Last Updated: March 13, 2020
There is no shortage of lunch spots and bars in the Central Business District, but Moonstone Bar is not your average watering hole. Situated along Amoy Street, you’ll spot Moonstone Bar with an old-school sign with large Chinese characters for “cooling tea” (凉茶).
My curiosity was definitely piqued, and I stepped inside to investigate as well as to escape from the sweltering heat.
The inside of Moonstone Bar has the vibes of millennial museum meets cheeky art collection, combined with industrial chic. There were tongue-in-cheek posters, colourful mismatched lamps, random road signs and memorabilia hanging on the wall.
It’s certainly a clear deviation from the clean, minimalist decor that dominates the food scene of late.
It will take you some time to fully examine all the eclectic pieces that litter Moonstone Bar, but what I can say is that the place is indeed full of character. Despite the “mess”, there was something warm and cosy about Moonstone Bar that made you want to sit down and soak up the atmosphere.
Already winded from the heat, I settled down to see what Moonstone Bar had to offer. The dishes at Moonstone are from the minds of Anthony Utama and Keith Koh, whose creations are inspired by tasty Indonesian street food.
Anthony Utama is also the owner of the famous Tamade Cafeteria in Bali, Indonesia. So, expect grub that is simple, hearty and hits the spot.
The Nasi Ayam Mason (S$8) was first on my list. Served in an old-school china bowl, you’ll get a mound of rice topped with braised chicken, poached greens and crispy wafers of tofu skin. This was also served with a bowl of clear soup. There was nothing too fancy about this, which I appreciated.
I went straight for it, and I was pleased to find the rice fragrant and flavourful enough that you could just eat it on its own. The braised chicken was tender, rich and soft—an excellent companion to the aromatic rice. You’ll have to give the rice a good mix to ensure the sauce covers the rice.
Plus, those generous triangles of fried tofu skin were not only fun to crunch on but provided good textural contrast as well.
A pretty satisfactory and balanced bowl that would make a good lunch.
Next up, we tried the Bakmi Ayam Mason (S$10). This number came with a jammy onsen egg, braised chicken and shitake mushrooms and those wafer-like fried tofu skin.
Similar to bak chor mee, but made lighter with the chicken and more delectable with a runny egg.
As per onsen egg conventions, breaking the yolk so that it coats everything in the bowl is a must. Thick and golden, the egg yolk mingled with the chicken broth and added depth to the sauce.
The noodles are something else—not as tubular as mee kia but also not as flat as mee pok. The noodles have almost an oblong shape which somehow picks up the sauce a little better and has a better mouthfeel.
The chicken bits were just as flavoursome as the first dish but I found myself slurping this up a little more. Also, for all the spice fiends out there, this also comes with a side of chilli sauce that is both fiery and addictive—a must-try for sure.
If you are still feeling a little peckish after lunch, the Browned Cauliflower (S$7) is a treat to consider.
These are deep-fried cauliflower florets drizzled with a miso glaze and sprinkled with furikake. Deep-fried cauliflower has been my latest obsession and while these were tasty, I would have liked them to be just a little crispier and crunchier.
The miso glaze was buttery and nutty which proved to be a real umami bomb.
In line with Moonstone Bar’s wry sense of humour, the Bon Joe (S$14) is their take on a certain famous breakfast muffin. Moonstone Bar’s one comes with a crunchy hashbrown, spicy sausage patty, sunny-side egg before being drizzled in cheese and sandwiched between two English muffins.
What I appreciated was definitely the thickness of the sausage patty. This chunky slice made for a hearty mouthful. With a good amount of heat coupled with flowy egg and well-fried hashbrown, this one gives the Golden Arches a run for their money.
Another (better) dupe, this is the K.F.C Sliders (S$14) which stands for Kena Fried Chicken Sliders. Given my loyalty to Colonel Sanders, I was intrigued to see how these would hold up.
The slider was straightforward enough, a brioche bun cradling juicy fried chicken thigh with some zingy slaw and smothered with cheese sauce.
The chicken did not disappoint, with crackly bits that reveal a juicy centre—this was certainly fried well. The sharp slaw help to cut some of the richness from the cheese sauce and chicken. My only complaint was that I would have loved a toastier brioche bun that would’ve tied everything together.
A better more improved version from our military friend—consider me sold.
As for their drinks, Moonstone Bar maintains its witty and smart approach. One of their signature drinks, Liang Teh (S$18)—which means “cooling tea”—is a clever nod to their signboard. Just like a cup of “cooling tea”‘, you’ll find ingredients such as monk’s fruit (luo han guo), chrysanthemum and longan as the main flavours, but this version comes with a dash of vodka to make it fun.
I found this sweet, light, a little more herby than I was used to but still one that stood out for sure.
There is nothing like knocking back a pint after work to wind down. Here at Moonstone Bar, they have a special kind of beer: the Pilsner Urquell (S$16). This Czech-style of beer is known for its extremely foaming top and golden hue.
Flowery and fragrant with the distinct aroma of hops, this was surprisingly pleasant to drink.
Despite Moonstone Bar’s artsy interior, it’s a place that doesn’t put on any airs. You’ll feel right at home with a cold glass of Pilsner, slider in one hand and chatting amongst friends—which is exactly what I’m going to do on my next trip there.
Expected Damage: S$20 – S$30 per pax
Price: $ $
Our Rating: 4 / 5
103 Amoy Street, Singapore 069923
103 Amoy Street, Singapore 069923