Thursday, March 17, 2011

Vamos a comer en Arano

Tucked in the middle of a roundabout in a small, quiet subdivision in Cebu City is an al fresco dining where Spanish dishes are whipped up by a man rooted to the Iberian peninsula but has been living pretty much of his life in the queen city of the south, long enough to be able to converse in Bisaya. 


Señor greeting the diners

It’s an obscure haunt in the metropolis but to patrons, that little door surrounded by vines and with a small wooden sign is the portal to a pleasurable dinner. First-timers would usually have difficulty finding this place. No flashy ads, no big sign boards that would lead the way. How come a place that is unbeknownst to many could be popular? Looks like word-of-mouth still works in this side of town. 

Getting there, you can either take a jeepney bound for Guadalupe (06C) and get off just a few meters after the elementary school. Or you may take a cab and ask that you be brought to Fairlane Village. The entrance to the subdivision is located somewhat across the elementary school. Enter the narrow street of Fairlane Village. Turn right at the first corner. You’ll now be navigating on this so-called roundabout. As you keep on cruising, you’ll see a Chinese ngohiong place on your right. Just count up to three and you’ll find on your right a small wooden door on a wall with green overgrowth and a tiny wooden sign. You have finally reached Arano. Knock on the door which is usually opened by Señor and be warmly greeted by him in the Visayan language.  

You’ll be ushered to a garden with several tables. Preparation of food usually takes some time so it’s best to call your order in advance so you won’t have to wait too long for your dishes to be served. 

Their bestseller is their paella which comes in different sizes (good for 5 for Php 400.00 and good for 8 for Php 500.00).  They also have paella negra but I haven’t tried it yet. 

Our other usual suspects whenever we dine here are: lengua, callos, sambas, pescao rebosado and the spicy beef tenderloin tips. Down these rich food with glasses of juice, soda, beer or wine.

Arano is a nice place to unwind. The trees, the soft lights and the arias (although there was a time when pop music was blasting from the speakers) plus the good food usually equate to a relaxed evening. No wonder, guests would often find themselves deeply engaged in their conversations not minding the time or the fact that they're down to the last morsel on their plate and last drop of their drinks. Plus, Señor loves to chat with the diners (especially those inside the air-conditioned room) that it is quite normal to linger after meals. The downside though, especially on busy nights, just as it takes time for a dish to be prepared so is their service where the waiters would need a second or even a third reminder for your requests to be done.

Cebu is known to be a foodie's haven with so many choices. If you want to try something different and just have a laid back evening, then Arano is for you.

Address: Fairlane Village, Guadalupe, Cebu City
Contact Number: (032) 2561934

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