After friends of mine heard that I’d gone for Filipino food without them, another meal was arranged – this time at Max’s Restaurant.
Located at 3456 Kingsway, Max’s Restaurant is part of a chain that originated in the Philippines, and was bright, clean, and spacious. Many staff were on hand, apparently a necessity seeing as how there were line ups by 5:30pm, soon after we arrived. My dining companions, all Filipino, were excited to eat and show me some dishes I’d never tried before.
To start: Lumpiang Shanghai (Egg Roll)
Yes, I was tweeting when I should have been eating. The outside of these egg rolls were nice and crispy, even though the inside was filled with very moist meat and vegetables. I liked the fact that the vessel was a bowl made of deep fried goodness and the chili sauce on the side, although standard, was perfect.
Next: Chopsuey. For what could be seen as a simple dish, this was actually one of my favorites!
I’m a meatatarian so this was perfect for me – shrimp, chicken, and pork were served alongside vegetables in Max’s savory sauce. Cooked perfectly and Chinese influenced, I loved this plate.
Next: Spicy Laing Tilapia
Taro leaves are cooked in coconut milk and then served over fried tilapia. The sauce was really good, and the fish was fried perfectly. I would have loved a more crunchy element to this, but it was good as it was.
Next: 1/2 Fried Chicken, a specialty.
Although good, I found myself reaching for salt on this one. The skin was nice and crispy seeing as how they don’t batter the chicken before frying it, I just didn’t find much flavor in it.
Crispy Pata was next:
This one was eaten pretty quickly! The fat of this knuckle created such deep flavor in the meat, and the vinegar was a perfect dip.
We also had Filipino Bistek (Beef Steak.)
You could really taste the lemon in the thinly sliced meat and in the gravy, it was delicious and similar in taste to a stir fry.
The girls wanted some dessert and ordered Halo Halo and Leche Flan, desserts I have tried before.
An impressive Halo Halo, containing fruit, beans, shaved ice, milk, and sugar. Atop that is purple yam (Ube) ice cream – a strange flavor for a Western palate but delicious nonetheless.
The Leche Flan was straightforward and delicious. You cannot go wrong with custard and caramel syrup!
The service at Max’s was attentive and thoughtful, and I got the impression that if I had wandered in alone, the servers would have walked me through what each dish was if I didn’t know.
Reservations can only be made for 10+ people (and they are, often!)