ROXAS BOULEVARD, MANILA
Doña Engracia Reyes or known as Lola Asyang is the woman behind the restaurant where it started only through merienda at Luneta Park for their family picnic (take note that Luneta Park is for any kind of class before), and later got inspired to put up a business near Manila Bay and has finally settled to Admiral Dui Street and now known the Roxas Boulevard.
The team had the breakfast at 8 AM in a city where the sun makes a wonderful show of rising and setting but the condition of that day is drizzling so the only thing that is sunny is my Bacon Plate served with two slices of toast with butter and mango jam and the only thing that is hot is my Ceylon Black Tea. The Beef Tapa Plate is served with rice and they also serve sandwiches like that of Hamburger served with fries in the picture partnered with Strawberry Shake. The last piece we had is our very own dessert - Bibingka and Putobumbong. It might be pricey but get frenzy with the taste it gives. Most of the taxi drivers suggest the restaurant when foreigners asked a place to stop from their jet lag trip and treat themselves for some chow. See how Aristocrat becomes the arbiter of taste!
A good starting point for excurtionists of Laguna is the place of San Pablo. It was in 1992 when San Pablo, Laguna had its first mall named Ultimart Mall and was renovated in the year 2009. From its renovation comes a change of stores like those we see in the city. Ultimart Mall has become the choice for field trips because the visitors see SM Malls as a commonplace.
Most of the provinces practice the conventional way of celebrating special days to a particular venue - their own houses. And it became a wise move for The Aristocrat to put up a business that held functions of the locals for their special day for the first time. They formulate packages for kiddie parties, weddings, baptisms etc. with set-up tables, sound system, food classic menu for P15,800.00 for 30 guests!
Meanwhile, the barbecue classics were laid in front of our dining table. Our eyes or let's say our pupils expanded by looking at these food. Our teeth were ready to explore the tenderness and the fullness of flavor that comes from different meat. The java sauce is similar to the taste of Road House Piattos and the breaker of the sweet sauce of barbecues served is the Hototai Soup. Hototai is a Chinese soup but now can be seen on Filipino menu with myriad ingredients as you can discern it from the picture below. I am not sure with my verdict but I guess it's a chicken-siomai-based kind of soup. Their Lumpiang Shanghai is gargantuan in size and the quench of our thirst is their Iced Tea. Without playing words, their Iced Tea is very inexplicable that you have to ask its secret ingredient for its deliciousness and maybe the secret is behind of those effervescent top.
Upon finishing our lunch, we were given P2,000.00 cash to shop for 30 minutes at Ultimart Mall but take no guess as our 30 minutes became a 1 hour spree until we became so late to arrive at Liliw - the shoe capital of Laguna. And now, no matter how much I love picture taking, an apology for no pictures to be shown at the place as the rush shopping fervor were mindset to us. After the rush, I just took a picture of the chaotic plastic bags and paper bags we had on our feet while travelling on the way to Cavite.
Take no wonder why we had our merienda at SM Dasmariñas, Cavite at the Upper Ground Floor of the New Annex Wing at 8 PM because we were supposed to be there around 4 PM. Since itineraries are meant not to be followed, we just enjoy those happy and haste moments! No matter how late we were, we still felt its grand opening through the music of enigmatic Banda Kawayan.
We had all the homegrown Filipino merienda: Arroz Caldo, Dinuguan at Puto, Cheese Ensaymada, Fresh Lumpiang Ubod and of course the Halo-Halo they boast for is served to us. Pancit Luglog is do-it-yourself.
Dasmariñas branch is their eleventh branch, The Aristocrat continuously spread the Lola Asyang's recipe. They accepts bulk orders and reservations too.
Heading back to Manila and arrived at the main branch by 11 PM Miss Sylvia, the offspring of Lola Asyang, gathered us to Sala - it is a function room named after their descendant too as the first solicitor general in the Philippines. Miss Sylvia has been with us throughout the all-day adventure we had. She has a jolly personality and a young-at-heart where you can easily jive in. We were all tired but she stirs up the team like, "we're going to play majong pa!" (look at the set-up below) and the laughter at the hall launched. We ate the you-must-eat-guys-before-leaving Crispy Pata because it is one of the guests that keeps coming back for at The Aristocrat. Crispy but not noisy, thick but not chewy that is how I defined by eating it paired by the Cappuccino on the left. By the way, the dipping sauce for Crispy Pata is a combination of garlic, vinegar, and alamang and you'd surely love it.
Although they have eleven branches, they only have four bakeshops - Roxas Boulevard, SM Mall of Asia, Jupiter in Makati, and Banawe St. Sta. Mesa Heights QC so without further ado, we grab pastries and cakes of our likes by buying it through the P1,500 GC they gave us.
Most of us have been eyeing for Torta Delos Reyes Cake and so we grab the opportunity! Of all the commercial cakes I've tasted, this is my top pick, no exaggerations and not for upselling purposes. It melts in the mouth because of the meringue and it has six layers of wafers with chocolate and butter cream while the outside layer is covered with chocolate. You just have to taste it yourself to believe me.
I bought scented candles (P66.00), St. Padre de Pio (P320.00), Frame (P88.00), Sandals (P230.00), Shoes (P330.00), Shirt (P170.00) and Mango leggings on sale (P385.00). Since there's still money left, I bought 2 kilos of rambutan for only P60.00! The worth P2,000.00 they gave me has leftovers so I used that to take a cab to go home. It's like I haven't spend any Peso as I set my foot to Aristocrat.
For all the experience we had - the food, the sights of old structures, the scenic view of greens and browns, and the shopping, all my five senses were overwork unexpectedly. We couldn't be happier. We experienced one-day aristocratic life!