Cycle 4 – Item 264
26 (Thu) September 2013
3-Piece Chicken Barbecue
at The Aristocrat
-Malate, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines-
WHO Informal Consultation on Reducing the Harmful Impact on Children of Marketing Foods, Beverages, Tobacco, and Alcohol + Singapore Diet + WHO Health Law Project (Day 3)
- 4.262 1-Piece Chickenjoy Meal + Pancit Palabok
- 4.263 Parros Clams in Spicy Black Bean Sauce
- 4.264 3-Piece Chicken Barbecue
- 4.265 Chilli Crab
- 4.266 White Carrot Cake
- 4.267 Hainanese Chicken Rice
- 4.268 Inasal Chicken
- 4.269 Mango
- 4.270 The Original – Verena
- 4.271 SPAM Musubi + SPAM Burger Hamburger
- 4.272 Chicken Curry with Raisin Biryani
In Manila. Two sponsored objectives of the trip, under the auspices of the World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific (WHO WPRO): (1) to participate in a technical expert meeting on finding ways to protect children from the marketing of unhealthy products; (2) to progress the health law project that I’ve been involved with since last year. The more important informal objective, on my own dime: (3) to visit Singapore and stuff my face
The Aristocrat is a Philippine restaurant. Founded in 1936. Franchises throughout the country (but I couldn’t find info on how many). Contrary to its name, the vibe is middle class, perhaps aspiring to upper middle – “Food Fit for Royalty,” as the slogan goes. The menu offers all the Filipino classics (to the extent that I know what constitutes the Filipino classics).
When I asked the front desk staff at my hotel for a reliable mainstream restaurant serving traditional Filipino fare, they recommended The Aristocrat without any hesitation.
Barbecue chicken is serious business in the Philippines. While fried chicken is ubiquitous here, as noted in yesterday’s post, I get the impression that nobody really regards it that seriously, just something that’s always available, good or bad, take it or leave it. In contrast, barbecue chicken seems to be the signature item, at many restaurants, chain restaurants in particular. Technically, the method constitutes “grilling” over a direct heat source, not low-and-slow “barbecue” in the traditional American sense, but close enough.
Prices, ranging from around PHP 200 (about USD 4.50) to 400 per dish are very reasonable.
In addition to the chicken, I also ordered pork adobo and pancit canton, two of my favorite Filipino dishes (to the extent that I have favorite Filipino dishes).
The barbecue chicken was okay. Like many Philippine meat dishes, the basic flavor combination seemed to be a savory-sour blend of soy sauce and vinegar. Skewered and grilled, the charred accents added a nice touch. A tad dry. It’d make a decent snack with beer, but I wouldn’t want it as a meal per se. The java rice didn’t make much difference either way. Though sold as a “3-piece” set, each piece was in fact just part of a piece, like half of a breast, so that was kinda lame. 195 pesos. If this comprises “The Best Chicken Barbecue in Town,” then the Philippine barbecue chicken industry is in trouble.
Overall, though, I did enjoy the meal.
(See also BOOZE)
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN THE PHILIPPINES)