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Ethnic Faves

Filipino Fare Done Right

Story By Chris Fleck Photos By Chris Fleck
April 8 - 14, 2012

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The taste for Filipino cuisine is rapidly expanding internationally. Max’s of Manila has more than 125 locations in the Philippines, 10 locations in North America, and it has edged its way into the Middle Eastern market with two restaurants now open in Dubai.

  • Crispy Pata ($12.95 small, $16.95 large)
  • Spicy Laing Tilapia ($12.50)
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Whether it be the first restaurant, which was created by Maximo Gimenez’s niece Ruby, who as a child helped Gimenez run a cafe in Quezon City, Philippines, after World War II, or the newest franchise that opened last month in Vancouver, it is crucial that the menu and quality remain faithful to the heritage and tradition from which it originally blossomed.

On Oahu, Max’s of Manila’s general manager Malay San Luis and her staff are doing their part to re-create the hospitality that Gimenez and Ruby offered to local Filipinos and occupational troops in the ’40s. Max’s is now offering an adaptation of the common Laing dish, which is basically a taro leaf stew.

Priced at $12.50, Max’s guests can enjoy Spicy Laing Tilapia.

“It is a boneless tilapia filet that is prepared lightly crispy and topped with the laing or stew of taro that has been simmered in coconut milk and has a hint of spice,” says San Luis.

If your stomach is grumbling for more of a meaty delight, Max’s Crispy Pata ($12.95 small, $16.95 large) is a hearty option. Crispy Pata begins with a ham hog or pork knuckles, the plump leg portion which contains a robust amount of meat. Max’s chefs begin by simmering the pork knuckles in spices and their special marinade for hours to tenderize the meat. After which they deep-fry the entire portion relinquishing a crispy skin exterior of a succulent and juicy meaty interior for you, and your friends and family to enjoy.

Max’s of Manila

  • Where
    • 801 Dillingham Boulevard
    • Honolulu, HI 96817
    •  
    • 94-300 Farrington Highway Suite F-1
    • Waipahu, HI 96797
  • Call
    • (808) 951-6297
  • Hours
    • Dillingham:
    • Open daily
    • 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
    •  
    • Waipahu:
    • Monday – Thursday
    • 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
    • Friday – Saturday
    • 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
    • Sundays
    • 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Website