Perhaps one of the dining establishments that opened to much hype in the local cafehopping scene recently would be Moonchild. Moonchild is one of the latest F&B additions to the Jalan Besar neighbourhood, being an establishment that is brought to us by the same folks whom have opened Atlas Coffeehouse, Colombus Coffee Co., Apollo Coffee Bar, Neptune and Supernova — all names that those whom are familiar with the local cafe scene should have heard of by now. While it has been a while that these folks had brought us an entirely new concept — the last one being the renovated Colombus Coffee Co. up at Upper Thomson Road, it does seem that Moonchild is yet another new brand that would push the boundaries further for them. On first look, Moonchild is an establishment that follows the look and feel of all their other concepts pretty closely — one that uses more earthier colours with a touch of nature that is modern, chic, and industrial without being too raw; still warm and inviting without being cliche. That being said, Moonchild certainly is distinctively different where the space looks brighter than their other more recent new concepts (i.e. Neptune and Supernova) even in the evenings, while there is also an sheltered outdoor dining zone that sort of reminds us of what Five Oars Coffee Roasters used to have at their original location along Tanjong Pagar Road. Much like most of their other concepts, Moonchild has two different menu served between different time belts — the section “The Morning Situation” comprises of more brunch-y dishes, and is served from 9am to 3pm, while the “Midday to Close” menu is served from 11am all the way to last order timing; the latter comprises of items spread across categories like Unsorted, Pastas, Rice Bowls and Burgers. Being an establishment by the folks behind Atlas Coffeehouse, Colombus Coffee Co., Apollo Coffee Bar, Neptune and Supernova, this also means that there would be specialty coffee brewed using their own roasts available here, as well as a wide variety of natural wines that has been a mainstay since the opening of Supernova at Tanjong Katong Road some time back.

Not all of the items at Moonchild are new; that being said, in true fashion to establishments run by these folks, the menu at Moonchild does comprise of quite a big proportion of new items to try — seemingly a commitment by the team to always offer something new to their patrons to keep things fresh even for returning customers. Items which have been brought over from other affiliated establishments would include dishes like the Cereal Prawn Pasta — a favourite of ours since it was first introduced in Atlas Coffeehouse a number of years ago. One of the new items that have caught our eyes (or at least, an item which we had never noticed during our past visits to Atlas Coffeehouse, Colombus Coffee Co., Apollo Coffee Bar, Neptune and Supernova) when we were skimming through the menu at Moonchild was the Pork Dan-Dan Scallion Noodles. The Pork Dan-Dan Scallion Noodles is an item from the “Midday to Close” menu that is served from 11am onwards, and is described on the menu to include elements such as Mala Crisp Pork, Braised Shiitake, Grilled Mushrooms, Long Beans, Cucumbers, Onsen Egg, Scallion Green Sauce, and Knife-Cut Noodles. Arriving the table, the dish definitely looked more likened to a Japanese Mazemen dish on first impression — all the elements plated aboce the Knife-Cut Noodles with the Onsen Egg being placed in the middle. Giving everything a good mix, it was clear that Moonchild is really pushing the boundaries with this dish — we were really impressed with how this one went despite it being a Chinese noodle dish churned out from a cafe.

For one, the Knife-Cut Noodles did carry the bite that we were looking for; given how we have mixed in all the elements together, the egg yolk did provide some flavour to the scallion green sauce while also providing a silky smooth texture that gels all of the elements together. Each element included the dish seems to have a purpose here — the Mala Crisp Pork was more like chunks of roasted pork; carried a distinct saltishness from the spice rub but also had a crisp skin that adds texture to the dish itself. The balance of the Mala flavour is especially delicate here; one could definitely get a hint of the Sichuan peppers used but there wasn’t a point of time that it attempts to overshadow the other elements in the bowl — in fact, the hint of Mala did further bring out the flavours of the other elements instead, and did make the entire dish a lot easier to finish considering the generous portion size of the Pork Dan-Dan Scallion Noodles. Meanwhile, other elements like the grilled mushrooms provide a bouncy bite and an earthy note to the dish to further bring a balance of flavours, while the long beans provide a crunch factor to the dish. Sliced cucumbers also provided the same crunch factor, but added a refreshing note that further provides a balance to the item. During the visit, we had also tried the Sausage Mushroom Mafaldine — a pasta featuring handmade pork sausage chunks that is especially comforting, as well as the Coconut Water & Matcha Foam and Coconut Water & Espresso; it is interesting to see how the flavours of coconut water is slightly different between the two with the latter being a little sweet to match against the coffee foam, while it was a little saltish with the former that made it an interesting drink to have. Prices of the food at Moonchild do seem to be in a slightly lower price point than their other concepts in general — mains in the “Midday to Close” section of the menu are priced between $17.20++ to $23.90++; a nice change for the brand. Atlas Coffeehouse, Colombus Coffee Co., Apollo Coffee Bar, Neptune and Supernova are names that are pretty renowned in the local coffee scene by now, and it seems that Moonchild does seem to continue so and push things further for the collective of brands even despite the heights that the establishments before it has achieved — another one spot that we would expect to get buzzy as more gets to know about them in time to come!