RISING - COOKED: Mooncake Memories

Kay-Lene Tan, executive pastry chef at Tonka and Coda, and visual artist Jason Phu collaborated on an update on the signature dish.

3 green mooncakes surrounded by blossom on a deep blue background

RISING: COOKED is a series unearthing the rituals, tastes and culture of Melbourne’s treasured dining scene. 

Mooncakes are everywhere right now. But not like this. Kay-Lene Tan, executive pastry chef at Tonka and Coda, and visual artist Jason Phu collaborated on an update on the signature dish. 

October’s full moon marks the beginning of the Mid-Autumn Festival – well, spring for us Downunder – a special time for family gathering, thanksgiving, prayer and moon worship. 

Mooncakes represent the moon and are the signature dish of the festival, symbolising harmony and longevity. RISING invited Kay-Lene Tan, Coda and Tonka’s Executive Pastry Chef, and visual artist Jason Phu (part of RISING’s Call to Artists) to reinterpret the mooncake of their childhood. 

Jason and Kay-Lene came up with a modern take on a mooncake designed as a lotus flower, a symbol of hope for the times we find ourselves in. 

The mooncake’s flavours are a mixture of Jason and Kay-Lene’s childhood memories, smoked and salted egg yolk, matcha and red bean mousses and some creative license.