For those people who are brave enough to venture out to mysterious and exotic places like the chinese supermarkets (which are plastered with foreign characters unknown to the typical Kiwis), by now you would have figured out that there is something going on in the Chinese community. And yes, you are correct to think that – it’s the Mooncake Festival! It falls on the 14th of September this year. It’s also known as the Lantern or Mid-Autumn Festival. This basically means it’s an excuse for Chinese people to eat lots and play with fire (in the form of lanterns).
One of the ways the Chinese celebrate this festival is eat mooncakes (or give them to people). They’re usually square in shape, and reside in metal boxes. You might notice them near the cashier. Generally, it’s cheaper to buy in a box because buying a single mooncake can set you back $8 to $10. It’s not cheap and considered a luxury/delicacy. However, the bakeries tend to sell it cheaper like this place near the Newmarket Plaza Food Court called the Choice Bakery. It’s located in the row of shops off Teed Street (where lots of people tend to wait for carparks when it’s actually more convenient to just go upstairs to Rialto carpark). It’s in between the hair saloon and butcher.
Choice Bakery had a special and were offering their mooncakes at “reasonable” prices. I bought a pack of mini mooncakes for $8. It was the read bean filling with egg, but there were other choices, like lotus filling with egg etc. If you feel adventurous, try the mooncake instead of the biscotti, brownie, muffin etc.
Mooncake – Red Bean with Egg.
Half-eaten version of the above.
I’m not exactly sure if I should rate this place as I only had ONE mooncake. So for this moment, I won’t. But I do suggest if you’re hungry and not feeling like the same ol’ morning tea or coffee break stuff, try the mooncake!
To everyone, Happy Mooncake Festival!