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Keeping it fresh with new specials

A La Carte

March 17, 2019

Story By: Caroline Wright |

Sizzling Calamari ($13.75). Photo courtesy Max’s of Manila

Folks who love food from the American South recognize the appeal of Filipino cuisine as soon as they taste it. Made with humble ingredients elevated to a delectably heavenly status, it’s sometimes described the soul food of Asia.

With more than 200 branches around the world, two of which are located here on Oahu, Max’s of Manila has introduced Filipino cuisine to thousands of new fans — and provided delicious comfort to expatriates who long for the flavors of their homeland in the Philippines.

Max’s Fried Chicken ($15.95 whole, $9.75 half). File photo

A popular comfort food that quickly became a lasting favorite among diners to Max’s is Lumpiang Shanghai ($9.25). A savory combination of ground pork and vegetables are blanketed in a pastry wrapper then fried until crisp and golden. The dish stacks bite-sized pieces in a deep-fried bowl made up of the same pastry wrap and is served along side a house-made sweet and sour sauce.

Find delight in a signature menu selection with Max’s Fried Chicken ($15.95 whole, $9.75 half). The home-cooked bird is branded by Max’s as “Sarap to the Bones” and is the No.1 item that the restaurant is known for, not only locally, but also worldwide. The crispy goodness of the chicken and contrasting tender meat inside is best enjoyed with banana ketchup and Worcestershire sauce.

Lumpiang Shanghai ($9.25). File photo

Currently, Max’s is offering a pair of branch specials that perfectly reflect the Philippines’ scrumptious culinary traditions. Salmon Belly Sinigang ($14.50) is a popular tamarind-based soup, eminently satisfying and wonderfully healthful. Loaded with green papaya chunks, bok choy, and big pieces of salmon belly, it’s a generous, filling dish.

The sizzling platters at Max’s are extremely popular, and Sizzling Calamari ($13.75) is emerging as a clear winner. It’s loaded generously with big chunks of calamari, onions and bell pepper, and seasoned with Max’s special savory sauce.

Salmon Belly Sinigang ($14.50). Photo courtesy Max’s of Manila

“Both these dishes are branch specials that will be available until the end of May,” says general manager Maly San Luis. “However, they are both selling very well and may be included in our permanent menu.”

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