Let’s not forget the heart of this place, of course: the food. What’s special about it is that Aurora Filipino Cuisine presents tthe flavours of the Laguna region with authentic heritage dishes made from recipes handed down by grandmother Aurora and presented delectably by Chef Day and his sister Gel.
Take for example the “Minanok”, which is a must-try – heart of banana cooked in burnt coconut cream served with plaintain fritters (Php85). While there is no chicken in it as the name suggests, it has the consistency of one – perfect for vegetarians. The banana heart and fritters are meant to be eaten together to get a perfect mix of flavours in your mouth.
The Ensaladang Santa Cruz (Php155) gives the freshest pako (fiddle fern), pickled ubod and kesong puti tossed in salted egg vinaigrette. This is one of my favorite Filipino salads! All the ingredients are sourced from Santa Cruz and nearby towns, so you are assured of nothing but true local flavours in the dishes.
The Kare-Kareng Baka (Php275) is the Sunday-family-gathering kind of dish of the house, and might be yours, too. The beef and ox tripe are soft, while the peanut sauce is simply on point. Have it with some alamang and you’re good to go. And that’s just the first main dish!
Sigarilyas Sa Kalabasa (Php195) is sauteed sigarilyas in creamy kalabasa sauce topped with crispy shrimps.
Inalamangang Baboy (Php275) is Mama Tuding’s recipe of fresh alamang sauteed in chunky pork pieces. That’s the thing with passed-down recipes: you’ll get it better than you would normally get it from other restaurants.
Tiya Aurings Sinugno (Php285) is Cavinti Tilapia Fillet and vegetables cooked in coconut sauce over charocal fire (also available: sinugno sa bayabas na tilapia).
Binanging Manok (Php225) is grilled hald chicken in local herbs and spices.
Complementing these dishes are some great Filipino drinks: Tamarind Juice, Pandan Iced Tea, and Sago’t Gulaman. Tops for me would be the Tamarind Juice because it’s fresh and has that perfect mix of sweet and sour to it.
To cap off everything in dessert or “panghimagas” is the award-winning Bibingka Cheesecake (Php170). It won as the 2017 People’s Choice at the Ultimate Taste Test, so you’ll definitely have to put this on your top choices at Aurora Filipino Cuisine.
If it’s been a while since you had Palitaw (sweet rice cake), this is a great place to get Antonio’s Palitaw (Php45).
Comfort food is spelled in Sagobe (Php75) – Banana, Sago, Taro, Langka, Purple Yam, and Sticky rice balls in coconut cream sauce.
I’m both full and hungry from writing about the dishes at Aurora Filipino Cuisine. My heart is full from the heritage experience and my tummy is simply hungry from reliving all of the wonderful dishes. From their home to your plate, Aurora offers dishes passed down from their family recipe collection, reflecting the cuisines of the region. Schedule that roadtrip down to Laguna now!
Aurora Filipino Cuisine
P. Guevarra St. Santa Cruz, Laguna
Monday – Sunday 11am – 10pm
(049) 523 9014
Instagram : @aurorafilipinocuisine