk, was $4.40. Also got the winter melon filling without egg yolk. The super deluxe ones have three yolks.

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  1. Wow! At those prices you only bought two kinds? I'm soooo jealous. As you may have gathered, NY hasn't seen those prices in a long, long time. BTW, my favorite is the "five seeds" one. Happy Autumn!

    5 Replies
    1. re: Maria Eng
      Melanie Wong

      Happy Autumn! We're having our warmest weather of the summer this week.

      I jumped off of Muni as it was headed through Chinatown even though I was due for an important meeting in 30 mins. when I realized that the bakery was only two blocks away. To my great chagrin, I opened my wallet to discover that I only had a $10 bill and some change and no time to run to an ATM. With the 3/$1.10 sharksfin dumplings for my lunch, my bill came to $9+. This same Chinese bakery also makes pannetone under a different brand name.

      One of my cousins found some moon cakes in the shape of animals - pigs, cows, rabbits - that were just adorable. Her 6 y.o. was enjoying playing with them.

      1. re: Melanie Wong

        To Melanie and everyone else craving mooncakes, I re-checked my Chinese calendar and Moon Festival is on the 12th of September, so there's still time.... Boy, you had me worried there for a minute!

        1. re: Maria Eng
          Melanie Wong

          Thanks, Maria! Now I can go back. I'll admit to getting hooked into the merchant posters advertising the Autumn Festival as this Saturday. But that's just the date they chose for the party and sales to get maximum traffic through Chinatown.

          Eastern Bakery has a few mooncakes at other times of the year too, if you ask nicely.

          1. re: Maria Eng

            Maria, as a postscript, I did manage to get in on Sept. 12 and buy a couple boxes to tide me over. Funny how you can not eat something for several years and then you just crave it. Anyway, Eastern Bakery has life size photos of President Clinton's visit 4 years ago with a caption indicating that he was enjoying their famous lotus bean moon cakes.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              How funny, the Clinton thing. Still, multi-culti and all that....
              I will write a little more on the What's My Craving? Board.
              Enjoy your cakes while they last!

      2. On the note of mooncakes, I just had some with lotus paste and salted yolks from Koi Palace - you can get them at Chinese Supermarkets - I got mine at Sunset Super on Irving and 25th Ave. $21.50 gets you a box of 8 small ones (about 1.5 inches diameter) with 1 salted yolk each. I liked them a lot and thought they compared pretty well with the ones that I'm used to back in Singapore.

        While I'm this subject, could anyone recommend a good Teochew/Chow Chou version of the mooncakes in SF? They are shaped like Chinese gold ingots, have a flaky pastry-like crust and are filled with lotus paste and salted yolk.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Limster
          Melanie Wong

          Gosh, can't help you with that, hope someone else will chime in. There's a Teochew association club house on Clay St. that always has someone in there when I walk past --- maybe someone there knows.