Aristocrat Style Chicken Barbecue

Aristocrat Style Chicken Barbecue is a sweet and savoury charcoal grilled chicken usually served with Atchara and Java Rice. Popularized by the Aristocrat Restaurant this is one of the well loved barbecue in the Philippines.

Mmmmmm. Just the smell of it makes your day. Barbecue in the Philippines is a big deal, in almost every street corner someone sells that charcoal grilled meats. Varieties are endless from chicken to pork, and if that is not enough for you offal such as chicken and pork intestines (isaw), liver, chicken heart, chicken head, chicken neck, chicken feet (adidas) even coagulated pork blood (Betamax) are a popular choice as well. We will not be adventurous today so we will stay with chicken meat for this post.

There are a lot of ways barbecuing Chicken but most of the Filipinos prefer it the sweet style like how the famous Aristocrats Chicken Barbecue is prepared. A good match with Atchara (a green papaya chutney) and Java Rice but before we go to the recipe let’s see how did this humble chicken originated.

Like what I mentioned above this type of Chicken Barbecue was popularized by Aristocrat’s restaurant in the Philippines, founded by Justice Alexander “Alex” Reyes and Engracia “Asiang” Cruz Reyes. This restaurant started as a mobile canteen in Luneta Park (something like the Jollijeep of today’s generation) during the 1930’s. Luneta was a very popular picnic area during those days up until the 1980’s, I can still remember we went there during Sundays to rent bikes and have picnics, it was a go to place for families living in Metro Manila. Having said that there were lots of food cart vendors that sell different food items like hotdogs, siopao and cold drinks, “Asiang” sold something different, the adobo sandwich. As the food carts popularity rises, she then started to think of a name for her mobile restaurant. She first wanted to name it “Andy’s”, after her eldest son but since his son was studying in an elite school, he was not keen with the name. Asiang then asked him why? “Are you ashamed with your aristocratic classmates from Ateneo?” She respected his son’s idea so it was then named as Aristocrat.

Within two years due to its popularity, business was doing really well and they opened a permanent restaurant at Roxas Boulevard in Manila and up until now it is still operating and considered one of the oldest restaurants in Manila. They then opened a branch in Cubao and several other places like a beach resort in Las Piñas. The Las Piñas then posed some problems as people in beach mostly wanted a take away food or something they can easily carry around so barbecue-style meals was served, that started the birth of their now famous Aristocrat’s Chicken Barbecue and the rest was history.

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Aristocrat Style Chicken Barbecue

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 16 reviews
  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 24 hours
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 24 hours 30 mins
  • Yield: 5 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Filipino


Aristocrat Style Chicken Barbecue is a sweet and savoury charcoal grilled chicken usually served with Atchara and Java Rice. Popularized by the Aristocrat Restaurant this is one of the well loved barbecue in the Philippines.


Units Scale


  • 10 pcs chicken legs and thighs
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water


  • 1 cup tomato catsup (it’s called tomato sauce here in NZ)
  • 1 can 7-Up or Sprite
  • 1 cup Philippine soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 whole garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a deep bowl, mix thoroughly all marinade ingredients.
  2. Prick chicken with fork several times then coat them with marinade, set aside and keep in a fridge tightly covered for at least 24 hours.
  3. Remove chicken from the fridge, it should be in room temperature before cooking. Drain chicken of its marinade, reserve the liquid.
  4. In a sauce pan, mix water and cornstarch until free of lumps then combine with the separated marinade and oil.
  5. Cook the sauce and simmer until it thickens.
  6. Prepare your charcoal barbecue then grill your chicken, don’t baste at this stage it will burn the chicken due to the sugar content. When chicken is nearly cooked baste chicken with the cooked sauce and cook for one more minute on each side. Serve with Java Rice and Atchara.


42 Responses

  1. Wow! This looks amazing!

  2. Arya says:

    we also used to prepare chicken barbecue like this before when I was still in the province…the sprite according to my sister removes the “lansa” and tenderize the meat (don’t know if it’s true)

    • Raymund says:

      The sprite does tenderize the meat this is because of its soda component which is a good meat tenderizer. For the lansa I guess al of the other sauces and ingredients will do a great job 🙂

  3. Aristocrat chicken is like a landmark of BBQ chicken. Raymund that last photo is solid. Good job! 🙂

  4. This recipe sounds absolutely delicious. I can’t wait to try it on movie night 🙂

  5. My parents used a recipe like this. They used it on chicken and pork. Most of the time, the pork was butchered. Between the butchering and the outdoor fire, there wasn’t a lot of time to marinade the meat, but they somehow managed to get the flavor just right. Out of this world! Since my parents never wrote their recipe down, I’m happily taking yours!

  6. bigjewonadiet says:

    oh my lord i’m trying this tonight

  7. What a fantastic recipe! I love the char on the chicken, that’s the yummiest part. Thanks for sharing the recipe, I’ll be giving this a try.

  8. Juliana says:

    Wow, I love the look and the color of your chicken…yes I had used seven up before…but did not look this good.
    Thanks for the recipe Raymund and have a wonderful week 😀

  9. This looks delicious! Love the use of soda. I have all these ingredients already. Those are the best kinds of new recipes 🙂

  10. hm… my mum if filippino and she always makes her bbq chicken is amazing!

  11. This chicken is perfection Raymund. I am drooling and wanting BBQ chicken at it’s only 9:50am here.

  12. mjskit says:

    MMMMM what a delicious looking chicken! A can of Sprite? That’s new. Love this!

  13. Don’t mind me, I’m just over here licking my screen.

  14. Wow, look at that bbq chicken! How do I stop drooling?! I used to watch my mom use soda (coke) for cooking, but gotta try sprite! Sounds fun!

  15. I was perfectly grilled chicken lovers

  16. Marinel Rubio Nagtalon says:

    Tried this yesterday, hubby and kids loved it. Thanks for posting this recipe 🙂

  17. Loved the back story you provided together with the recipe! Thanks for posting!

  18. Cyditha says:

    That looks really yummy. How much chicken interns of kilos for the recipe.

  19. jlaceda says:

    I loved Aristocrat as a child growing up in Manila. We used to go to the one on Roxas Boulevard. Definitely keeping this recipe for when I am feeling nostalgic!

  20. leo says:

    what about for fifty pieces of mix thigh and legs should i multiply the ingredients by 5?

  21. Shie says:

    Hi, can i pan fry the chicken instead of grilling? And if yes, do i still marinate it or just pour sauce after frying?

  22. Shie says:

    And can i also use calamansi as an alternative for lemon?

  23. Fatima says:

    instead of grilling can i bake the chicken? then baste it.

  24. kathy says:

    Hello there you mentioned that this can be baked, can you recommend the temperature? Thank you! Im very excited to try this out.

    • Raymund says:

      You can do it at 30-35 minutes 200C. Then bring the heat higher to 220C just to give it some color do this for 4-5 minutes but constantly check it as it might burn

  25. Mary Anne says:

    What brand of tomato sauce did you used? Is it watties?:)

  26. Deanne says:

    Hi is the tomato catsup called for like Del monte ketchup? Or would it be more like UFC banana ketchup? Thanks

    • Raymund says:

      I used a sweet style tomato sauce not banana ketchup

      • Deanne says:

        Thanks for this recipe! I tried it using del monte sweet blend. We didn’t have time to start up (and later cleanup) the charcoal grill so we used the turbo broiler ( I added a few drops of liquid smoke to the marinade to compensate), taste was almost the same as aristocrat. Next time we’ll try marinading it for 48 hours so the flavor seeps in more. Also we used boneless leg-thighs.

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