A few years ago, Aldrin and Laura Tabora decided to share their love of Filipino cuisine all over Auckland with their own Food Truck — Hapunan. The husband and wife team worked in the hospitality industry, and a recent trip to Aldrin’s home city of Manila had re-ignited their interest in its bustling food scene.
With their full-of-flavour fare gaining traction back here, they have opened a dedicated takeaway pitstop so fans always know where they can get their fix. Inspired by their cute leaf-printed caravan that is still on-the-go (when it is safe to do so), the petite permanent outpost in Huapai is an essential stop if you’re going for a weekend drive or walk out west.
On the menu, Hapunan serves up traditional dishes with a twist. For starters, we can’t go past the Prawn Siomai, which sees prawns, bamboo shoots and mixed vegetables freshly steamed in a light pastry, and served with ginger soy dressing and chilli garlic oil — or the Pata Tim, which layers pulled pork hock in a steamed bao bun, topped with pickled cucumber, fresh coriander and chilli.
As a main event, the classic Adobo Del Diablo marinates chicken thighs in a rich coconut cream sauce with turmeric, bay leaves and peppercorn, then is served with atsara slaw and coconut rice. Rich but balanced, the Beef Kare Kare is slow-braised for 18 hours and served with an extra thick and smooth peanut butter sauce, topped with crispy bagoong (a Filipino sautéed shrimp paste).
Along with the savoury dishes, the beloved Buko Leche Flan dessert is essentially a coconut crème caramel topped with toasted coconut chips and jackfruit crumbs. Another must-try is the Ube Pandesal — a unique purple doughnut filled with ice cream and topped with toasted coconut for a feast for the eyes, as well as the tastebuds.
Driving up demand for a modern spin on Filipino fare, Hapunan is well worth a drive-by when you are next in Huapai.
Tuesday to Saturday:
12pm-3pm & 4pm-8pm
316 Main Road