The first time I heard about Crescent Moon Cafe in Antipolo, I already begged hubby to go there. It is definitely more accessible than Ugu Bigyan pottery in Quezon (but this one I shall visit soon too). Unfortunately, we always end up allocating our weekends to other places/things and it was only recently when we were scouting for a house near that area that this place came to my mind again.
I didn’t know where Crescent Moon Cafe is located. All I know is that it is in Antipolo. I found some directions here. I don’t know about you but as the navigator, I couldn’t help but wonder if there’s anyone who got to the Cafe without getting lost following those directions. After going there today, I honestly believe that the badly-written text of directions deserves a major simplification. And if I were to tell you how to get there, this is how the directions should go:
Take Ortigas Avenue Extension going to Antipolo. When you pass the Cainta junction, go straight ahead until you reach the Tikling Y-intersection. Right street will bring you to Taytay. Left will take you to Antipolo. Take the left road. Follow the road until you reach the Provincial Capitol of Rizal. Follow the main road going right. Go straight ahead until you see Flying-V gasoline station at a tri-fork junction. Again, take the rightmost road. Wait for a Shell gasoline station to your right. Drive a little more and at a short distance from it, you will find mini-calibration/vulcanizing shops. Watch out for the tiny street after those shops with a Crescent Moon Cafe sign. That is Ascension Road. Turn right on that road and in a short while, you will see the Cafe at your left.
I hope I made it simpler for you.
Anyhow, to show you if that road trip was worth all the hype, check out some of our pics:
We were welcomed by this sign at the entrance. From the outside, it looks like a huge garden in a private home. Once you enter, you’ll immediately see the pottery workshops and the restaurant from afar.
We drove all the way to the parking until we reached this little yellow structure which is the Cafe itself.
It’s a pretty simple cafe. Nothing fancy. No air-conditioner. The air was cold and there’s no feeling of any humidity at all. It must be because of the koi pond outside and the trees embracing the whole place.
Inside are tables with native decors. My attention was immediately caught by a display of pots, plates, cups and other cute kitchen stuff down the room.
We were expecting to have a set meal. However, there were lots of guests today so we had buffet instead, for the same price 😀 Lucky us!
Our very first serving was a soup called Beef Nilaga. This is one of the more popular beef dishes in the Philippines. This was so good we had it with us the whole time we were eating. To be honest, it almost took the place of my Iced Tea 😛
We next tried their appetizer, Alagaw Spring Roll. Alagaw is a leaf with several medicinal purposes and we used it to wrap the roll. If you want to know what’s rolled inside, we got ginger, onions, chopped basil, dessicated coconut, chili, dried shrimps, and green mango. It was topped with a special peanut sauce. It’s a little “surprising” every bite… usually starts with an “aww, that’s unusual” and ends with “ok great the other flavors are killing that unusual flavor.”
They had three viands to choose from today: pork belly cooked with green mango strips, fried talakitok (some kind of fish) with a special soy vinegar sauce, and squid cooked adobo-style with coconut milk and green bell pepper. The squid adobo is a winner!
We next tried their cucumber salad with special vinaigrette. This was very simple but also very good 🙂
To finish our lunch off, we were served with suman and ripe mango along with a good cup of kapeng barako.
The food may not look much but hey, it’s a buffet so we can have a gazillion servings 😛 Before leaving, I checked the pottery display which I spotted when we first entered. I didn’t buy anything though 😛 I was having second thoughts about the “uniqueness” of the items. They’re gorgeous but I had this feeling that I’ll see them somewhere so the urgency to buy wasn’t there.
After paying the bill, the very courteous waiter asked us to sign their Guest Book 🙂 It’s funny coz we saw familiar names! 😀 It seems that celebrities and even our friends have been there! In fact, during lunch, one has-been celebrity was there. She used to be an understudy for Miss Saigon. And yup, I took a photo of her… surreptitiously.
On our way back to the parking, we passed through the koi pond again and took a photo of the swimming fishes 🙂 The big ones are not too many. The little ones haven’t grown up yet.
If I were to sum up our experience, I’d say the trip is all worth it. I wouldn’t add to the hype about it but a new experience in a good environment is always nice. I wasn’t disappointed with our Crescent Moon Cafe experience so I’d recommend it, for sure 🙂
They’re open everyday for lunch from 12NN to 2PM. Strictly by reservation only so don’t forget to give this number a call: 658-3866.
Hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed lunch with hubby today 🙂