Monday, October 29, 2012

The Aristocrat Restaurant is Well-Loved by Pinoys

The Aristocrat Restaurant is well-loved by many Filipinos. It became part of the the Philippine tradition wherein most families celebrate special occasions in that restaurant including birthdays, weddings, christening and graduation. It brings back good memories because I remember me and my family dining at The Aristocrat branch in Roxas Boulevard facing Luneta, which I think is their first branch. I am sure I am not the only one who had wonderful childhood memories at The Aristocrat because you could see most OFW workers or Balikbayans requesting their families to take them to that restaurant each time they visit the Philippines. It was my mom's 67th birthday and my sister's hubby treated her (including us) for dinner at The Aristocrat branch in SM The Block. 
The restaurant was packed and you could see that most of the people dining there were lolos (grandfather) and lolas (grandmother) together with their families.  
Their menu is mainly Filipino that's why it appeals to the older generation. 
They also have a high chair and I was glad my tall 4-year old son was able to fit in that so he was able to dine more comfortably. He even removed his shoes and waved his feet all over...LOL...too much feeling at home is also not nice.
The Aristocrat is famous for their chicken barbecue that's why we all ordered that. My mom ordered the 3-pc Chicken Barbecue worth P195. It was served with Java rice, Java sauce and atchara. I remember it was cheaper way back then so I was quite surprised with its current price. The chicken cuts are not that huge compared to the chicken barbecue I ordered at Serye but that was worth P280 so when it comes to price, The Aristocrat is more reasonable. The marinated chicken was tasty and the rice is delicious.
I ordered the Boneless Chicken Barbecue worth P170 and also served with Java rice, Java sauce and atchara. The marinated chicken was soft and tasty that's why my kid was able to chew it well. There was a huge portion of chicken skin which I was not able to eat because it was oily. I only eat crispy fried chicken skin and not soft and greasy ones. I hope that they would be more generous with the atchara and also provide a bottle of the Java sauce rather than sachets of it...not environment-friendly!
Birthdays won't be complete without ordering noodles, which symbolizes long life. We ordered Pancit Canton worth P350. It has seafood, meat, veggies and even meatballs...kinda strange to see that in a pancit. I did not like the taste of the noodles...it was too bland for me. 
My overall dining experience at The Aristocrat Restaurant was good. I did enjoy the chicken barbecue, but they could improve on that such as lessening the chicken skin on the boneless chicken and being more generous with the atchara and Java sauce. I was unhappy with the pancit and I think it was too expensive too. Everything was quite pricey, but since they have been in the business for more than 75 years...they have every right to increase their price unlike other Filipino restaurants that demand a huge price without proving themselves first. Despite of being a little pricey, Filipinos still can't resist The Aristocrat and will continue to crave for their specialties. Be prepared to spend around P250 to P300 per head at The Aristocrat. Here is the Aristocrat Menu for your reference.

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Pork Steak with Onion and Gravy Sauce

Since Beef are more expensive than Pork, I end up buying Pork Steak rather than Beef Steak for lunch. I am going to share this easy recipe that both kids and adults would love called "Pork Steak with Onion and Gravy Sauce". There are two ways of preparing this dish: 
First: You can bread the pork steak, fry it and then cook the sauce separately before smothering them on the fried pork steak. 
Second: I chose this version because my kid have a hard time chewing meat so I need to make sure that the pork is really tender. Here is my simple recipe: 

Ingredients: 
1/2 kilo of Pork Steak (marinated in calamansi, soy sauce and pepper)
2 large onions (sliced thinly)
Instant Gravy (dissolved in water)
Pork drippings from the boiled pork
1 tablespoon butter

Procedure:

1. Add 1 cup of water on the marinated Pork Steak, then boil it for approximately 30 minutes or until the pork is tender. Make sure to check it from time to time to avoid the meat from getting dried up. Add water if needed.

2. Remove the meat. Strain the pork drippings to remove excess pork fat. 

3. Put 1 tablespoon of butter on the pan on medium heat flame, then fry the Pork Steak until golden brown.

4. Add the onions on the meat and continue frying until the onions are cooked.




5. Pour the dissolved gravy mix on the meat and onions, but make sure to put it in low heat. Add water as often as needed if the meat is still not that tender. Gravy thickens the longer you cook it. This dish is best served with baked potatoes or a cup of rice. 

NOTE: If you have a sizzling plate, then surprise your family with this easy Pork Steak Dish.

Check out my other recipes: 
Beef Sukiyaki
Ginataang Hipon with Kangkong
Ampalaya Salad

Cooking does not have to be that hard...just enjoy and experiment :)

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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Big Better Burgers: Is it Really Better?

Big Better Burgers...the name itself would make you want to try their burgers since they claim that they have big and better burgers. Me and my kid decided to have dinner at Big Better Burgers located at the 2nd floor of Wilcon City Center, Visayas Avenue, Quezon City. I think it was my first time to eat at Big Better Burgers or I might have already in the past, but can't remember. 
The restaurant is quite small with only four sets of 4-seater tables and 2 outside. The available table was still cluttered when we sat there so I called the girl at the counter to have it cleaned up. I think they are undermanned because the girl on the counter was the only one taking the order of all the guests so you have to wait for your turn. She also serves the meals and also clean the tables. Since she was in a hurry, the table was still wet so we cleaned it up with tissue. There was also a small fly inside the resto, but i killed it...sorry fly  : (
My O.C. kid asked me to fix the condiments because they were all open...maybe the girl forgot to fix it too since she was tending to all the customers...refilling iced tea, following up orders...etc.
I ordered the BBB Value Meal and Meatball Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce for my kid since he likes spaghetti. The BBB Value Meal is worth P140 and consists of quarter pound grilled  burger with mayo, cheese and veggies plus french fries and iced tea.    

I really loved the burger...it was tasty and juicy. No need to add more condiments because the burger is already oozing with mayo. The fries is good and my kid liked it a lot. He ate only a little of the burger because he has a toothache and can't chew well. The iced tea seems diluted and it is not refillable so it is like drinking a pale iced tea. The price of the BBB Value Meal is okay.
The Spaghetti with Meatball and Fresh Tomato Sauce is worth P122, which I think is too much for its price because the serving is not that big. The meatballs are quite tough and the center area seem to be not that cooked well so I cut it really small so that my kid can eat it. He only finished one meatball. I gave him spaghetti with little tomato sauce because he said it was spicy. I tasted it and yep...he was right. I love spicy food so it isn't really a problem for me, but my kid did not like it. I felt bad because he was not able to eat that much. We took home half of the spaghetti and I tried feeding it to him again...maybe he forgot that it was spicy so he ate a little and again told me it's spicy..LOL. Can't fool a kid. 
Now I know what to order next time I eat at Big Better Burgers and if you ask me if their burger was really bigger and better? I need to try more burger outlets to compare that, but I have tasted even bigger and better burgers in the past. 
Here is the Big Better Burgers Menu. The prices there are not updated though like the Spaghetti with Meatballs. 


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