65 years of sarap to the bones

One of the benefits of living on this small rock out in the middle of the pacific ocean, is the mash of cultures piled onto our small island. Almost any given week, you can find some kind of festival, art show, or some other type of cultural event. in fact, we just celebrated the Korean festival a few days ago, though unfortunately, i wasn’t able to attend.

Along with the people, comes the food. Oh the food. It doesn’t matter what type of cuisine you happen to be in the mood for, its almost certain you can find it here. Polynesian, Mediterranean, European, Asian, Etc. its all here. And if you’re not partaking in these delicious eats, boy are you missing out.

On to the Dinner Table….

Today’s offering came from a small Filipino restaurant in downtown Honolulu. One of two locations on island, if im not mistaken. They also have locations in California, Jersey, and in Canada. As well as the original chain in the Philippines.

Enter: Max’s of Manila

(as usual, click the images for larger versions)

Max’s Restaurant boasts an unmistakable red sign out front of all of their locations.  Very hard to miss.

Now, not being Filipino myself, (well, no more than 1/16th or so. not enough to really count), i dont get too heavy into the Filipino cuisine, however, chocolate meat aside, im not necessarily against any of their food.

Being a calamari fiend was actually what brought me here in the first place. I had tried calamari at a few Italian and American places, but never a Filipino style calamari. Hell, i didnt even know that was something they did. Luckily, the lovely Ms Ashley (my foodie buddy, and fellow camera buff. Who also happens to be Filipino) happened to be familiar with this Filipino calamari, and suggested we make the trip.

I only came for the calamari, but upon browsing the menu, Ashley found something else i had to try. A dish called Lechon Kawali. Basically a Roasted pork dish, with some kind of sauce, which i was later warned not to ask about the ingredients.

She also ordered a Filipino beer called Red Horse. Never heard of it, but it pretty much just tasted like beer to me. (Im not much of a beer drinker)

The service was quick, as was the food. But i think it may have been because i was with Ashley. I dont imagine i would have gotten the same service on my own.

The calamari was pretty standard. Nothing really special about it. It also had quite a bit more batter than im used to, which made it extra crispy. Not bad, But nothing great.

The one thing that made this dish different, was the dipping sauce. Rather than a standard cocktail/marinara dipping sauce, or even an aioli, they serve their calamari with a vinegar based sauce. Vinegar is a pretty standard condiment in Filipino cuisine, so i guess it was to be expected.

The Lechon Kewali, was amazing. Roasted Pork with really crispy skin. What more could a guy ask for.

IDK if you’ve noticed yet, but i loves me some pork. Just saying.

An empty plate of calamari and a few scraps of lechon later, it was time to say goodbye to Max. Maybe next trip i will brave some of the stranger dishes on the menu. And i will definitely be back for some Halo-Halo (amazing Filipino dessert).

…until next time


© Darq Labs Photography 2011

Wedding, Event, Food Photography. Honolulu, Hawaii


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