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Sep 15, 2010 01:19 AM

moon cake time!


moon cakes are in abundance now. have any gotten any? where and which are your favs?

i noticed this year there are more hong kong (or fusion) influenced with flavors like chocolate, black forest, strawberry, blueberry, and so on.

van's bakery in sg added strawberry and pineapple. my memory fails (and i can't find last year's pics) to remember if pandan and coconut are new. kinda seems like they would just have it.
fyi, the insides of the fruit flavored ones are like the chewy, gummy insides of those small pineapple cakes at asian bakeries. the soft cakes would be better for kids because it was a bit too sweet imo. it worked better in the brown cakes (no strawberry), but she added egg to most of them this year so i was slightly not as pleased (especially because green tea has egg in it too this year). i look forward to stopping by the little saigon branch to see what they have different.

i've also tried taipan snowy mooncakes, hong kong's #1 brand (they were at the hawaii market). i wish they sold individually. i'd love to try chocolate lava, but it's only in the large set. the smaller fusion set has more flavors with mocha, mango, strawberry, blueberry, along with some traditional fillings.

i have yet to try the ones at the 99 ranch with black forest, strawberry, and all the other different flavors.

there's also a variety of stores selling durian moon cakes in the freezer (box). very strongly durian. i tried it at a bookstore in rh actually.

i know not too many like moon cakes, but i look forward to reading what others have to share.

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  1. I look for mooncakes that are sturdiest and the heaviest.

    They work better that way as doorstops and paperweights. Also good to use as projectiles to throw at intruders in the house at night.

    16 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Very strange, regarding the doorstop/paperweight joke and catbert's "I know not too many like moon cakes." I love moon cakes like most people love chocolate!! I mean, what's not to drool over? Could it be that most people, including ipsedixit, have not had good ones? I've had enough great ones to recognize the bad ones I've eaten, but the great ones are in the majority of my experience. This is very puzzling to me, but I guess I've lived in a bubble when it comes to moon cakes. Except that every Chinese person I know has always loved moon cakes and gets excited when it's that time of year.

      Incidentally, my mom and I had dim sum last weekend at Full House in Arcadia and she saw a little handwritten sign advertising their moon cakes, 8 for 10 bucks. She bought it and they were really delicious -- medium-sized, perfectly moist lotus seed paste, not too sweet, with a delicious salted duck egg yolk in the center of each. Made fresh by the restaurant, even came in a customized, sealable plastic serving container.

      I'm ready for MORE!! Moon cakes, here I come!! (Oh, except that I'm leaving for South America in three days. Drat.)

      1. re: buttermarblepopcorn

        Perhaps ipsedixit is just plain tired of eating them and all the hype that surrounds them when that time of year rolls around again. I on the other hand love them. Although, it's become difficult to find ones made in the States that taste as good without all the crazy preservatives that the ones shipped from HK and Mainland China have. I only say that because my mother refuses to buy such mooncakes.

        Anyone know of a good source for ones with lotus seed paste and no egg yolks?

        Also, not sure how they stack up, but the Taiwanese style ones with mung bean paste and a white, flaky exterior are quite good at Taiwan Gourmet Deli in Alhambra around where Las Tunas becomes Main St.

        Main St Cafe
        450 Main St, El Segundo, CA 90245

        Las Tunas Restaurant
        3603 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90020

        1. re: taiwanesesmalleats

          "Also, not sure how they stack up, but the Taiwanese style ones with mung bean paste and a white, flaky exterior ..."

          We make those at home.

            1. re: taiwanesesmalleats

              We are talking about 綠豆椪 right?

              You should sample the ones at Cathy's Bakery, if you are a fan of these.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                Yep, exactly. For some reason, I've never thought to look there. My parents are the ones who usually do the buying and for as long as I remember, they've been getting them from the venerable shopkeep at Taiwan Gourmet Deli.

        2. re: buttermarblepopcorn

          "Very strange, regarding the doorstop/paperweight joke and catbert's "I know not too many like moon cakes."

          We routinely get boxes and boxes of mooncakes as gifts this time of the year, they are either re-gifted or thrown away (foodbanks won't even take them). Heck, sometimes we have to beg and ask for a "favor" for someone to take mooncakes off of our hands.

          To me, they are the Chinese equivalent of fruitcake.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            Me me me!!! I'll take them off your hands.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              I'll pay you $0.05 for each box.

              1. re: J.L.

                If you stand outside ipsedixit's place and yell, "Din Tai Fung serves dim sum!", I'm sure he'll throw a few at you for free. Just remember to duck. :-)

                1. re: raytamsgv

                  ... and come equipped with a butterfly net.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    More like a lacrosse stick :P I'll be needing that address now, ipse...

              2. re: ipsedixit

                That is exactly how I describe fruitcake to old Chinese people. "Why do Americans like this stuff?" they ask. "It's like mooncake," I explain. Instant comprehension, plus a newfound respect for Americans. Phew, they don't all have awful taste in cake, they're just as much slaves to tradition as we are. I try to be a bridge between cultures.

                1. re: Pei

                  I am sorry, but the comparison don't hold. I have never ever witnessed anyone eating a fruitcake. But I have seen plenty of people eating mooncakes.

                  1. re: PeterL

                    I must admit I did eat fruitcake a few times. Sometimes, it was ok. But for the most part, it was forgettable.

                2. re: ipsedixit

                  you should host a moon cake tasting!
                  pretty boxes alone are not the only way to judge them.

                  anyways, i guess you're lucky in ways. you're around more asians to have this opportunity.

            2. I recently scored a tin of Lian Xiang Lou's mooncakes from Tak Shing Hong. Turns out to be really good. Thin skin, smooth lotus paste, not too sweet, no unpleasant after taste. Comes in single or double yolks. Not cheap though starting at $24.99 for 4.

              Having been to Lin Heung Teahouse in HK (Bourdain visited this dim sum place during the HK episode), I thought this was exported from Lin Heung but it was exported from Guangzhou. Turns out Lin Heung in HK was originally from Lian Xiang Lou in Guangzhou. LH opened in 1920s in HK and the original LXL in 1889 in Guangzhou, Guangxu period Qing Dynasty I believe.