Max's Restaurant

We tend to think of Jollibee as the iconic Filipino restaurant. Yes, probably it holds the crown as the most popular and all you need to do is check out the line up at the nearest location in Tukwila, any given Sunday morning. The good news is that Max's holds its own with over 200 locations in the Philippines and the nearest being on Kingsway near Boundary in Burnaby!
While Jollibee is more or less a fast food restaurant, Max's tends to be more family style and featuring many Filipino favourites. Mharie wanted to take the kids out for lunch so we found ourselves at noon on Sunday at Max's.
As usual, we ordered way more than we could eat, starting with Lumpiang Sariwa. These are fresh spring rolls with a thin crepe wrapper and a sweetish garlic sauce. Very nice!
One of the things that Max's has been known for since 1945 is their fried chicken. It is not battered but marinated in spices and deep fried with very crispy skin and nicely juicy meat. They have stuck to their recipe for 70 years as if it ain't broke, don't fix it. 
You are bound to notice a pattern emerging as the next dish is a marinated, crispy skinned, deep fried pork hock known as Crispy Pata. Served with a soy dipping sauce, it's hard not to love this.
Continuing on the theme of crispy skinned, deep fried meats is my personal favourite, Bicol Express. Pork belly this time and served with a spicy coconut and shrimp paste sauce. Not too spicy and not overwhelmed by the shrimp paste, I would eat this daily if didn't think my doctor would find out!
Sisig, of course, arrived on a sizzling platter filling the immediate area with the wonderful aroma of garlic. Pork jowls are broiled after being marinated in soy and calamansi. It should be present at every Filipino feast!
Mharie is fond of Max's Pancit Canton and I didn't feel bad about seeing a few vegetables on the table! Nicely just cooked both the noodles and vegetables had a bit of al dente to them.
Rounding out the meal was Kare Kare another of my Filipino favourite dishes but I found this dish to be disappointing! Could have been peanutier for sure and this dish was short on the beef shank. Looked a bit more like soup than a stew so I would give this a miss on the next go around. There was rice too but you know what that looks like. 
Despite all the leftovers, some of us had room to at least share dessert.
Halo-Halo is a sort of shave ice and ube ice cream dish with condensed milk and all sorts of surprises.
Max's is busy and noisy. Service is not brilliant. We sat with finished dishes for a long time and some dishes arrived quickly while desserts took a long time. We were not expecting Joe Fortes service though and they were friendly enough. 
This is accessible Filipino food. If you're not familiar, it's a pretty good introduction to the cuisine.
For what it's worth, we give Max's 3 1/2 out of 5.

Max's Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


  1. Looks delicious! (thanks to you pictures) Max is quite a unique feature in Vancouver with their locations from Philippines. Reviews seem to be mixed but their fried chicken are usually the highlight as well as the ice cream dessert.

    Do you have an email address we can contact you?

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Are you guys eating again? At some point Marie and I became the kind of people who take pictures of everything we eat, whether in a restaura...