It's the season for moon cakes, which are either a beloved Mid-Autumn Festival treat or the Chinese answer to the much-reviled Christmas fruitcake, depending on who's talking. Lau, who was talking the other day on Chowhound, is a fan—specifically of Cantonese-style moon cakes filled with sweetened white lotus seed (other options include red bean and winter melon) and enriched with a salted duck's-egg yolk. And he's after the homegrown stuff, not the Asian imports that dominate local shops.
Among New York City's Chinatown bakeries reputed to make creditable versions, Lau's favorite is Lung Moon (pictured). Its filling is on target, smooth but with some texture. The lotus-seed flavor is pleasing, the sweetness just right. The egg yolk is dryish but agreeably salty, a nice contrast with the sweetness. Lau's runner-up is Golden Fung Wong, whose moon cake is decent but misses the mark with its overly salty egg and scant lotus-seed flavor. JungMann recommends Double Crispy Bakery, which offers the chilled, nonbaked snow skin variation, clad in rice-flour dough. It's an updated style of moon cake, "if that's your thing."
Lung Moon Bakery [Chinatown]
81 Mulberry Street (between Canal and Bayard streets), Manhattan
Golden Fung Wong Bakery [Chinatown]
41 Mott Street (between Bayard and Pell streets), Manhattan
Double Crispy Bakery [Chinatown]
230 Grand Street (between Bowery and Elizabeth Street), Manhattan
Photo from LauHound.com