Although I've never been to the lair of the Chicken Barbecue pioneer that is Aristocrat
, I have seen its seven-decade-old flagship branch along Roxas Boulevard for countless times already. They have also been putting up branches in the Metro's biggest malls, including SM Mall of Asia where my date and I usually hang out. So when we saw the familiar green and red storefront of Aristocrat
, we didn't pass up the chance.
It's a shame to admit, but this is the first time we'll be eating at Aristocrat
. We have known the restaurant to serve famous Filipino dishes, but we're a little surprised of how its interior looked a little fast food-ish. No thanks to the red foldable plastic chairs that resemble those of the bee's.
Amidst the seemingly fast food of an atmosphere, we were warmly greeted and attended by the crew. I already did my homework so it didn't take us long to make an order. However as quick as the servers were in getting our food choices, serving was another story. It took about 15 minutes before one of our dishes were brought to our table. Good thing though, they've already served our Aristocrat Iced Tea (P65)
first to keep us occupied.
Aristocrat Iced Tea (P65)
Their signature iced tea was good as it didn't fail to keep us calm despite the long waiting time. Its taste was smooth and zesty, and had a hint of honey. My date also exclaimed, "Parang may chocolate"
And upon another sip, I also noticed it.
After 15 minutes and a follow up, our orders were finally served. I got a plate of their famous Boneless Chicken Barbecue (P149)
which is a grilled marinated chicken fillet served with Java rice, Java sauce and atchara (pickled unripe papaya).
Boneless Chicken Barbecue (P149)
Although I'm not big on grilled chicken, I loved my order. The chicken was flavorful and moist. Its skin was silky and perfectly grilled unlike others which are often than not, too charred. It was also freshly cooked and not just reheated, so somehow the longer waiting time was justified. As happy as I was with the chicken, the Java rice though didn't deliver the same satisfaction. It was a little bland for a cup of Java rice and was probably left sitting in the cold while the chicken was not yet cooked.
The atchara wasn't interesting enough too. It lacked the standard level of sourness that it should have. Good thing they gave two packs of their Java sauce which pimped the sidings.
My date on the other hand, enjoyed his orders. He got a plate of Tokwa't Baboy (P107)
which is an appetizer with cuts of cubed pork and fried tofu in a bowl of vinaigrette, and Pancit Palabok (P172)
which are thin rice noodles with shrimps and crab fat sauce.
Tokwa't Baboy (P107)
Fried tofu is never on my favorites list. However, I liked Aristocrat's
version of Tokwa't Baboy as it had just the right sourness to it. It also had generous amounts of pork, tofu and pig's ears.
Pancit Palabok (P172)
I'm also not a big fan of Palabok, but Aristocrat's
was tasty and had a generous amount of toppings. My date and I both agree that although it's not the best Pancit Palabok in the market, it is definitely a good noodle dish for a quick snack.
After finishing our entrées, we asked for our choice of desserts to be served. It was nice that this time around we didn't have to wait for long anymore. In only a few minutes, our server already brought the Leche Flan (P45)
and Buko Pandan (P67)
to our table.
Leche Flan (P45)
I'm a big fan of Leche Flan and Aristocrat's
small serving of my favorite egg custard didn't fail me. It was sweet, soft and silky on the palate. It was good both taste-wise and texture-wise. I wish though that they'd deliver a smoother and hole-less Leche Flan next time as their version is not too photogenic.
Buko Pandan (P67)
My date on the other hand, is a solid Buko Pandan lover but we have agreed that Aristocrat's
version is good albeit small. The young coconut strips were tasty and the pandan flavor was very evident. It was a really refreshing sweet treat anyone will surely enjoy.THE VERDICT
After sampling some of the Filipino comfort foods at Aristocrat, we now understand how this locally-owned restaurant had withstood the challenges in the growing market. Even with foreign entrants in the food service industry today, it can still stand out as the flavors it offers are simple yet beautiful.
I realized what I've been missing all these years. Even though my mom can whip up good ol' Filipino dishes, Aristocrat's offerings are nice alternatives when I want to enjoy a taste of home-made food away from the comfort of my abode.
boneless chicken barbecue,pancit palabok,tokwa't baboy