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Surf and Turf
Surf and Turf

Calling All Carnivores

By Steve Murray Photos By Nathalie Walker
July 14, 2013

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Filipino food is a great option for the carnivore in all of us. The menu at Max’s of Manila is a celebration of everything that walked, ran or swam. Tender beef, savory pork and fresh fish highlights its eclectic mix of traditional Filipino comfort food.

A good example of these choices is Daing na Bangus or boneless marinated milkfish ($13.50). The fish, indigenous to the Philippines, is a customer favorite for its tender flesh and crunchy exterior. Even better, the one pound fish is sans bones — a chore that even the most ardent milkfish lover tires of quickly.

Max’s preparation of this tasty fish is marinated for 24 hours in vinegar, peppercorn and lots of garlic. It’s then coated and deep-fried to a golden brown. As a final adornment, the fish is finished off with Max’s house relish and vinegar garlic dipping sauce.

According to assistant manager Elizabeth Joven, Dinakdakan ($11.75) is an adaptation of a traditional Ilocano dish, which typically includes pig brain and liver to the mix. The marinated-grilled pork chop is a crunchy, smoky and meaty combination of pork, soy, calamansi, ginger, onion, jalapeno and some secret spices that Joven is not about to share. Good thing, because a bit of mystery is a good thing when it comes to dining out. The skill in the dish’s creation lies in properly cooking the pork while making sure all the individual ingredients shine through.

It’s not an easy thing to do. So just dig in and enjoy!

Max’s of Manila

801 Dillingham Blvd., Honolulu
951-6297
Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.