After around a couple of hours drive from Manila, we finally reached Ultimart in San Pablo, Laguna. It was my first time there. Ultimart was structured like a US-based shopping complex -- single level with lots of outdoor spaces. We walked around a bit and then decided to have lunch at The Aristocrat Restaurant first before exploring Ultimart.
I immediately saw The Aristocrat Restaurant billboard.
I asked if the menu and prices are the same as in Manila and I was told that yes they're the same.
We were welcomed by Ms. Nancy's standee! :D
It was about 12nn and there were people having lunch when we went in.
I was invited to an out-of-town food trip by The Aristocrat a little over a week ago. I had no idea what the itinerary was, all I was certain of was we were meeting at The Aristocrat Restaurant along Roxas Boulevard and we were having lunch at a newly opened The Aristocrat Restaurant in San Pablo, Laguna.
The Aristocrat is a classic. Back in the 80's, mom would always ALWAYS buy a whole Chicken Honey for my sister and I along with some cups of Chocolate Mousse. We would have them as midnight snacks. These two food items make up a major part of my childhood. Mom and dad separated when I was about 8 years old. We stayed at my maternal grandparents' house and well, Chicken Honey and Chocolate Mousse became our comfort food. I'm not exactly sure why but mom would always buy those two things to cheer us all up. Although mom is now based in the US, it's a must for her to dine at The Aristocrat every time she comes to Manila for a vacation. It's her all-time-favorite restaurant. Seeing that green logo always makes me feel nostalgic.
I got to The Aristocrat at 8am, our appointed time. I was offered breakfast and I decided to order the Tocino Plate (P255), which is part of the All-Filipino Breakfast Menu. It comes with your choice of drink -- hot chocolate, coffee, hot tea, native chocolate, milk, or pineapple juice. I opted for native chocolate and wow, OMG, it's probably the BEST hot chocolate I've ever had. It was thick, rich, but not overly sweet... just the way I like it. It was half gone when my food arrived. You MUST try The Aristocrat's native chocolate.
I was very happy with the tocino. It wasn't anything like the bright almost fluorescent pink (food coloring galore!) pieces of meat we'd usually see. It came in normal-looking slightly glazed slices with two sunny side up eggs, sliced tomatoes, and a bowl heaping with piping hot garlic rice. Delicious! After such a filling and satisfying breakfast I was all set for the day's activities! :D
It was a privelege to be with the "Adobo Queen" herself Ms. Nancy Reyes-Lumen, who is also a renowned food writer, critic, and TV host not to mention a part of the Reyes family which has owned and run The Aristocrat Restaurant since 1936. I was with veteran bloggers Melo, Arpee, Annalyn, Junes, Azrael, and Dante too, most of whom I haven't seen in ages! We were also made to feel at home by Ms. Mary Jo, who is also part of the Reyes family. She handles marketing for The Aristocrat.
Sometime last month, I was contacted by Unilever and asked if I wanted to be one of the first in the Philippines to try the Unilever PureIt Water Purifier. The timing couldn't be more perfect. Hubby and I had been checking out a water purification system at Dexterton a while back because we wanted to have one at home.
Anyhow, I said yes and the Unilever PureIt team brought over a brand spanking new unit to our house! The Unilever PureIt system was developed in India, mainly due to the great need for clean water there. There are actually several models showcased at the Unilever PureIt India website. For now though, we have only one here in the Philippines, the Unilever PureIt Excella. It can purify 9 liters of water at a time.
The Unilever PureIt Excella is very easy to set up out of the box -- anyone can do it! You just need a flat surface to put it on.
With the Unilever PureIt Excella, all you need is... water! Yes, you can use ANY kind of water -- tap water from the faucet, rain water, etc. The Unilever team actually set up a demo unit where they purified this icky-smelling rusty colored water. It came out clean, clear, and odorless! Our household is currently subscribed to a water refilling station. With this, we can purify our own water!
You pour water at this opening located at the top of the unit. The filter is washable. If at any time you feel it's dirty, all you need to do is to wash it under running water -- no need to use soap (actually you CAN'T use soap). This filter is actually the first stage of purification because sediment cannot pass through it.