One of my favourite thing about shopping in Hong Kong is how stores that sell similar items are grouped together in the same neighbourhood. There’s a street dedicated to electronics, one for sneakers, a street for antiques, and one specifically for pet goldfish. Luckily for me, there was a street dedicated to all things bakeware and kitchen tools. Shanghai Street in Yau Ma Tei is home to stores selling traditional wooden mooncake molds, cake decorating supplies, and cookie cutters of all shapes and sizes. I went into almost every single kitchen store on Shanghai Street and here are my favourites:
Man Kee Chopping Board 萬記砧板 (340, 342 Shanghai St.)
Man Kee is one of the few stores left in Hong Kong that specializes in custom chopping boards and other wood-based kitchen tools. This store was at the top of my list because they’re also known for their wide selection of wooden and plastic mooncake molds and presses. Upon reaching the storefront, you will see an impressive display of wooden mooncake molds. I spent quite a while admiring all the different patterns and designs before even stepping into the store. Each mold is priced differently and the more detailed the mold, the higher the price. I love the look of wooden molds but prefer plastic plunger style presses for practicality. The selection of plastic mooncake presses was as impressive as the wooden ones, with over 20 – 30 designs and sizes ranging from 50g – 125g. The smaller presses were around $38 HKD (~ $6.50 CAD) and the larger molds with multiple, interchangeable design plates were priced between at $68 – 88 HKD ($11 – 15 CAD). The molds aren’t significantly cheaper than buying it locally here in Chinatown or from larger online retailers, but the variety of the designs offered at the store wins by a mile. There are much more designs and sizes to choose from and I appreciated the availability of of newer designs (like dragon-shaped molds for year of the dragon). I even found a mooncake press with my last name! I grabbed several mooncake presses as well as plastic molds for new year cake and jellies. The selection of small kitchen tools was also impressive. Surprisingly, the store accepts both cash and card.
I Love Cake (338 Shanghai St.)
I audibly gasped when I entered I Love Cake, which is conveniently located right next to Man Kee. I Love Cake is a more modern baking supply store specializing in ingredients and tools needed for cookie and cake making. There are lots of licensed cookie cutters (I picked up a set of Rilakkuma cookie cutters), seasonal cutters and molds, and both artificial and natural flavouring for baking. They also sell a lot of brands that we have here like Valrhona. I didn’t hold back when it came to stocking up on ingredients: ube powder, Japanese yam powder, Hokkaido milk powder, butterfly pea flower powder, pandan powder, along with several kind of tea powders. Each pouch ranged from $18 – 38 HKD, which is so much cheaper than purchasing it here in Canada. I also appreciated how each bag is the perfect amount for 4 – 5 batches of cookies or cake. I also picked up a set of Christmas cookie cutters and a flower-shaped donut cutter which was equivalent to $1 CAD.
Twins Baking Supplies (1/F On Yip Commercial Building, 395 Shanghai St.)
*The store can be easily missed! It is on the second floor of a commercial building with a narrow entrance.
I missed Twins Baking Supplies the first time I explored Shanghai Street. Even with my Google Maps app open, it still look me several tries to locate the entrance of the building to make my way upstairs. Instead of looking for the number of the building, look for the name ‘On Yip.’ The staircase and entrance of the store may seem very rundown, but they have some of the best cookie supplies (especially packaging) of all the stores I visited. My favourite section was the mooncake packaging shelves, and it took all the self control I had to not buy it all and stuff my suitcase with empty boxes. I also loved the holiday cookie tins and I spent so long crouched over going through the selection that my back cracked when I stood up. Bring cash, because the store has a high minimum spend for credit card use.
Other stores along Shanghai Street… had less of a niche but still carried great baking gems. Most of the stores had their own unique collection of mooncake presses so don’t overlook the bins filled with little plastic plungers. Don’t be afraid to ask the store workers if you can’t find something, all the employees I talked to were incredibly nice and helpful.
I highly recommend bringing a large tote bag with you so you don’t have to pay for bags at each store. Bring cash so you can make small purchases at each store without having to reach the minimum spend. Be prepared to spend an entire afternoon on Shanghai Street… and happy shopping!