Make it a Day at Max’s of Manila

Columns Veg'n Out

July 22, 2012

Story By: Rasa Fournier | Photos by: Nathalie Walker

Everywhere you look there are restaurants that reflect the Island’s long history of welcoming immigrants. There’s Chinese, Thai, Japanese and Korean eateries — ethnic cuisine that says “Hawaii” as much as rainbows and shave ice.

It’s no surprise that the diversity of flavors would also include Filipino foods. Enter Max’s of Manila, which is all about family dining, and they even have a few veggie items.

“Sizzling Tofu ($8.50) is our branch special,” says general manager Maly San Luis. “It’s cubed tofu, sauteed in chopped onions with red and green bell peppers. We glaze it with a very tasty sauce that our chefs put together and serve it on a sizzling plate.”

There’s no animal product in the glaze, San Luis assures readers.

“It’s mostly spices, and we top the dish with a little chili so it’s just slightly spicy. It’s more of a topping, not really stirred in.”

If spicy isn’t what your palate favors, you can request it without the chili, or order some rice to diffuse the minimal heat. Garlic Rice makes for a tasty companion dish. Max’s uses jas-mine rice and fries it with chopped, toasted garlic.

“It’s all family style,” notes San Luis as a reminder of portion size. “The small ($2.95) comes with three scoops and large ($3.95) is five scoops … And they’re quite generous scoops,” she adds.

For group dining and sharing, the Sizzling Tofu platter serves two to three people, but if you’re dining solo, the platter will be “more than enough,” says San Luis. You can always pack the leftovers to go for one of our island’s customary rainy days, hopefully one brightened by a rainbow! Perhaps you’ll even decide to follow it up with some shave ice.

Max’s of Manila

801 Dillingham Blvd., Honolulu
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Waipahu Shopping Plaza
94-300 Farrington Hwy., Waipahu
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.


Honolulu, HI 96817

Westgate Shopping Center, Waipahu, HI 96797

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best