Grilled To Thrill

A La Carte Columns

April 2, 2017

Story By: Lynsey Beth Futa |

Pork Barbecue Skewers

Pork Barbecue Skewers

If it’s mouthwatering Filipino fare you’re after, Max’s of Manila remains the destination of choice here in the Islands.

After opening in Waipahu back in 2006, the international dining chain quickly became a hit among locals, boasting its famous Max’s Fried Chicken. In 2010, the restaurant opened its second location off of Dillingham Boulevard, next to Costco’s Iwilei location.

In addition to trying the staple menu items, you’ll want to explore its frequent specials. The most recent offerings include two grilled items: seasonal Inihaw na Pusit (squid; see sidebar for more) and Pork Barbecue Skewer (now offered on the regular menu).

“Grilled foods are very popular in Filipino cuisine,” says Maly San Luis, general manager for both Oahu branches. “The grilled squid is an all-time popular dish, while the barbecue pork is the ultimate comfort food in Filipino cuisine.”

The skewers ($11.95 for four) are marinated in a tangy, sweet and spicy sauce and then grilled to perfection. The pork is served with a garlic and vinegar dipping sauce, while both specials come with traditional house-made atchara, which is a pickled green papaya relish.

Inihaw na Pusit specials

Inihaw na Pusit specials

Aside from enjoying a meal at Max’s, consider choosing either one of the locations for your next private event, especially with graduation season coming up. The Waipahu establishment can hold between 20 and 200 guests, while the

Dillingham store hosts 20-150. Additionally, Max’s offers takeout catering trays, delivery (through a separate service) and online ordering via its website: maxsrestaurantusa.com.

“Customers can expect exceptional Filipino hospitality,” San Luis adds, which translates to “respectful and attentive service, and delicious, made-to-order, authentic Filipino cuisine.”


Right now, Max’s of Manila’s seasonal special is Inihaw na Pusit ($11.95 regular, $13.95 large), a jumbo squid that has been stuffed, marinated and grilled. The ocean-sourced morsel is filled with chopped tomatoes and onions, and upon serving, it can be dipped into soy and vinegar dipping sauce on the side.

Max’s Of Manila

94-300 Farrington Hwy., Waipahu;
801 Dillingham Blvd., Honolulu
Waipahu: 676-1504 | Dillingham: 599-5034
Waipahu: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m.-9 p.m.;
Dillingham: Daily, 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

Honolulu, HI 96817

Waipahu, HI 96797

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best