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It was a bright albeit chilly Wednesday morning when we trooped to the misty hills of Antipolo to discover a secret garden known only to some as… The Crescent Moon Cafe!

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It wasn’t just an ordinary and impulsive trip to the high mountains, because this little sojourn is a part of our requirement in Feature Writing where we need to review the restaurant. Now if only all school requirements are like these, I wouldn’t mind getting buried under tons of Academic work at all!

Before we proceed, let’s meet our tour guide for the day (who’s up and just about ready to give out precious info and facts about the Crescent Moon Cafe), the alluring… seductive… funny… gorgeous… the one… the only… Kumiko! (Haha, let’s all hope she doesn’t stumble upon this blog).

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I IZ YER TOUR GUIDE, GETTIN’ U LOST IN HER

kumi_host.jpgKumiko: Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Evening ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Crescent Moon Cafe. Our place is more than ready to serve you, please leave your coats and close the door behind you.

Crescent Moon Cafe is located along Ascension Road in Antipolo. It’s a good 30-minute drive along Sumulong Highway if you’re coming from Quezon City. The trip may be a little longer if you take the Ortigas Extension route.

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Kumiko: Crescent Moon Cafe is situated in a 5000-square-meter lot transformed into a beautiful secret garden–a perfect escape from all the hustles and bustles of the city.

 

The first thing that we noticed when we entered the vicinity is the giant pond filled with many gigantic Kois/Carps with a small waterfall by the side. It was to be my first time to have seen Kois as big as that, mind you. We did mini photo sessions by the pond, as expected.

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When we entered the cafe, the air felt refreshing even if the place wasn’t air-conditioned. The walls were high and there were gaps between the roof and the non-existent ceiling which serves as ventilation for the cafe. So that’s why it was pretty cold inside, save for the fact that we were in Antipolo.

The place is a neat little sanctuary for people who’s had enough of the stressful city. Little wooden chairs and tables dressed in what seemed like Batik sarongs accentuated the simplicity and native-ness of the place. At one side stood various ceramics and potteries in different shapes, forms and colors, and on the other side stood the buffet table.

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Kumiko: Ladies and Gentlemen, please meet the cafe’s owner, Ms. Lanelle Abueva-Fernando. Ms. Fernando is the daughter of former UP President Jose Abueva, and the niece of National Artist for Sculpture Napoleon Abueva. Indeed, greatness runs in the family!

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We met Ma’am Lanelle inside, where she shared stories about the Cafe. But for the most part she talked about her pottery, which is another one of her ventures, aside from the Cafe. Her pottery education is a mix of Japanese and Western pottery, which complements each other very well to create a seamless and exquisite product which can likewise be found and purchased in the cafe.

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Kumiko: Let’s get started with the food, shall we? It’s way past lunchtime and I bet all of you are eager to taste what Crescent Moon has to offer, so let’s get going!

 

For starters, we had one of the cafe’s specialty which comes in the form of an appetizer. They like to call it “Alagao Lumpia” but I’d like to call it… hodgpodge. Hehe.

How to eat the Alagao Lumpia? First you take one or two leaves of Alagao and set it on your platter. Different spices and garnishes are served along with the leaves, so take your pick. There’re onions, ginger, green mangoes, basil, chili and many more, depending on what’s available that day. Sprinkle and arrange the ingredients lengthwise on top of the leaves. Top everything off with Peanut Sauce and gently wrap and roll everything off with the leaves until you come up with something that resembles the modern-day Lumpia. Or if you’re messy and clumsy like me you’ll have nothing but… hodgepodge. Hehe.

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At first I was reluctant to take a bite off of my concoction. I’ve never eaten leaves before, aside from the usual vegetables our parents make us eat. But when I finally mustered enough courage to take a bite, a kaleidoscope of flavors burst in my mouth. First, the minty taste of the Alagao leaves, then the sweet taste of the peanut sauce, the sour juice of the green mangoes and a whole lot of other flavors which complemented one another. I could’ve gone for another round but I guess I was appetized enough by that simple surprise.

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Kumiko: Crescent Moon’s Alagao leaves are picked fresh from the trees outside.

 

We also had Kropek topped with Ground Beef for starters. The soup served that day was Broccoli soup, and it was equally delectable as well. There was just the right amount of Broccoli which you can still taste and feel with your tongue, and it didn’t taste icky at all, unlike some other vegetable soup.

The main course for the day was marinated Talakitok, which didn’t taste quite as fishy unlike fish cooked in the conventional manner. I don’t normally like fish unless it’s fried because of the very malansa flavor, but this one didn’t taste malansa at all. We also had Sauteed Sigarilyas on the sides, which tasted like Baguio Beans for all I know.

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But one of the best dishes served in Crescent Moon has got to be the Crispy Curry Noodles. It’s Crispy Noodles topped with either Chicken or Beef Curry. Unlike other crispy Noodles which tend to get drenched with the accompanying sauce, this one was cooked just right and melded appropriately with the fine-tasting curry. I had two batches of it and I won’t mind getting more!

kumi_host.jpgKumiko: Did you know that the Crescent Moon Cafe doesn’t have a definite menu? Yes, their servings for the day depend on what’s freshly available in the market. They don’t stock up on cooked dishes so you are guaranteed of fresh food every time you visit. The cuisine revolves on an Asian Fusion delicacy, but you are assured of a satisfying meal every time!

After the main course we all had pot bellies because we couldn’t resist getting second or third rounds of very delicious food. But when we finally gave up, they served dessert: suman and ripe mango. I was looking for the usual Sugar or Latik to dip the suman in but much to my surprise the ripe mango was way much better than any other partner for the suman. And the suman was to die for as well, with just the right starchiness and blandness to be able to accommodate the sweetness of the mango. Ay sus! Langit!

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After eating we took another tour of the premises, this time we ventured into the garden and Ma’am Lanelle’s Pottery Studio, where we saw firsthand how her ceramics were made. And of course, the customary Picture Takings were ever-present.

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Kumiko: There are two ponds within the vicinity of the cafe. The first is the koi pond and the other is the Lily Pond, where many frogs abound. Did you know that the Lily Pond was once a World War II crater? Amazing!

A dozen more pictures later and it was time to go home. Surely we had quite a relaxing experience in Crescent Moon that some others were reluctant of leavng and decided to linger on for quite a while. The price of the food is quite expensive, if you ask me (at around 300-400 pesos for the buffet, but the minimum you’d have to pay is 300 pesos), but the atmosphere and the whole experience is more than worth it.

The next set of pictures were taken using Janina‘s Canon EOS 400D dSLR Camera, my first time ever to hold one. Most of them were taken by me. How was the feeling? In a word: ORGASMIC. Hahahahaha. =P

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Kumiko: And that concludes our tour for the day. Thanks for coming and we hope you enjoyed your stay

 

Crescent Moon Cafe
Lanelle Abueva-Fernando
Ascencion Road
Barangay Dalig
Antipolo City
Tel. fax: 630-5854
Landline: 658-3866


47 Responses to “Dining Under the Crescent Moon”
  1. Dane says:

    ORGASMIC ─ BEHAVE JM!

    Nakakagutom naman mga posts mo ngayon. Ilibe mo kami diyan! 🙂

  2. Gian Paolo says:

    While I don’t think I can eat the marinated talakitok, I think I’ll drool over the hodgpodge–este Alagao Lumpia pala, when I see it in person. Hahahahahah. 🙂

  3. Poyt says:

    Cool! Paano pumunta dito? Makapag-date nga.

  4. Daryl says:

    hey, that’s maam rara! J195 excursion? 🙂

  5. Neil says:

    The food and the tour was tempting. But this post got punchlines each time Kumiko’s “JAPAAN!!!” pic shows up with a sidenote. Nagiging seryoso ako tapos… WAAAH! “JAPAAN!”

    I must go tell Kumiko about this LoLOlololOLolOLl!

  6. Neil says:

    Err… watdaef

    *(and the tour)

    Jeezuzkrise dat wuz so burberic!

  7. richard says:

    san banda yan? cool., 🙂 i think narinig ko na yang place na yan., maganda nga., 🙂

  8. Donya Quixote says:

    Weh. Bat ganyan, ang cool ng Feature Writing requirements ninyo. Hahahaha.

    Cute post. Ginutom mo ako JM. 😐 LOL

  9. lad madrigal says:

    I LOVE THE KOIS! ang laki at kyut.

    Well anyway, I would go for the crispy curry noodles. its so Japanese mixed with Indian taste.

    That was a great gastronomic adventure.

  10. palma tayona says:

    excellent writing. wonderful food. great read. exciting adventure… i enjoyed reading your post.

  11. Dan Hellbound says:

    Just like everyone else, I got hungry after reading this post. Therefore, me and my druid army will make a raid operation over Crescent Moon as soon as possible. BWAHAHAHAHA!

  12. kumiko yasuda says:

    JM! Tae you. hahaha for more i have pictures here. grabe. crescent moon was so fun!

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