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Legend lives on during festival

A La Carte

September 5, 2021

Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO

Five-nut Moon Cake ($9 each; $35 for a box of four)

The three-day Full Moon Festival gets underway on Tuesday, Sept. 21, and diners are invited to celebrate the annual tradition at Legend Seafood Restaurant in downtown Honolulu’s Chinatown Cultural Plaza.

The legend behind the Moon Festival is tied to a love story between a man, Hou Yi, and his wife, Chang’e. According to the account, Hou Yi shot down nine of the 10 suns in the sky and saved the land from disaster. He was then awarded a potion that would provide him with everlasting life.When Hou Yi’s assistant tried to steal the potion, his wife attempted to save the elixir by drinking it, which rendered her immortal and caused her to float to the moon. The couple would not meet again. Every year on the day that the moon was at its fullest, Hou Yi made moon cakes in hopes of being reunited with his love.

Moon Cakes ($9 each; $35 for a box of four)

To honor this lasting tradition, many local families celebrate with gatherings and recognize the end of the fall harvest. Legend Seafood Restaurant will offer its popular moon cakes for purchase for a limited time. These housemade moon cakes are crafted by the previous chef from Royal Garden Chinese Restaurant and come in an array of flavors.

Double Egg Yolk Lotus Moon Cake ($9 each; $35 for a box of four)

The moon cakes are sold in box sets starting at $30, depending on one’s flavor preference. Single EggYolk ($33) or Double EggYolk ($35) moon cakes are among the popular choices, as the whole egg yolks in the middle of each moon cake resemble the full moon when the cake is sliced in half.

Other traditional flavors found in the fillings include pine nuts, a five-nut combination, red bean paste, winter melon paste, lotus paste and dates.

Individual cakes are available for $9 apiece.

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