Maybe mooncakes and Mid Autumn festival are sentimental things and times. Personally, Mid Autumn festival is a time for reminiscing and reminding myself of our real treasures - our relationships with our family, elders and friends.
Mooncakes that have that ancient taste and fragrance which can only be achieved by making them the old way, seemed to have that special ability to trigger such sentiments in me.
Maybe the town of Kluang itself has that rustic charm that gets people into the Mooncake festival mood just by being here. Maybe it's a good excuse to once a year get out of the big city, where everything seemed so impermanent, to a place that changes little.
There are four traditional bakeries in Kluang which are the standard bearers of Kluang mooncakes. Kluang is a small town, so these four bakeries are within 15 minutes leisurely drive of each other and they are easy to locate with google map and GPS. If necessary, ask the helpful locals. Almost every resident knows where these bakeries are, and would gladly show you the way.
Nam Yick Food Trading 南益饼家
Nam Yick is one of the oldest traditional Chinese bakeries in Kluang - Nam Yick was still using a wood fired stone oven until it was forced to stop due to difficulty in obtaining wood for fire.
At Nam Yick, making mooncakes had traditionally been a family affair. Every year during the Mid Autumn festival, all three generations of the 張 clan would chip in to fulfil orders coming from all over Malaysia and Singapore for their renowned old style mooncakes.
Restaurant name: Nam Yick Food Trading 南益饼家
Address: 67, Jalan Besar, Kluang, Johor
Hours: 9:00am to 9:00pm
Tong Huat 东发 Confectionery
Tong Huat 东发 is one of the most popular traditional Chinese bakeries in Kluang, famous for its tau sar piah 豆沙饼. During the annual Mid Autumn festival, Tong Huat goes into full swing meeting demands for their much sought after mooncakes from all over Malaysia and Singapore.
MR Loo, the owner of Tong Huat, personally attends to the baking to ensure the highest standards and consistency for his signature mooncakes.
Restaurant name: Tong Huat 东发 Confectionery
Address: 28 & 30, Jalan Cantik, Kluang, Johor
Hours: 9:00am to 6:00pm daily
Yuen Fatt Biskut 源發餅家
Yuen Fatt 源發 is famous for these uniquely shaped Shanghai mooncakes. Whether you think they look like a rugby ball, a mouse or a squid, customers never seemed to have enough of these tasty mooncakes with flaky crusts and not too sweet filling.
Like all handcrafted mooncakes in Kluang, each Yuen Fatt 源發 mooncake is carefully shaped by skillful and patient hands.
Restaurant name: Yuen Fatt Biskut 源發餅家
Address: 39, Jalan Hj Manap Nordin, Kluang Baru, Kluang, Johor
Hours: 9:00am to 8:00pm (Sundays 9:00am to 1:00pm)
Yu Kong 游港 Restaurant
Yu Kong 游港 is actually a famous roast meat and duck shop that closes during the Mid Autumn festival period to make their popular dome shaped Shanghai mooncakes.
Yu Kong's Shanghai mooncakes are made in the morning and are offered for sale everyday at 2:00pm. According to the lady boss, on weekends, all the day's mooncakes will be sold out within 15 minutes. So the safest bet to get your hands on Yu Kong mooncakes, is to be there on weekdays.
Yu Kong limits each customer to three boxes of 4 mooncakes per box in order to minimise customers travelling all the way to Kluang only to leave disappointed and empty handed.
Restaurant name: Yu Kong 游港 Restaurant
Address: 91, Jalan Lim Swee Sim, Kluang, Johor
Hours: 2:00pm till sold out (often within 15 mins on weekends) (Yu Kong reverts back to selling roast meats and duck on 8 Oct 2012)