There are at least two reasons why people still come to Arano’s, a Spanish restaurant in Guadalupe, Cebu City. The first would be its secret location or to some extent, its clandestine existence. It is a delight to know that there are still places in the city where you could actually dine and really talk sans the distractions one would get elsewhere. I only stumbled upon the place thanks to an invitation of a very good friend whose gastronomic hunts led him one day there.
The interiors at Arano’s are simple. Inside the small airconditioned receiving area, there are photographs and memorabilias on the walls that show the glorious days of a handsome Jai-Alai player. That by the way is Angel Ibarlucea y Arano, the owner of the place. During my first evening at Arano’s, the warm and friendly señor shared how he ended up managing this small restaurant after his Jai-Alai stint.
There are also tables located at the restaurant’s garden section for those who want a more spacious view. By the looks of it, one would think that this is just an extension of someone’s lawn and not a section of a Spanish restaurant. Arano’s does not even play flamenco-ish music all the time just to remind you that it actually is the latter. This brings me to the second reason why people still go there anyway: their food. Now I have not been to Spain but for me, what they are offering is Spanish in every sense of the term.
Each dish comes in a serving that is good enough for 2-3 persons. The menu below may not be the latest but I posted it anyway just to give you an idea how every dish is surprisingly affordable as well.
My favorite in the bunch is the Callos which is ox tripe tendered to perfection in tomato sauce. It is worth mentioning their Leche Flan which I tried in my most recent visit. My companion that time said that she could really taste the egg yolk in that simple dessert which strongly suggests that it was not made from a powder mix.
If my memory still serves me right, I have been to Arano’s four times already. But I could still remember who I went with in each evening, where our tables were and why we went there in the first place. And no, I actually do not have an eidetic mind. I just happen to have great memories even in the few evenings that I spent at this restaurant.
This is not just a place where you can have authentic Spanish food at affordable prices and conversations with good friends. It is a different dining experience that one must try in Cebu City. I would not mind at all if the restaurant would not be a best kept secret in due time. I look forward then to time where I could find myself once again at the charming restaurant that is Arano’s.
You would know you are near Arano’s once you see a “Fairlane Village” sign at Guadalupe in Cebu City. The narrow street leading to the restaurant is also located right across a public elementary school. Arano’s can only be identified by a wooden signage which is dimly illuminated by a fluorescent light. If these clues would not suffice, it would be best to just ask around.
31 Fairlane Village, Guadalupe Cebu City
Opens Mondays to Fridays from 6:00-10:00 PM
+63 32 256-1934