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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Aristocrat: Still among 'balikbayans'' favorite

This year, our family welcomed several "balikbayans" - my sister who is a nurse in New York and my aunt and uncle and one of their kids, who has lived all her life in Virginia. In both occasions six months apart, we brought them to Aristocrat, that iconic restaurant that's been around for over seven decades, in its main store on Roxas Blvd. in Manila. 
Aristocrat serves most of our favorite Pinoy food like mechado, kaldereta, bulalo, kare-kare and sinigang. However, I believe it's the chicken barbecue that made Aristocrat famous, though it's not a dish that is native to our islands. An order consists of 3 pieces of grilled chicken, paired with java rice and some achara. If you haven't tried Aristocrat's chicken barbecue, I strongly urge you not to get old before doing so. I almost wanted to say you can't be a true Pinoy if you haven't tried it. Haha! Well, apart from the fact that this chicken barbecue is delicious (sweet, smokey, tangy) , Aristocrat itself is an institution! Well, it sure is a feat being in the business for nearly 80 years, considering the very stiff competition these days in the food industry. For this alone, Aristocrat owners deserve a pat in the back. Yet, it's the various yummy dishes that have attracted hordes of diners to their stores in the metro, and the real reason for this restaurant's staying power. 
These are the dishes that we've tried:

Chicken Barbecue, P210.
Tanigue Steak, P330. 
Sizzling pusit, P210. 
Kalderetang Baka, P375 
Calamares, P260.
Bihon Guisado, P305.
Chopsuey, P295.
Ampalaya con Carne, P250.
Sinigang na baboy, P295.
Hototai soup, P250.

For dessert:


Halo-Halo, special, P125; scoop of ice cream, P55. 

Drinks:
Calamansi juice, P55. Buko juice, P90 (I was only able to take a picture after the buko was cut); Green Mango Shake, Fresh Mango shake and Strawberry Shake, P110/glass; 
Brewed coffee, P60.

More desserts:
Aristocrat on Roxas Blvd. has an in-house pastry and cake shop, where choosing is a difficult task. Haha!
On our first visit, I bought this brazo de mercedes at the cake shop; on the second, we got a mango cake roll. I forgot to take a picture of the latter but it was really good!
(So they say and it could just be true!) Aristocrat on Roxas Blvd. in Malate, Manila 
There's a nice view of the sea outside where you can catch the famous Manila Bay sunset.

Because Aristocrat has been here since 1936, Filipinos who have long left the country to work and live abroad and then come home for a vacation, include the restaurant in their list of must-visit foodie places. They remember their old favorites, and are thrilled to be eating them once more at Aristocrat. Indeed, delicious Filipino comfort food are hard to forget, 
no matter how far you go and how long you're gone.