Sunday, 13 December 2015

Max's Restaurant in Manila

Max's Restaurant
409A Soriano Ave
Intramuros Manila

As we were going to visit Intramuros, we asked the hotel staff for a recommendation of some Pinoy food around the area we could try before visiting. He suggested Max's Chicken, which is minutes walk from the entrance to Fort Santiago.

Before I come to the Philippines, my stereotypical view of Pinoy (who lived outside the Philippines) is that they love to sing, and good at it. Now that I'm in the Land of Smiles (there has taken a corporate takeover of this name by Thailand tourism), I need to update my stereotype to reflect that their Nº 1 love is chicken. Singing comes at a distant 2nd.

The stereotype, let's be politically correct and call it identity trait. Their Nº 4 love, if you MUST know (ok, ok, ok and stop twisting my arm), is honking their car horns.

Max's restaurant at Intramuros, Manila, Philippines

Sign, Max's restaurant, Manila, Philippines
Top:  The restaurant must have done something right to survive this long
Left:  "The House That Fried Chicken Built" can be seen in every Max's outlet

 The Place 
The restaurant was established in 1945. The fact that this is the end of WW2 is no coincidence. It started with the friendship between the founder Maximo and the American occupying troops (the love of America can easily rank Nº 3. To remember these 3 loves, use this simple mnemonics, "Chicken Singing America".

Chicken singing
Chicken singing about America.
Source: Arthur Troester. Graphics added.
The place is set up for a casual dining experience.


 The Food 
We order 2 different chicken dishes.


Recept, Max's restaurant, Manila, Philippines

Chicken Platter Meal: 7.5 / 10
I don't believe I'm saying this (because I'm anti-fastfoodie), but Max's recipe isn't as tasty as Colonel Sanders' 11 secret herbs and spices. Max wouldn't feel bad, he loves American officers. It's not as deep-fried as KFC chicken, which makes it healthier, and I don't take rich food too well. The sides aren't too inspiring either.

It's still interesting tasting. Should try if you haven't. Although I won't eat it again. There's a zillion other chicken franchises in Manila to sample.


Chicken platter, Max's restaurant, Manila, Philippines
Chicken platter

Chicken BBQ: 6 / 10
This is far too sweet for my taste and the meat is somewhat tough. I didn't expect BBQ sauce could come out so sweet. It would be more accurate to call it honey chicken.

BBQ chicken

Overall Score: 7 / 10.  The 2 meals both each come with a drink. So its price is quite reasonable considering this is located at Intramuros. For locals, it's pricey.

If you're a tourist, it's worthwhile to give the chicken platter a try. If nothing else, you can some idea what Pinoy chicken would be like. Dining in one of its many different chicken franchise should be one of the thing to do. You can also tell people you ate at Max's.

I've been to Max's. That's how you do it.



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