Darling Square will celebrate Moon Festival, a two-week celebration honouring gratitude and connection with family and friends from Friday 15 September until Sunday 1 October. During the festival, Darling Square will come alive with music, DJ’s, traditional dancers, entertainment, and retailer food offerings including mooncakes and lantern giveaways.
Darling Square is home to over 15 different cultures and together they unite to celebrate the wonderful meaning of Moon Festival. Food retailers across the precinct will create Moon Festival-themed menu items including:
- XOPP’s Mooncake collection – takes a modern twist on the tradition including flavours such as golden egg custard, red bean lotus root and a mixed flavour box. XOPP will also be selling their famous XO sauce
- Hello Auntie’s drinks team have curated two cocktail specials for the festival period: Moon Light (pandan run, green Chartreuse, pineapple and mango puree) and the 15-08 (gin, dragon fruit and St. Germain), as well as an XO tiger prawn dish with time, XO, lime gel, shiso and nori
- Chinta Ria has created special Moon Festival set menus at three different price points: LOVE ($80), PEACE ($118) and HAPPINESS ($188)
- IIKO Mazesoba has created four Moon Festival menu items: Tsukimi Mazesoba (housemade noodles, egg yolk, tororo, shallots, nori and wasabi), mochi taiyaki (red bean filled fish-shaped glutinous rice snack), milk pudding with peach puree and a snowskin bunny mooncake
- Dopa by Devon will sell ‘mini dons’ for $10 ea: chicken teriyaki donburi, chicken karaage donburi and veggie donburi
- Ume Burger will have Moon Festival lotus chips ($6.40 each)
Over the October long weekend (29 September to 1 October), Darling Square will have a calligrapher onsite and retailers will be gifting lanterns to those who shop with them. Visitors can then take their lantern to the calligraphy bar and have the artist personalise the lantern with a special message (in Chinese or English). On Friday 29 and Saturday 30 September from 5.30pm, traditional Chinese makeup and face painting will be on offer.
There will also be DJs and live music each Saturday and Sunday (6-9pm), and on Friday 29 September. Live music acts include Flygirl Tee, Mark Matthews and DJ Aycuz. In addition to live music, there will be an acrobatic lion dance performance from Jin Wu Koon at 6.30pm on Friday 29 September. One of Australia’s oldest Dragon and Lion Dance troupes, Jin Wu Koon has represented Australia in various global competitions.
Gong Grocer will have a pop-up mooncakes cart outside the Maker’s Dozen from 15 September until 1 October. The extensive selection of mooncakes will include popular international brands celebrated for their traditional offerings, such as the classic ‘lotus paste with egg yolk’ popular in Hong Kong, China and Malaysia. Beyond the global selection, Gong Grocer’s modern flavours will include peach oolong, cheese, jasmine, matcha green tea, red bean, pandan, mango pomelo and the highly popular custard lava series.
Mooncakes that are native to specific countries will also be available, including Teochew flakey pastry mooncakes, Vietnamese mooncakes and mochi-like ice-cream ‘snow skin’ mooncakes. The pop-up will be open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11am -7pm, and Friday to Sunday from 11am – 9pm.