Wednesday 5 February 2020

Celebrating the Lunar New Year with Lucky Cats

Happy Lunar New Year! We have officially entered the year of the rat. If I had unlimited funds, I would be at Disneyland's California Adventure because Micky and Minnie Mouse are throwing a massive lunar new year party! Super cute and absolutely fitting because after all, they are mice! Disney has also launched a collection with Gucci for the Lunar New Year. What are the odds that Disney would collaborate with my favourite luxury brand. I have been a Gucci girl all my life! As much as I wanted to love the House of Mouse's foray into luxury goods, I felt the pieces were a bit lacklustre. The style is far too 70's 80's retro style. Do not get me wrong, I love me some classic vintage pieces, but more the refined old opulence that the large luxury design houses got their start from. 

Since I am not going to be investing in a piece from the Gucci x Disney collection, I ventured around town in search of other fun Lunar New Year inspired goods. Initially, I was looking for Year of the Rat themed eats, but I found myself drawn to a Japanese talisman, the Maneki-Neko, aka the Lucky Cat. These round-bellied cats wave their paws to beckon-patrons into shopfronts and are commonly found perched above registers at Asian restaurants and shops. 

Money Tea is the newest addition to Richmond's already impressive boba market; however, Money Tea sets itself apart with their Lucky Cat theming. Their window-display alone has over 50 lucky cats, each painstakingly crafted from clay and finished with immense care to detail. The ceramic kitties all boast big smiles with their right paw up in the air. I loved how each Lucky Cat was unique. There were geisha kitties, fishermen and cherry-blossom decorated ones. I personally fell in love with the fortune cat wearing a blue kimono and the kitten wearing a pink kimono with 3D blossoms. 

Inside the shop, the walls are covered in massive murals featuring more Lucky Cats, but I think the ceramic figurines in the store window were my favourite. Also, the fortune cat figures are coin banks! I want one really badly because can you just imagine all the positive joujou that would possibly come from depositing your spare change in a lucky cat bank!? Unfortunately, they are not for sale nor easily accessible as these stunning Lucky Cats were purchased in Japan. 

As I basked in the glow of good fortune, I quenched my thirst with their "Yangleduo" beverages. The popular Asian fermented probiotic drink called Yakult, makes up the base for the Yangleduo series. I am sure you have seen those little tiny yakult yogurt drinks before. I got a passion fruit and a peach yangleduo drink. Both of them came in special bottles that mimic the shape of the famous yakult beverages - super cute! 

I thought the passionfruit would be my favourite since passionfruit has such a lovely tartness, but I actually enjoyed the peach yangleduo more. The passionfruit was a bit lack lustre which is shocking considering how strong and exciting the fruit itself is. The peach was a far better pairing with the yakult and also came with lychee flavoured chewy balls which literally had the texture of real lychee, so at first, I thought they had added in fresh lychee pieces. 

Now my lucky cat adventure did not end there! Over at The Baker and Table in Vancouver, I was able to get my hands on one of their limited edition 2020 Lucky Cat Mochi Melonpan buns. The decoration was on point! The melonpan captured the roundness and adorableness of a lucky cat down to the red collar with a gold medallion. The Lucky Cat mochi melonpan bun was filled with chocolate raspberry. I thought the bun was moist with a lovely chew. The filling I thought could have had more depth. Raspberry is a bright summer berry and was completely overpowered by the chocolate. It was a bummer, but when it comes to the novelty of a cute lucky cat or other character shaped melonpan buns, The Baker & Table is the place to go. The Lucky Cat bun was limited edition; therefore, is no longer available; however, they have lots of other flavours and fun character-themed buns like baby Yoda and Shiba puppies.

Wishing everyone a fabulous Year of the Rat! 


Money Tea
3779 Sexsmith Rd #1116, Richmond

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