Last week, I got an invite for a new menu tasting at a Filpino restaurant called Max’s Restaurant. Very frankly, I had never heard the name or even for that matter, ever tasted Filpino food. My only connection to Philipines is through our nanny Connie, who has been with us ever since my third child was born.
I was about to decline the invite because “Hey! What do I know about Filipino food? “ but then an idea popped up in my head! I emailed the Marketing Consultancy agency (who sent me the invite) if I can bring a guest along. I also specified that I wanted to bring my Filipino nanny and I got an instant positive reply, which was very sweet of them. I told Connie and she was super excited.. and I was excited for her (as in my mind I thought I will probably not enjoy the food there as I have always heard that Pinoy food requires an acquired taste!)
Connie told me, that Max’s is a very famous restaurant in the Philipines and is extremely popular for their Fried Chicken. Max’s Restaurant was established in Quezon City, Philippines in the year 1945. From humble beginnings with a single roadside café in 1945 to over 170 restaurants 71 years later, Max’s is the most loved Filipino brand. In the Middle East, they have their presence in Dubai, Qatar and Kuwait.
Even though I had agreed to it, I wasn’t really sure what I had signed up for. While driving there I kept telling myself that I can probably just eat the Fried Chicken, in case I don’t like anything else. But I have to admit, I really enjoyed quite a few things and will probably take my kids again soon.
The restaurant had a cosy ambience and we were served some delicious starters and drinks. The Lumpia (Spring rolls with beef), Dumplings and the Eggplant salad were truly appetising and made me look forward to the Main course!
As they served the Main Course, Connie kept telling me about what the dish was, what’s it eaten with etc. etc. She was excited and I was so glad that I did not decline this invite!
I will tell you what my take on the food is, what I really enjoyed and why I would love to go back again! So here goes..
Max’s Fried Chicken
So the fried chicken lived up to its hype. Golden fried to perfection, with mild spices (for our desi taste buds), not dripping with oil and served with sweet potato fries!. This made me miss my son! He loves fried chicken and I have to take him there to try it. It did remind me a bit of the Pakistani Broasted Chicken though. So definitely a YES from me!
Boneless BBQ Chicken and Char-grilled Tiger Prawns
A definite YES again! Pinoy BBQ is a bit sweet and tangy with lemon garlic flavour. I loved both of these dishes!
Pinoy Style Spicy BBQ Beef Ribs
This definitely has to be one of my favourites from the menu. Such succulent and juicy ribs, grilled to perfection! LOVED them!
The chopsuey was a nice and a light dish made with Soy sauce and Oyster Sauce, which was very much like a milder version of our desi Chinese food. Something I enjoyed and asked for another serving 🙂
Again, something that was YUM! Fried Tofu Cubes with chopped onion, red and green bell pepper and mayonnaise. If you like Tofu, you would definitely find it delectable!
Chicken and Beef Adobo
Until now I was totally enjoying the food, and then Connie gave me the adobo! I had seen her cooking at home but never really tried it. This needed a little bit of an acquired taste, with quail egg and liver in it as well. Connie loved it though!
This was something Connie didn’t even want me to try! (Talk about acquired taste!). It’s a classic Pinoy favourite made with Oxtail simmered in thick peanut sauce and served with a shrimp sauce. So I had a spoon of it, and thought whoever said Pinoy food needed an acquired taste, must have had this! (lol!)
Though they served an assortment of desserts, what I absolutely LOVED was Turon. It’s banana & jackfruit wrapped in spring roll wrapper, with caramelised sugar and served with Vanilla ice cream. If you are EVER at Max’s, DO NOT miss this! (p.s. I had two of those!)
We had an absolute FUN night! Connie was sitting between me and a Palestinian guy and enjoyed telling us about the delicacies of her home country! She was totally loving it!
We came back home with some goodies including some Pinoy snacks, a Max’s t-shirt, a cute mug and fun keepsake photo at the photo booth!
First impressions do have a lasting impact! This evening could have gone either way, it could have made me not want to ever try Pinoy food again BUT it did the exact opposite! I will definitely be going back with my family soon. And btw, Connie is making Chopsuey for me for lunch today!