Aristocrat is a family-style restaurant founded by Engracia “Aling Asyang” Reyes and her husband Supreme Court Justice Alex Reyes. From its humble beginning in 1936 as a snack mobile along Roxas Boulevard (Dewey Boulevard at the time) serving snacks from a Studebaker van, Aristocrat opened its first permanent restaurant two years later still in the same boulevard. Over the years, Aristocrat became famous for its native Filipino dishes such as Kare-Kare, Pancit Canton, Dinuguan, Lumpia, and its most popular dish, Chicken Barbecue.
I remember going to Aristocrat a few times when I was already in university. And the only dish I had each time was its Chicken Barbecue—three pieces of chicken marinated in their signature marinade, skewered and grilled, sweet rather than savory, and served with Java rice, a side of atchara (pickled papaya), and (optional) Java dipping sauce.
Chicken Barbecue à la Aristocrat
- ½ c pineapple juice
- ¼ c soy sauce
- 2 T lime juice
- ¼ c banana ketchup
- ¼ c brown sugar
- 4 cloves garlic crushed
- 4 chicken legs leave thighs attached to drumsticks
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together pineapple juice, soy sauce, lime juice, ketchup, brown sugar, and garlic; pour into a marinating dish. Add chicken, turn to coat with the marinade completely. Cover and refrigerate at least overnight, or up to 2 days. About 1 hour before cooking, take chicken out of fridge and bring to room temperature. Just before cooking, Drain chicken; set aside marinade for basting.
- Place chicken, skin side down, on charcoal grill. Grill over medium heat until juices run clear, about 15 minutes on each side, basting with the reserved marinade every 5 minutes.