Max’s Restaurant – Cuisine of the Philippines
I first noticed a new restaurant along Kingsway a couple of months ago. At the time, I wasn’t sure what kind of food they served – all I could tell was that it seemed bright and clean and had an inconspicuous name… Max’s Restaurant. I figured it was either a new burger joint or some kind of fast food outlet.
I finally found an excuse to drop by for take-out the other day and found out that they serve Filipino cuisine. Apparently, Max’s Restaurant is a popular, long-established franchise that started in the Phillipines after World War II.
The first thing that I noted upon entering the bright and clean establishment was that it was fairly busy at 5pm on a Friday and that there were quite a few staff working at the time. I’m not accustomed to Filipino food so it took a while for me to decide on what to order.
I ordered the Bicol Express which is basically deep-fried, thick cut pork belly that’s served with a coconut cream sauce. If you’ve never had deep-fried pork belly, I suggest that you really ought to give it a try.
Max’s Restaurant is known for their Fried Chicken (1/2 chicken shown) but this is not like the fried chicken you get at KFC. The chicken is not battered and is quite oily – it’s closer to the crispy skin chicken that you would find at a Chinese restaurant than it does to KFC. I actually thought this was pretty good (and even better when I used the coconut cream sauce that came with the Bicol Express for dipping).
With all of the fried food, I felt like we needed some veggies so I picked the Pinakbet – okra, string beans, eggplant, squash, bitter melon, pork and shrimp with a really pungent and purple sauce that took me a while to put my finger on… turns out it was a shrimp paste known as bagoong alamang.
The flavours in this dish might be a little overwhelming for the regular Western palate (specifically the bitter melon and the shrimp paste) but it’s refreshing to find a dish that slaps you across the face and says “Yeah, this is how I roll and I ain’t afraid to show it”.
I picked up a side order of Garlic Rice – like the veggies, this was quite fragrant and had my entire car smelling of garlic on the ride home.
Overall, I was pretty impressed and intrigued of what some of the other dishes would taste like. It seems like a lot of families come here so I might stick with take-out to avoid the little kiddies.
Food: 4 / 5
Service: 4 / 5
Posted on July 17, 2012, in Chicken, Filipino, Restaurant Review and tagged Deep-Fried Pork Belly, Filipino, Food, Fried Chicken, Killarney, restaurant review, Vancouver. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.