Max’s of Manila

Digest Step Up to the Plate

June 21, 2015

Story By: Abby Sadoy | Photos by: Nathalie Walker


Yearning for a feast of Filipino flavors? Look no further than Max’s of Manila, where Honolulu Star-Advertiser has called it “Hawaii’s Best Place for Filipino Food” three years in a row. The restaurant serves up a colossal menu of pure, authentic Filipino cuisine that is sure to have not one, but many yearning for its family-style platters. This year marks the 10th anniversary since the restaurant became a Hawaii resident, and the 70th since being founded. Although Max’s is most famous for its signature Fried Chicken, its latest head-turning pork delicacy aims to bring tradition into mainstream demand.

After its debut in late March, Max’s Beer-Braised Pata Tim ($15.95) has been growing in popularity ever since, and now is being offered as its Father’s Day special. “It’s something you wouldn’t find every day,” says general manager Maly San Luis.

Max’s is the only place in the Islands serving this Chinese-influenced dish, and the restaurant hopes to eventually reserve a permanent place for it on the menu. Such influences are seen with the use of bok choy, as the pork is laid on top, delivering a savory serving with each bite just as masarap (delicious) as the next.

One whole pata tim, or pork hock, is braised in beer and marinated in a soy-based sauce. The beer helps bring tenderness to the meat, so much so as it basically separates itself from the bones. This four-hour simmering process is followed by an essence of star anise and basil. The addition of dried banana leaves offers a helping hand in aroma and brings contrast to the tender meat, packing ample juicy flavor.

Traditionally, because of its long cooking process, pata tim only is made for special occasions. If you’re driving past Max’s of Manila’s big red sign on Dillingham Boulevard, you’re more than likely missing out on a Filipino fiesta, as the restaurant hosts a wide range of dinner parties fit for any celebration. So on this day of dads, don’t settle for just a small affair. Take it to the Max!

Max’s of Manila

Westgate Shopping Center
801 Dillingham Blvd, Honolulu
Daily, 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

94-300 Farrington Hwy., Waipahu
Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Sunday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

94-300 Farrington Highway, Waipahu, HI 96797

Honolulu, HI 96817

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best