I was walking past the mooncake booths in Queensbay Mall the other day after dinner when I was stopped in my tracks by the sight of a certain mooncake of a certain brand. It is my most favorite type of mooncake ever. The promoter noticed me and approached me. I was getting my fierce and angry face ready when that auntie said: “要买月饼啊？你等一下，多五分钟就有扣25%! (Wanna buy mooncake? You wait for a while, there will be 25% discount in 5 minutes time!)“.
What?? 什么?? 虾密?? Nani???
That mooncake was selling at RM 16.50 each, at 25% discount it would be RM 12.35 each. That seemed like quite… less expensive. And I was craving for it. So I agreed and waited. I ended up buying two mooncakes, and the promoter escorted me to the cashier. When it was my turn to pay, she asked me if I have J-Card (discount card). I said no. Then she took her own J-Card out and let me use it, and that got me a further 10% discount on top of the 25% discount! I ended up paying RM 22.30 for 2 mooncakes.
I want to tell you how to get this good discount, but I don’t remember what time it was. It was a Tuesday though. I guess they have some closing time discount or something, not sure just on certain days or daily. And if I were the boss of that mooncake brand, I would be damn pissed with that promoter for 倒米-ing (pouring rice away), for intentionally selling my goods at a lower price. So I hope he doesn’t read this post.
Anyway, the mooncake that is my most favorite, is 海外天 上海月饼 Oversea Restaurant’s Shanghai Mooncake. Actually, it is the only type of mooncake that I like. I don’t really care about other brands of Shanghai mooncakes, and I also don’t really care about other type of mooncakes of any brands.
You see, I grew up in the Central Market. The Oversea Restaurant, they used to have an outlet there. Every year as Mooncake Festival approached, they would set up a big ass oven in front of the restaurant, and they would bake Shanghai mooncakes and sell them fresh. It was a hugely popular move and many people came and queued up to get their hands on these fresh yummies. For us, since we were fellow tenants of Central Market, we get to pre-order and have those delicious mooncakes reserved so we never had to queue. Nepotism rocks!
Those Shanghai mooncakes were heavenly. They were warm and smelled absolutely delicious. The crust, oh crust… the crust was crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, flaky and buttery and super super yummy! OMG just describing it now makes me remember those good old days of having fresh and warm Shanghai mooncakes!
I loved those fresh mooncakes so much that I don’t really like any other mooncakes anymore. Of course, the restaurant then closed down their Central Market outlet and I could no longer get those fresh Shanghai mooncakes. I had to make do with their pre-made Shanghai mooncakes the following years. They were okay, but nowhere near as good as the freshly baked ones, for obvious reasons.
My mom tried to make me try other brands of Shanghai mooncakes subsequently, but I hated them all. They never tasted the same. I think it is the dough that they use to make the crust. Oversea Restaurant’s Shanghai mooncake’s crust are special and no one else could make it the same.
The other types of mooncakes? Nah… I do eat them, but I don’t care about them. In engineering equation terms, Fresh Oversea Restaurant Shanghai Mooncake > Pre-made Oversea Restaurant Shanghai Mooncake > Other brand Shanghai Mooncake > Other type Mooncake.
So anyway, I know I can never get the fresh ones anymore now, so I have to settle for the second best. That was why I was willing to part with RM 22.30 for two of them.
They were crappier that I remember. The awesome taste of the crust was still there, but it felt like a somewhat watered down version. And the mooncake sort of fell apart the moment I cut into it. I think these ones that I bought are really not fresh at all. It was impossible to cut it into four pieces while leaving the pieces intact.
I guess, I am glad that I am still able to get a little whif of the taste that I adore so much. But I am disappointed that the mooncake quality has deteriorated year over year.
And maybe I should be glad with this disappointment. Since I like other brands/types of mooncakes less than Oversea’s Shanghai mooncakes, and I don’t even like Oversea’s Shanghai mooncakes anymore, it means I will probably never buy mooncakes for personal consumption ever again. I’m done with mooncakes…