Praising 70 years of Filipino classicsDigest Eat This
August 2, 2015
Story By: Serena Valdez | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
Of the several options you have to fulfill your Filipino food cravings, there is no better choice than Max’s of Manila. The establishment is known for its central Tagalog cooking style, which, for many, brings a taste that’s closer to home.
As Max’s of Manila celebrates 70 years of serving a complete line of Filipino cuisine across the country and internationally — and 10 years in Hawaii — general manager Maly San Luis showcases the dishes that put them on the map.
The first signature Max’s dish is what San Luis calls the flagship product of the restaurant: Max’s Fried Chicken ($14.25 whole, $8.75 half). The dish differs from your typical fried chicken. It is marinated instead of battered and deep-fried whole, which yields chicken that has a crispy skin, while still maintaining a juicy inside.
Another prime Filipino dish to order at Max’s is Pinatuyong Adobo ($11.95), also known as pork adobo. San Luis explains that Max’s cooks the dish a bit differently than the traditional recipe dictates.
The pork is marinated with flavors including garlic, bay leaf and pepper-corn. It is then braised and served in a vinegar and soy sauce reduction, and accompanied by tomatoes and onions. The sauce reduction yields for a less soupy and more flavorful dish than the traditional recipe creates, according to San Luis.
For dessert, a best-seller is the traditional Halo Halo ($5.75). The refreshing treat offers a blend of fruit, beans and milk with shave ice. On top is a scoop of vibrantly colored ube ice cream, rice flakes and flan.
“We’re seeing a lot of it being ordered, especially right now because the weather is so hot,” says San Luis.
Coming soon to both Max’s of Manila locations in Waipahu and Dillingham is happy hour, which will present a menu of snack-sized items.
MAX’S OF MANILA
WHERE 801 Dillingham Blvd., Honolulu
HOURS Daily, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.