Flavour of the Week

Hapunan Filipino Cuisine - Founders Aldrin Tabora & Laura Caddick Est. 2018

Until around a year and a half ago Filipino cuisine was woefully underrepresented in Auckland, particularly in street food. Bursting with flavour and boldly combining sweet, sour, salty and spicy, Filipino food is unfamiliar to many Kiwis. Thankfully, Laura and Aldrin from Hapunan Filipino Cuisine are here to enlighten us and introduce our taste buds to what will surely become some of our favourite dishes.

When Aldrin moved to New Zealand from the Philippines at the age of 21, he decided to leave his engineering career behind and follow his passion for food into the culinary world. Laura also has an impressive hospitality CV, having dabbled in everything from front of house, barista and management roles. Their combined experience and expertise is apparent in their food and their service.

Some years after meeting during their time working at Farro, Laura and Aldrin decided to start their own venture. Inspired by the dishes Aldrin grew up eating and their travels through the Philippines, Hapunan serves up traditional Pinoy dishes with a modern twist. Think Beef Pares (intensely flavoursome slow braised beef brisket served with egg noodles), Ube Pandesal (ube flavoured ice cream served in a fluffy ube bun) and the ever popular Adobo Del Diablo, a chicken curry Laura and Aldrin don’t dare remove from their rotating menu as it is a firm fan favourite.

When asked what some of their favourite events or memories with the food truck were, Laura and Aldrin couldn’t pick just one! They see everyday as remarkable and feel it is such a blessing to be able to live their dream and watch people enjoy the food they are so passionate about. This doesn’t mean that it’s all smooth sailing though—so much work and love goes into their business before each event. While they love working together, the team from Hapunan admit that owning a business with your partner can be stressful as you will inevitably butt heads from time to time and disagree on things. Despite this, Laura and Aldrin always seem to be enjoying themselves and serve their dishes with a smile and a side of cheeky banter.

It has been a whirlwind first year and a half for Hapunan and they have already built up a strong base of dedicated fans who will follow them all over Auckland. Running a food truck is not for the faint hearted, but Laura and Aldrin’s love for what they do and the food they serve makes the constant hustle and long hours worth it. Hapunan is the Filipino word for ‘dinner,' but we reckon we could eat their food for every meal so follow their Facebook and Instagram to find out where to get your next Filipino feast.