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Craving Great Filipino Food

By Jaimie Kim Photos By Nathalie Walker
February 23, 2014

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These days, Filipino cooking has become comfort food for me. It’s what I get for dating a half-Filipino guy whose grandmother prepares at least one Filipino dish each Sunday for dinner.

Trust me, I’m not complaining.

The only downside is having to wait until the weekend for pinakbet, or pancit served at someone’s birthday party.

Then again, why wait when Max’s of Manila offers authentic Filipino cooking every day of the week?

New to Max’s menu of appetizers is Chicken Adobo Wings ($8.95). Here, marinated chicken is deep fried before being submerged again in adobo sauce for added flavor. The dish is served with pickled papaya or abchara, which the restaurant makes itself.

A unique delicacy at Max’s is Sinigang Bangus ($9.95, regular; $16.95, large). This tangy soup is tamarind-based and cooked with tomatoes, onions and other vegetables. Otherwise known as milkfish (or awa in Hawaii), the boneless bangus is a premium selection because only the belly of the fish is used.

Another favorite among customers is Lechon Kawali Sisig ($13.95). Here, pork belly is deep fried until crispy, and cut into smaller pieces. It is then mixed with onions, jalapenos and Max’s savory sauce, adding a bit of spiciness to the dish, before it is served on a sizzling plate.

“It’s one of the most popular dishes that we have,” says Elizabeth Joven, manager for the restaurant’s Dillingham location.

Aside from ample parking, Max’s Dillingham location — which has been open since March 2010 — also features private rooms that may be reserved for meetings or parties. At its Dillingham Branch, rooms can accommodate private parties anywhere between 20 and 150 people, and at its Waipahu location, between 20 and 200 people.

Something to look forward to: For the Easter season, Max’s of Manila will launch a Lenten menu.

Max’s of Manila

DILLINGHAM
801 Dillingham Blvd. No. 108, Honolulu
951-6297
Open daily, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

WAIPAHU
94-300 Farrington Hwy. No. F-1, Waipahu
951-6297
Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sundays, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.