We celebrated my sister's birthday at the SM San Lazaro Branch of The Aristocrat. Although we've had dinner here plenty of times before, it's only now that I realized how old this restaurant actually is--72 years old! Wow, that's as old as Lido! And here's something that's almost as old as the restaurant is...
The most famous Chicken BBQ in the whole archipelago.
You can not go to Aristocrat and not try their famous Chicken Barbecue! It's a travesty to do so! At only P186 for 3 pieces with java rice, you can't go wrong! This barbecue is their claim to fame, so much so that family squabbles in the Reyes Family (founding family of Aristocrat) spawnied such offshoots as Alex III, Reyes Barbecue and Serye boasting of the same Chicken BBQ formula.
To round up the feast
Traditional Pancit Canton--not exceptionally good, just traditionally ordered because noodles signify longevity in Chinese lore. I think it's a tad bit expensive at P294.
This is their version of the Bicol favorite, Laing. Laing is made up of taro leaves cooked in coconut milk and maybe garnished with either pork, fish or in this case, shrimp. It's actually one of my favorites. Though their version is pretty good, I won't go so far to say that theirs is anywhere near the best I've tasted. Not bad for P134.
Kare-kare. This popular Filipino dish is comprised of ox tripe, ox tail and if the the cook is generous, actual ox meat cooked along with various vegetables like string beans, eggplants, banana heart, and pechay in rich peanut sauce. It goes perfectly with Bagoong (shrimp paste). It's one of the more expensive dishes here at P300, but definitely a must try.
And last but definitely not the least, Lechon Kawali. This is deep fried pork belly--cooked just right to make the skin crispy and yet retain the juiciness of the meat. We enojyed it so much we ordered another serving. This cholesterol haven is just right at P246.
Good food, cozy ambiance and accommodating staff--all in all a satisfying meal with the entire family.