Stunning sunset and skyline views at Antipolo’s Cafe Agusta

One of the usual appeals of Antipolo restaurants is the view they offer of the Metro Manila skyline.

For many of us denizens of the metro, the city is full of smoke, traffic and stress. From afar, especially after sundown, it’s awash with color, lights and wonder. For me, it’s the kind of sight that helps you find comfort and meaning for all the hard work that we do.

Cafe Agusta
Cafe Agusta

This is the reason I asked two of my former bosses for a sunset meetup at Cafe Agusta in Antipolo. Not only will this be the first time we would be together for the first time since the pandemic, this tete-a-tete will also celebrate my 15 years in the company which they have been so instrumental in shaping.

Amazing views for al fresco diners

Diners who prefer to stay indoors can lounge inside the cafe where its nice and cozy.

Cafe Agusta
Cafe Agusta
Cafe Agusta
Cafe Agusta

However, let’s face it: the real draw for this place has got to be its amazing view.

With its location high up the mountain and facing west, it provides the ideal vantage point with which to gaze at the metro’s cityscape as the sun sets.

Cafe Agusta
Cafe Agusta
Cafe Agusta
Cafe Agusta

The buildings’ white walls and cobblestone lined exterior floors are complemented by tables clothed in light blue to give off that Santorini vibe as diners enjoy the cool mountain breeze and the awesome sunset view.

Cafe Agusta
Cafe Agusta
Cafe Agusta
Cafe Agusta

For guests who are in the mood for some drinks, they can get their cocktails and mixes from Agusta bar right across the cafe and enjoy their drinks in a separate deck.

Cafe Agusta
Cafe Agusta
Cafe Agusta
Cafe Agusta

Comfort food that’s good to share

Cafe Agusta serves up filling comfort food that can be enjoyed as guests soak in the view. During our foray here, my friends and I shared:

Panini Chicken Crunch (Php260). Crispy chicken fillet loaded with cheese and the resto’s special sauce.

Cafe Agusta
Cafe Agusta

Creamy Pesto with Grilled Chicken (Php350). Al dente noodles tossed in flavorful pesto sauce with bits of juicy grilled chicken.

Cafe Agusta
Cafe Agusta

Pasta di Vongole (Php300). Al dente noodles tossed with Manila clams, garlic and parsley in olive oil and spiced up with pepper flakes.

Cafe Agusta
Cafe Agusta

Blueberry Cheesecake (Php185). Proving that there’s always room for dessert, we capped our meal with this sweet treat.

Cafe Agusta
Cafe Agusta

We washed our light meal down with Raspberry and Cuban Mint Agusta Coolers (Php140 each) and an Ice Blended Mocha (Php160).

Cafe Agusta
Cafe Agusta
Cafe Agusta
Cafe Agusta

Some kinks in the system

While Cafe Agusta’s awesome view may have been worth the trip, there are some areas for improvement which, when addressed, can make the entire dining experience here absolutely phenomenal.

Here are some of my observations:

  • The restaurant understandably does not accept reservations, and given its popularity, some walk-in diners should expect to wait before being allowed to enter the sunset viewing deck at around 5.30pm. A notice outside of the number of guests waiting in queue would be helpful for other diners to gauge their waiting time and decide if they want to stay so they can catch the sunset.
  • Stray cats more or less have free rein in the al fresco dining area. While they don’t jump on the tables, steal food nor attack diners, they do go underneath the tables and would sometimes slink against the legs of the guests. Aside from concerns for those with cat allergies, these stray animals roaming about in a dining environment can be considered a bit unsanitary.
  • Some orders, as well as the bill preparation, took quite some time. Some efficiencies in order taking and bill processing would go a long way towards improving the customer experience.

I found the overall experience at Cafe Agusta to be quite good, thanks to the delicious pasta dishes, the friendly wait staff (one even gamely took several pictures of me and my companions), and, of course, its much lauded view.

Cafe Agusta
Cafe Agusta

Hopefully, with a few slight adjustments in its operations, the restaurant will be known and appreciated for more than just its view.

Cafe Agusta is located along Grand Heights Road, Grand Heights Subdivision, Antipolo City, Rizal, open Mondays to Thursdays from 12 noon to 9pm and Fridays to Sundays from 11am to 11pm.

For more details about the restaurant, follow Cafe Agusta on Facebook and Instagram.

Refreshing garden dining at Antipolo’s Crescent Moon Cafe

With all the mishaps that have been happening in the metro lately, I’ve been looking for an escape where the fam and I can just relax and enjoy being together.

As luck would have it, a Sunday errand in Tanay afforded Hubby, my son #ExhibitB and myself the opportunity to hie ourselves off to a haven I’ve long been wanting to visit: Crescent Moon Cafe in Antipolo.

Crescent Moon Cafe
Crescent Moon Cafe

Here, my boys and I were able to enjoy a leisurely brunch, with a bit of nature and art appreciation thrown in.

Lush green getaway from the busy metro

After a week of peering into the screens of our laptops and mobile devices for most of the preceding week, I’m glad that we were able to visit a green space housed in this restaurant’s grounds.

We were surrounded by verdant trees, shrubs and plants, accented by eclectic artworks and the sounds of birdsong.

Crescent Moon Cafe
Crescent Moon Cafe
Crescent Moon Cafe
Crescent Moon Cafe

Green spaces have also been shown to improve cognitive ability and social behaviors among children, so parents would be happy to note that an outdoor play area for kids will soon be available inside the premises.

Aside from the soothing sight of greenery, the sound of cascading water into the koi pond is calming to the soul. There, large and colorful carp gracefully glide through the water or break to the surface for a feeding or two. Who would have thought that this relaxing feature was borne from a World War II bomb crater?

Crescent Moon Cafe
Crescent Moon Cafe
Crescent Moon Cafe
Crescent Moon Cafe

Throughout the grounds, there are whimsical touches of nature and art, especially in the outdoor handwashing area and washroom.

Crescent Moon Cafe
Crescent Moon Cafe

Walking around Crescent Moon Cafe’s grounds is sure to bring about a feeling of peace and serenity that my boys and I need to refresh and revitalize ourselves for the week ahead.

A restaurant that houses a pottery shop

Nestled within this garden setting is a screened dining hall furnished with colorful tables and chairs and decorated with regional and ethnic accents.

In keeping with IATF guidelines, the restaurant is operating at a maximum of fifty percent of its usual capacity. All adult guests are required to present vaccination cards and sign in via StaySafe PH for contact tracing. Guests are also required to submit to a temperature check, wear facemasks inside the premises and maintain physical distance from other diners.

Crescent Moon Cafe
Crescent Moon Cafe
Crescent Moon Cafe
Crescent Moon Cafe

Off to one side is a display shop of various houseware pottery crafted by stoneware ceramic artist Lanelle Abueva-Fernando. Here, guests can opt to buy unique handmade items such as serving platters, bowls, mugs, jars and other housewares and decor.

Crescent Moon Cafe
Crescent Moon Cafe
Crescent Moon Cafe
Crescent Moon Cafe

Of course, the main draw of Crescent Moon Cafe is its food. It serves Southeast Asian cuisine made with fresh and local ingredients from the same recipes used by the founder Bey Fernando when he started the restaurant back in 1997.

These include:

Beef Rendang Rice Meal (Php340). The Malay-inspired dish made with tender beef pieces slow-cooked in coconut milk and spices, served with a cup of red rice.

Crescent Moon Cafe
Crescent Moon Cafe

Red Rice (Php50/cup). A healthier steamed rice variant rich in iron and vitamins and which makes for a great companion to various Southeast Asian dishes.

Crescent Moon Cafe
Crescent Moon Cafe

Lemongrass Pork Belly (Php420). Pork belly slow-cooked in soy lemongrass broth and served with picked vegetables.

Crescent Moon Cafe
Crescent Moon Cafe

Fragrant Peanut Chicken (Php390). Boneless chicken pieces braised in peanut sauce with a few mild spices.

Crescent Moon Cafe
Crescent Moon Cafe

Suman at Mangga (Php150). Two pieces of white suman accompanied by a slice of ripe mango, a variant of the Mango Sticky Rice in Southeast Asian cooking.

Crescent Moon Cafe
Crescent Moon Cafe

Drinks. We paired these dishes with two glasses of sweetened lemon iced tea and a glass of sweetened calamansi juice with malunggay extract.

Crescent Moon Cafe
Iced Tea (Php100)
Crescent Moon Cafe
Moringa Calamansi Juice (Php100)

With this introduction to Southeast Asian cuisine, we were able to expand #ExhibitB’s gustatory horizons beyond his usual lutong-bahay and fast-food favorites.

Crescent Moon Cafe
Crescent Moon Cafe

Spaces for al fresco dining, special events or large-scale celebrations

Crescent Moon Cafe has expanded its operations to include a new al fresco dining area called The Sunken Garden, which provides diners with an open-air space with a full view of the koi pond.

Crescent Moon Cafe
The Sunken Grden
Crescent Moon Cafe
Venue for large parties

Above it is a large hall which can accommodate a large number of people, perfect for events and large parties.

Crescent Moon Cafe also has its own watering hole and creative space called The Glass Bar where guests can get hands-on with various arts and crafts. It can also serve as a venue for seminars, workshops, meetings or private events.

Crescent Moon Cafe
The Glass Bar
Crescent Moon Cafe
Screened Cabana

A screened cabana can also serve as a venue for more intimate gatherings.

Planning a sojourn to the east of Manila anytime soon to escape the stress and hassles of city life? Do include a relaxing stopover at Crescent Moon Cafe to enjoy the surroundings and the good food. Be sure to book your table before you go!

Crescent Moon Cafe and Studio Pottery is located along Sapang Buho Rd. Brgy. Dalig, Antipolo City, open Wednesdays to Sundays from 9am to 5pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 82345724.

For more details about its facilities and offers, visit its website or follow it on Facebook or Instagram.

Antipolo Resto: Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen

Up in the suburbs of Antipolo is a refreshing and delicious escape from the urban jungle called Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen.

I discovered this when I took my parental units out on an Antipolo joyride (!) as my advanced birthday treat for my dad.

To be honest, I was supposed to take my parents to another cafe in Antipolo but had to make a last-minute change of plans upon finding out that the other cafe’s premises might not be suitable for seniors.

With only minutes to spare, I scanned my Facebook feed for a place where the parental units would be more comfortable and I came upon Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen.

Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen
Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen

So, together with my daughter #ExhibitA, I picked up the seniors and off we went to this Antipolo resto which is luckily a mere twenty-minute drive away from our homes in Pasig.

The cafe is a welcome surprise that will greet your eyes as you turn from the busy highway and take your pick among the available parking spaces around the bend. From outside, the lush greenery surrounding the glass-walled structure looks both picturesque and inviting.

Since the restaurant is operating only on a fraction of its original capacity, there is already a queue of people waiting to be seated by the time we got there, despite the considerable seating spaces in both the ground and upper floors, as well as in the al fresco area.

Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen
Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen
Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen
Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen

As I have seniors in my party, we were seated at the al fresco area on the other side of street from the main dining hall. While this dining space may be quite hot during the early afternoon of our visit, the discomfort is somewhat eased by the presence of plants artfully arranged around the place.

Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen
Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen
Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen
Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen

Our light and delicious afternoon repast included:

Potato Wedges (Php130). Thick, deep-fried wedges of potatoes lightly seasoned with salt and pepper.

Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen
Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen

YB Nachos (Php210). Crisp toasted nachos drizzled with melted cheese and topped with sauteed beef, tomatoes, green onions and parmesan.

Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen
Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen

Club Sandwich (Php195). Two layers of sliced ham and chicken, lettuce and tomato in creamy dressing in between slices of toasted homemade bread, and served with a side of YB Nachos.

Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen
Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen

Wagyu Cheeseburger (Php365). Thick grilled patty of Wagyu beef topped with melted cheese and sandwiched together with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and burger sauce in between lightly toasted and buttered homemade burger buns, served with a side of YB Nachos.

Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen
Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen

Grandma’s Chocolate Cake (Php155). Decadent chocolatey treat made with chocolate sponge cake covered in rich milk chocolate icing and topped with dark chocolate shavings with thin layers of caramel filling inside.

Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen
Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen

Sans Rival (Php165). Alternating layers of buttercream, meringue and chopped cashews made even more special with the addition of white chocolate.

Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen
Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen

Despite the nearing holiday season, it was quite a hot and humid afternoon, so we ordered these drinks to cool down.

Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen
Jasmine Passion Fruit Tea (Php85)
Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen
Mint Passion Fruit Tea (Php85)
Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen
Iced Green Tea (Php125)
Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen
Ice Blended Double Chocolate (Php165)

In between delicious bites, my daughter and I were able to catch up with the news from my mom and dad.

Dad also seemed happy with his birthday blowout!

Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen
Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen

If you want to have a quick escape from the metro for a foodie adventure, do check this place out!

Yellow Bird Cafe x Kitchen is located at Lot 3 Blk 2, Mission Hills Blvd., Mission Hills Subd., San Roque, Antipolo, Rizal. It is open weekdays from 9am to 8pm and weekends from 7am to 8pm.

Call +63 925 7155287 for inquiries, and follow Yellow Bird on Facebook and Instagram to get updates.