Bonifacio Global City, Philippines
I’m sure some are wondering, why is Merky reviewing a restaurant in the Philippines? I bet none of you knew this Filipino franchise opened up at Dufferin and Steeles and actually took the number one spot in “Tastiest Fried Chicken in Toronto” by Post City. Many non-Filipino Torontonians don’t exactly know Filipino cuisine unless they’ve been invited to one of our infamous family parties. Many bloggers and critics see Filipino food as the ugly sister to Thai food. Even as a Filipino, I might be inclined to agree.
Filipino cuisine is a mix of all Asian cuisines with their own twist, and many seem to have trouble making their dishes presentable. However, despite the usual displeasing look, many dishes are extremely rich in flavour and gives you that comfort food feeling.
Our first dish is Pancit Canton — an egg noodle stir fried with shrimp, chicken, cabbage, with a sauce of minced ginger, garlic, hoisin sauce, among others. It’s delectably salty, with every meat perfectly moist.
The second dish is Kare-Kare (pronounced ka-reh-ka-reh) — a rich soup of mixed with different spices, beef, eggplant, green beans, leafy greens (usually bok choy). One of the main ingredient for the broth is peanut butter! I have to admit that my mom makes better kare-kare than the one we ordered here, but I may just be biased. Everyone at the table seemed to really enjoyed it, but I found the greens to be too soft for my liking and the beef was a little dry.
Crispy Pata, something I call the “heart attack on a plate,” is deep fried pork hocks. Just like any heart-attack-on-a-plate dishes, you really can’t say no to having a piece. The meat was fall-off-the-bone tender and the skin cracked with just a touch. To be clear, the skin is really what everyone fights for at the table, the meat suddenly becoming secondary in this dish.
Now, if you’re looking to try Filipino cuisine without having to make or turn to your Filipino friends so you can have dinner at their home, then head over to Max’s. The recipes come straight from the Philippines. Some of the dishes may be off because some of the key ingredients are ones you can only get back home (the Philippines), but more often then not, you’ll get the real taste of Philippines here.
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