Max's Restaurant features a menu of Filipino style chicken and much more.
I tried this place a couple of time but their food is kinda boring. The only good thing to eat here is their pork leg and pancit canton. Their halo2 is also pretty good. To me their fried chicken is always bland, lack of spices and nothing to brag about. I'd rather eat KFC original recipe on any given day. To be honest, I've met way too many filipino who would rather eat other people cuisines than their own. I can't blame them, some of their food just taste too awkward. It's like you mess up an already good food and pour a cup of vinegar to it. There's a vietnamese chinese place that I go and it's always full with filipino.
If this place didn't seem so busy I would of never tried it. I don't know why it is like this. The food was warm at best. Every thing taste like it was precooked and sat in fridge only to be warmed up. Never going back. As well as portions is very small compared to price. This isn't downtown.
Now let me start out by saying this was the first time trying Filipino food. It's something I've put off for awhile and now I can see why. We started out with the Lumpiang Shanghai which seemed like they were machine made and frozen before being deep fried. Not very tasty to say the least. Our main course included the Pinakbet, Classic Chicken Adobo, and the Pancit Canton. Out of the 3, we only could eat 1 and a half of the dishes. The Pancit Canton was basically stir fried noodled drenched in oil. Not very appetizing but we were able to eat about half of it. The chicken was pretty much okay and was the only dish we finished. The Pinakbet was god awful. The meat tasted funky and almost rancid and the dish as a whole did not come together. We had about a tablespoons worth each and that's it. On the plus side, our server was competent and friendly enough. The restaurant itself was clean and organized. Not enough to make us want to come back unfortunately.
I've been wanting to try Max's since they first opened and finally got the chance.
Now I've been to the *real* Max's in the Philippines so I had to try the chicken and the dessert to see how this place compared.
The family size chicken we ordered looked and tasted like it was missing something. Let me just say, it needed a lot of Banana Ketchup and I don't remember Max's Chicken in the Philippines being that bland.
We also ordered the Chicken Sisig. We were thinking about the Pork Sisig instead but the Chicken was recommended by our waitress. But boy was that mistake! It arrived and looked good, hot and fresh, but tasting it is a different story. Sisig included chicken liver which was hard and like eating rubber. My dad almost choked on it. We complained to the waitress and she said she would tell the kitchen, but we didn't get any discount on our meal.
We were interested in seeing what the -silog meals were like, and ordered the tapsilog (beef tapa, garlic fried rice and egg). The portion was pretty small for the price, but the beef was decent and the egg was cooked just right.
The only thing that saved the meal was the dessert! 2 scoops of ice cream for $2.79! AND the Halo-Halo was huge and delicious, but the ice cream scoop on top was too small (which is why we ordered the extra ice cream).
Everyone that ate there seemed to be 'dressed up'. The restaurant isn't fancy or anything, but maybe they just felt like it was a dress-up kinda place even if it felt more like a fast food place to me. Don't get me wrong, there are some really nice fancy fast food places in Asia, but at least there and especially in the Philippines, the service is outstanding! This place lacks charm and the servers need to be a bit more hospitable. Instead of just placing the dish on the table, maybe they can at least say what it is, or come back to check if we need more water...
Overall, the dishes were a bit pricey, and chicken wasn't worth it. Service needs improvement. Probably best to just go for the dessert!!
I am a food writer and restaurant critique for several international and local Vancouver publications.
Recently I tried Thomas Keller’s famous Simple Roasted Chicken. It was good but the one at Max is better. Crispy skin, just the right tender moist chicken meat inside. Not salty or saucy as in Chinese cuisine. Just right, healthy and feeling good. An Asian palate might need to add more spice but I like it the way it is.
For dessert, I had Max’s leche flan or custard. Superb, silky and delectable an A+. I prefer this Filipino version than Crème brûlée or the Brazilian pudim.
I would say having tasted roasted chicken all over the world, Max’s is a gem – one of the best. Highly recommended!