Antipolo eats: Crescent Moon Cafe offers artistic garden dining near the metro

Kara Santos

Posted at Sep 05 2020 10:57 AM

Crescent Moon Cafe Antipolo.

Kara Santos

Interiors of Crescent Moon Cafe.

Kara Santos

Alagao salad.

Kara Santos

Interiors of Crescent Moon Cafe.

Kara Santos

Craft beers from Santiago Brewery.

Kara Santos

Pottery products at Crescent Moon Cafe.

Kara Santos

Ceramic products for sale.

Kara Santos

Pottery products at Crescent Moon Cafe.

Kara Santos

Pond at Crescent Moon Cafe.

Kara Santos

The Glass Bar at Crescent Moon Cafe.

Kara Santos

MANILA -- Crescent Moon Cafe in Antipolo has been a long-time favorite among urbanites. This artistic restaurant known for their Southeast Asian-inspired cuisine and pottery products from the studio of Lanelle Abueva-Fernando has been around since 1997.

Folks from Metro Manila looking for a charming dining experience surrounded by nature can enjoy dining-in again at the cafe. The Antipolo establishment, which reopened last June 17 following GCQ restaurant guidelines, is currently open from Wednesday to Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The main dining area is a colorful, open-air structure, with screens on all sides instead of walls, allowing fresh air to enter and minimizing the risk of coronavirus spread. The whole space is situated within landscaped gardens and koi ponds, adding to the refreshing natural appeal of the place.

Under new guidelines, the cafe is currently operating at 50% capacity. They can only seat 35 people at a time in their main dining area and a maximum of 8 people outdoors. Guests are requested to reserve before visiting by calling (02) 8234-5724 or sending them a message on Facebook.

Dine-in customers are required to wear masks when in the main dining area. Each table contains small ceramic containers for masks to help keep tables clean. These containers are changed in between groups.

The a la carte menu has been scaled down to focus on bestsellers. Their signature appetizer is the Alagao Salad (P300 good for 2-3 people), an adaptation of the Thai street food and snack miang kham. To eat this, you use the leaf as a wrap for bits of ingredients, like basil, green mango/kamias, ginger, onion, roasted coconut, dried small shrimps and peanut sauce.

Other dishes on the menu include Glass Noodles with stir-fried vegetables (P280), Beef Rendang (P380), Lemongrass Pork Belly (P370) and Fried Catfish with a choice of sambal or sweet and sour sauce (P270).

For dessert, try the classic Suman at Mangga or Suman Itim, sticky black mountain rice topped with coconut cream and roasted cashew for P90 each.

Crescent Moon Cafe also serves artisanal beer from Santiago Brewery, the only craft brewery in the country that produces their own malts in the mountains of Antipolo. The four unique variants (P150 per bottle) include Amihan Blonde Ale (a Belgian-style beer), Habagat Amber Ale (brewed with roasted malts and a hint of caramel), Ipu-Ipo India Pale Ale (bitter and hoppy flavors), and Buhawi Chocolate Cream Stout (which has intense chocolate and coffee notes).

Looking for a venue for an intimate wedding or celebration? Crescent Moon Cafe is still open for private events, following the safety guidelines. The Glass Bar is the restaurant’s watering hole and creative space, normally a venue for guests to try their hand at different arts and crafts. The area seats 10-20 people and is available for booking as a venue for meetings, private events, and workshops.

The restaurant also has an outdoor space and screened cabanas ideal for small events like outdoor movie screenings and workshops. Aside from dine-in services, they continue to offer takeout and delivery including to areas in Metro Manila.

For those who want to infuse their home with a more artistic vibe, the shop’s shelves are well stocked with handmade stoneware ceramics including unique mugs, saucers, serving plates, bowls, cheese plates and other items.

In a Facebook post announcing their reopening in July, the restaurant said: “The last few months have been challenging, and it means so much to us to see you in the restaurant, take your pottery and food orders, and see photos of your visit on social media. Thank you for supporting the business and the individuals who work here. Thank you for following safety protocols and for being patient as we continue to navigate this new normal.”