Still The One

A La Carte Columns

January 25, 2016

Story By: Lynsey Beth Futa |

Beef Sinigang ($10.95). Lawrence Tabudlo photo

Beef Sinigang ($10.95). Lawrence Tabudlo photo

Famously known as “The House that Fried Chicken Built,” Max’s of Manila offers Filipino cuisine using the same foundation that restaurant creator Maximo Gimenez utilized 70 years ago.

Gimenez started the restaurant in Quezon City, Philippines, laying down the groundwork for a successful business with good food and a great dining atmosphere, which the Iwilei and Waipahu locations continue to strive for here on Oahu.

While Max’s tasty fried chicken still is the main attraction, its menu is full of traditional as well as new Filipino fare — perfect to share or to singularly devour.


One option that is hard to pass up is the eatery’s selection of soups, which include seafood and meat broths with fresh veggies and tantalizing herbs.

Max’s newest soup is Beef Sinigang ($10.95), which already has proven to be a keeper. The tougher cut of the cow, beef shank is made tender when cooked in a tamarind soup with onions, tomatoes, eggplant, radish, long beans and bok choy. Diners also can have sinigang with shrimp (hipon), pork (baboy) and milkfish belly (tyan ng bangus) at varying prices.

For Beef Sinigang, the delightfully sour flavor of the soup is made savory by the beef shank and veggies, and is best when eaten very hot. Patrons will find similar sour flavors in most Filipino foods, but the taste never is overwhelming, especially not in this dish.

Somehow, the use of citrusy fruits, such as Tamarind, in this traditional Filipino soup offer a bright elixir for your taste buds, while the soothing broth transports one to Gimenez’s cozy, makeshift house-restaurant in the Philippines, back in 1945.

Max’s Of Manila

801 Dillingham Blvd., Downtown (and In Waipahu)
Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

Honolulu, HI 96817

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best