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6. BOY CHING WOO (1939)
103 BCW Building, J. Rodriguez Street, Caloocan City
Tel. no. 287-1430
Open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
This restaurant is identified as "Caloocan City's oldest Chinese restaurant." It has become popular for specialties like its Buttered Chicken (P160 for a small half) and Lechon con Tokwa (P140 to P420).
Incidentally, even the menu insists on calling the specialty "Battered Chicken." If it were pinikpikan that would be apt, because this Cordillera region dish is prepaped by first beating a chicken to death with a stick. Or if the chicken is coated with batter, much like a corndog would be. But the chiken dish in this restaurant is not that at all but breaded chicken cooked with butter. Not that the patrons mind the erroneous description of the chicken treat, which is absolutely delicious.
The restaurant also has a branch in Malabon City.
5. ARISTOCRAT (1936)
432 San Andres St. cor. Roxas Blvd., Malate
Tel nos. 524-7671 to 80 loc. 225 or 230
Open 24 hours daily
The main branch on Roxas Boulevard in Malate, Manila, has long earned its self-conferred title as "The Philippines' Most Popular Restaurant."
You can see that even in the wee hours when the place is typically still abuzz with hungry night owls having favorites like chicken barbecue, kare-kare, chicken honey, crispy pata, pancit canton, dinuguan, and lumpia - more often than not taken with java rice.
Dońa Engracia "Aling Asiang" Cruz-Reyes, wife of Justice Alex A. Reyes, started it all as a mere snack mobile operation, which to this day many greenhorn entrepreneurs are venturing into, especially around business districts.
The operation has since grown to a food network with branches all over Metro Manila, along with allied concerns such as a the Aritocrat Bakeshop (right behind the main branch) and the Aristomart, a 24-hour convenience store.
This restaurant has the distinction of making what was then considered everyday fare so attractive that people would dress up and leave home for some home-style cooking.