A lovely dinner at The Aristocrat SM San Lazaro and that milk-flavored dessert!
For people like me who live in Manila, it is such a struggle to come out of the busy streets of the city and battle traffic to get anywhere near EDSA to go to different restaurant joints.
Most of the time, my family and I prefer to just stay home, enjoy Nanay's #LutongNanay or order food delivery.
It was a delight to discover that Aristocrat in SM San Lazaro can deliver food at home. Another challenge for those who live in Manila (especially Tondo area), restaurants (and I mean restaurants not fast food chains) refuse to deliver in the area.
Anyway, the people behind the restaurant invited my family for dinner at the Aristocrat SM San Lazaro. It was a great opportunity for me to meet the staff who graciously accept our orders and delivers (in less than 30 minutes! Beat that!). My brother and Tatay were not available that night so I just brought my forever date - #NanayBear
While we were waiting for the host, I decided to order Flying Saucer Adobo Php 100
It is toasted bread pockets with Adobo Filling. I would call it close to a Filipino Siopao but much more interesting because of the crust and the bite of the bread.
For refreshing drink, I had Sago't Gulaman!
My mom never allowed us to buy Sago't Gulaman in the streets when I was a kid. When I got to High School, that's when I first tasted my "Samalamig' straight from the street vendor. Sago't Gulaman felt like a luxury for me then. Haha
So for kids who are curious and craving for Sago't Gulaman, you can get that fix from the Aristocrat (oh hey, calling all Tondo kids!). Guaranteed safe, cool and refreshing!
When my #mamita from Aristocrat finally arrived (I call her Mamita! Ms. Maryjo Reyes-Ferraren) we got to talk about the store. I was surprised to find out that Aristocrat in SM San Lazaro is the only store in that side of the mall which has remained opened and operational ever since SM San Lazaro opened 10 years ago. Indeed, the store is 10 years old but it has remained cheery with families and friends dining out and enjoying Filipino meals.
.. and yup, we had our share of Filipino meals that night.
Tilapia Fish, Pancit Guisado (Rice noodles with stir-fried meat, shrimps and vegetables), Lechon Kawali (fried roast pork belly) Sisig (Fried pork and liver, chopped and cooked with special sauce and spices).
The Sizzling Pusit Php 210
One of the best squid cutlets I have tried. It is chewy and perfectly cooked even if it is served over sizzling plate. I love the veggie toppings on it!
Over dinner we talked about food, Pampanga specialties (and how much my mom and #mamita love buro - which I find really repulsive), the kind of kare-kare they have in Aristocrat (and I declared it is one of the best I ever had - next to my mom's - because Aristocrat doesn't use organ meats! - and just because even the sauce is already a meal in itself!) and the best sisigs and Mamita's sisig adventures.
For dessert, #mamita let us try Mucha Leche
It sounded too milky but Mamita assured me it was all good. I have to trust this woman who knows good food. Mucha Leche is dessert made of 3 different milks. It is like an ice cream cake. Imagine a sponge cake soaked in milk and frozen! I love the refreshing feel in the mouth. The only milk-flavored food I love :)
The TV setup inside the store caught my attention because it was playing several Aristocrat videos and there's one featured the Azkals. #Mamita jokingly told me the Younghusbands are her son-in-laws and she showed me a picture of her daughters with Phil and James.
I told her the "young husbands" are cheating on her girls. I showed her this.
She laughed and asked who the girl was?
She took my phone to look closely with her eyeglasses on.
I told her "it was me, in London". She laughed even more loudly.
Then I understood Aristocrat's secret to success. It's the people who are running the business. Mamita has a big heart - for food, for her guests and for her staff. The people behind the 75-year old restaurant has a heart and they treat their people like their family - and their staff treats their customers like guests serving them the family's specialties.
Thank you Aristocrat and Mamita Maryjo for always having me.
If you guys are in Manila area and need a good fix of home-cooked Filipino dishes, dine at the Aristocrat located at the 3/F SM San Lazaro.
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