First Look: Mooncake Foods Quietly Opens, Serving Its Pan-Asian Menu


It seems like just yesterday that a tip came that the old Backyard Chicken space at John St. & Pearl was turning into another Mooncake Foods which already exists downtown in Soho. Then just like that, the doors were open for business yesterday at lunch. And I’d have to say – especially with similar places like OBAO and nearby BonChon on John temporarily down for the count due to the hurricane and a fire respectively, this is a welcome addition to the lunch scene in the Financial District.

If you’ve never eaten at Mooncake, the gist is that they take Asian influences to sandwiches, dishes over rice, and salads, and give it to you for $10 or less in most cases. It’s a little bit like a banh mi shop mated with diner in Chinatown. The only downside is that they mostly make everything to order so if you have limited time for your midday meal, it’s best to order ahead or simply know that you’re going to have to wait 15 minutes for your food.

I was there on opening day, and was impressed that they seemed to at least have it together. I had to wait a bit for my food, but it seemed that was mostly because there were a few online and walk-in orders ahead of me.

The decision over what to order was a hard one and while I was trying to decide, I looked back into the open kitchen and saw wontons being stuffed and folded, so that was what I went for: Crawfish and shitake mushroom wonton soup ($7.50) with egg noodles ($1 extra).

There wasn’t anything groundbreaking about the soup, but I did appreciate knowing that they actually make the wontons themselves (although they tasted mostly of some sort of meat and sesame oil). I definitely loved the Vietnamese meatball sandwich I’ve had from the Soho location, and I don’t think you can go wrong with many of the platters either.

It seemed like a lot of you checked out Mooncake on its opening day. What did you order, and what did you think?

Mooncake Foods, 111 John St. (entrance on Pearl), (212) 233-8808; 28 Watts St. (btw. 6th Ave. & Thompson), (212) 219-8888



  • Got take out dinner ~9pm last night. A plate of Sliced Hanger Steak with Cilantro & Ginger Chimichurri w White/Brown Rice for $9.50, and the Shanghai Wonton Soup (skipped egg noodles) for $7.50. Got my food in ~5 mins as there’s no one ahead of me.

    The hanger steak was excellent, grilled to medium rare perfection, i liked that ginger chimichurri, it also came with a huge bed of that big leaf green lettuce with a touch of the usual ginger dressing.

    The Shanghai Wontons were decent for casual eaters, but wonton-connoisseurs are advised to pass. The soup’s solid, and there was also an ample amount of what appears to be the Chinese veg “choi sum” in the tub. All leaf, no stalks. Choi sum aficionados will know what I am talking about.

    I am really excited about this place, not only with the food, but the variety on the menu. I will be going back many times to try through the menu. It’s great to see a place like this sprout up from the ashes of devastation left by Hurricane Sandy. When the storm surge hit that night 3 months ago, there’s probably 4-5 feet of water where the place stood.

    BTW, when I went last night, there’s a hand written sign in front that says cash only, no credit cards. I would imagine that’s temporary. Just a heads up.

  • We’ve been generally pleased with our two delivery orders from the FiDi Mooncake. The smoked whitefish salad sandwich was, indeed, smokey and packed with whitefish. The tuna burger was good (but not great).
    Delivery time is reasonable (20-30 minutes at lunchtime) and food arrives warm.

    I would guess the “no credit card” sign is necessary because of Sandy-related disruptions to phones and data lines that persist in the Downtown area. We were lucky enough to get our phones and data lines back eight days after Sandy, but many friends with businesses in lower Manhattan have had to resort to changing from Verizon to Time Warner Cable or another provider to get their phones and data lines back in play.

    Regarding the photo, above: couldn’t you wait until the Verizon guy moved his truck? From the slowness of the restoration of phone service down here, I imagine he wasn’t doing much, anyway.

  • Went back a bunch of times for dinner takeout.

    Wings appetizer was okay, it’s the drumstick connected to the wing kind in a v-shape. 4-5 came in the order. They didn’t do it for me though.
    The Grilled Pork Chops with White Wine and Soy plate was awesome. Pork chops very nicely done. Would definitely get it again.
    Short Ribs Shanghai Home-Style is very tasty. Short ribs are flanken style. Be prepared to give your jaw muscles a workout, but it’s good.
    The after 5pm Saturday Special – Garlic and Sesame Grilled Hanger Steak, if I remember correctly, also comes with the green beans. I like the regular Hanger Steak with Cilantro & Ginger Chimichurri better.
    The veggie sides of choy sum/green beans/Japanese eggplant all pass the bar and will reorder for vegetation.
    The choclate cake has a brownie crust, a layer of cheesecake, then a layer of chocolater mousse. It was nice. Will definitely get it again.

    Will post more after I try some other dishes.

Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.