It’s A CelebrationCover Story
October 21, 2018
Story By: Caroline Wright | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo
Anniversaries typically are celebrated with gold, diamonds and pearls, while birthdays usually come with cake and ice cream.
For years, Max’s of Manila Hawaii has observed the anniversary of the company’s first grand opening not with precious stones or cake, but with chicken — gloriously crispy, delectably seasoned fried chicken, concocted with a recipe that helped make it famous all over the world.
Developed by Ruby Trota, niece and protege of company founder Maximo Gimenez, the very special recipe yields tender, crispy chicken that has been described as “sarap (deliciousness) to the bones.”
In celebration of this year’s anniversary, Max’s Fried Chicken will be offered again at half-price for a single tasty day. On one day only (Oct. 23), Max’s famous chickens will be priced to fly out the door at just $7.75 (dine-in and take-out only, no delivery) per bird. That’s 50 percent off the regular price of $15.50.
And Max’s is much more than chicken. From a kitchen overseen by executive chef Patricio Joven, who has been with the franchise for three decades, Max’s menu features many delights of Tagalog cuisine.
Perennial favorites, all available in catering pans, include Max’s Lumpiang Shanghai ($8.95), a savory blend of ground pork and vegetables rolled in pastry wrappers and fried till golden-brown. The morsels are served with house-made sweet and sour sauce, and a side of papaya relish. “There are 16 bite-sized pieces in an order,” says Maly San Luis, general manager of Max’s of Manila Hawaii. “This is our all-time most popular appetizer.”
Lumpia are perfectly complemented by Pork Barbecue Skewers ($11.95), four skewers threaded generously with marinated pork, grilled to perfection. Gently spicy, the pork is served with a garlic vinegar sauce and chili. “It’s the ultimate Filipino comfort food,” says San Luis.
Far and away Max’s most popular noodle dish, Pancit Bihon ($9.95) comes with slender rice noodles that are stir-fried with vegetables, pork and shrimp, and garnished with lemon wedges. Max’s Sizzling Tofu ($9.95), silky in texture with a little bit of sweet heat from chopped onions and pepper, is glazed with a special house sauce. And Garlic Fried Rice, priced at $3.95 for a small portion (3 scoops) and $5.50 for large portion (5 scoops), is a favorite that features the finest jasmine rice sauteed with golden bits of garlic.
As November approaches, Max’s is preparing for its Thanksgiving Brunch Buffet. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 22, the sumptuous feast will be offered at $28.75 for adults and $16.50 for children (10 years and younger). A fantastic array of Filipino specialties will be available, and the star of the show – Lemongrass Roasted Turkey with Stuffing – will satisfy traditionalists who like to see a bird on the table on Thanksgiving Day. And come back the next day (Black Friday) for a very special Max’s Gift Card promotion.
Speaking of birds, here is your final reminder — Max’s Fried Chicken will be offered at half price for one day only (Oct. 23). Happy Birthday, Max’s of Manila!
Time To Party
Max’s of Manila welcomes groups of 20 to 200, with spacious private rooms available at its locations in Costco Iwilei Complex on Dillingham Boulevard in Honolulu, and on Farrington Highway in Waipahu. There’s plenty of free customer parking at both locations. Call either location to reserve a spot for your next event. And don’t forget — online ordering and delivery now are available through maxsrestaurantusa.com.
All Around The World
Founded 73 years ago this month, Max’s of Manila now has more than 200 branches, with five locations in Canada and nine in the U.S. Next year, Max’s will open branches in Seattle, Houston and Winnipeg. According to general manager Maly San Luis, menus are similar franchise-wide. “However, each branch has specials that aren’t offered in other locations,” she explains. “And in Hawaii, we have an abundance of native Filipino vegetables that aren’t available on the mainland and in Canada.”