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Showing posts with label Filipino Restaurants in Dubai. Show all posts

Filipino Entertainment and Hospitality at Datu Club, Sofitel Downtown Dubai

Aside from Filipino food, Filipino-themed gastro-pubs and night clubs have also been one of the most effective coping mechanisms of our fellow Filipino expats here in Dubai. You'll most likely find Filipino clubs, either in Deira or Bur Dubai, bustling with Filipinos (and other expats alike) during weekends.

New Menu Items at Max's Restaurant

Max's Restaurant added new items to their menu yet again, and Mark and I were invited to try them out. It was very timely that we are also scheduled for a meet up with our Dubai family who, coincidentally, also chose Max's Restaurant as our lunch venue.

Casa Pinoy Restaurant in Al Karama

Because of Mark's dietary needs, I always get his approval before I accept invites for restaurant reviews. I need to make sure that the restaurant serves something that's okay for gym buffs like Mark.

But when I knew that Casa Pinoy is serving isaw, which I have been having a huge craving for since we got back to Dubai in January from our vacation in the Philippines, I just immediately had to say yes!

House of Lechon Manok at Little Manila

House of Lechon Manok at Little Manila

A couple of weekends back, Mark and I were invited to yet another Chef's Table gathering at Little Manila. Together with some media personalities and bloggers from the Filipino community here in Dubai, we got to sample the offerings of the restaurant's newest brand—House of Lechon Manok.

Noodle Depot at Little Manila

A couple of weekends back, Mark and I, together with some media and bloggers from the Filipino community here in Dubai, were gathered to sample the offerings of Little Manila's newest brand—Noodle Depot.

New Menu at Max's Restaurant

Max's Restaurant launched its new menu, adding more authentic Filipino feast staples to their other world class offerings. I wasn't able to join its official launch, my schedule didn't permit, as always, but our friends from Max's Restaurant had us try it at a later date.

We arrived at the restaurant after around a 5-minute walk from our house and were ushered our table, the same table where we were seated when we first got to dine at Max's. :D After placing our orders, which Mark took charge of, our Filipino food feast began!

Kabayan Fiesta at Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Dubai

Although there are already a number of Filipino restaurants here in Dubai, it is very rare for international restaurants, or at least with the ones that I tried, to include Filipino cuisine in the menu. Which is why I was stoked when I knew that the Eatery Restaurant in Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Dubai devoted an entire night to highlight the Filipino cuisine. They have International themed-buffet every night and on Fridays, they have this Filipino themed-buffet which they call Kabayan Fiesta.

Little Manila: A Taste of Home in Dubai

I know I have mentioned countless of times already that although I have been calling Dubai my second home for two years now, my heart still definitely belongs to my original home and my love for Filipino food will never be replaced. And that is also the reason why I feel very proud knowing how the number of Pinoy restaurants have grown in the emirate, Little Manila, being one of the many options.

Bodega Garage @ The Q Undergound, Holiday Inn, Al Barsha

While Filipino restaurants are gradually being known in the Dubai food scene, gastro-pubs and bars that are Filipino-themed come not very far behind. Tucked in The Q Underground in Holiday Inn, Al Barsha, which just recently opened its doors to the public, Bodega Garage promises to take you to Manila with their entertainment, food, and drinks.

Tapa King in Al Karama, Dubai

Dubai has been my second home for more than a year and a half now, but my heart still belongs to my original home. And although I have been greatly exposed to the international cuisine, even more than I can imagine, my love for Filipino food will never be replaced.

Admittedly, I always get giddy whenever I see Filipino restaurants here in Dubai, especially the ones that I usually frequent back home, and I make sure to try them out as much as possible.

Cucina in Al Karama

Cucina is just one of the many restaurants here in Dubai that serves authentic Filipino food. Located in Al Attar Shopping Mall in Al Karama, which is just a few walks away from our home, this is where I always get my isaw fix.

Isaw is grilled chicken intestines, a Filipino street food, and whenever I'm craving for it, Cucina is where we go to. Their isaw is just like what we have back home, but this one is the expensive version. Well AED 10 is really not that much, but not if you know that you can get 3 sticks in the Philippines for not even AED 1. :p

Pampangeños Restaurant & Cafe

Had some last minute errands with Mark a couple of weekends back before I flew to the Philippines. Our search for my baby sister's purple bathrobe (which she specifically requested for her wedding shoot) led us to Ansar Gallery in Al Karama. We didn't find anything and since it's already past lunch time, we just decided to have our lunch there.

Pampangeño is what a native of Pampanga (a province in the Philippines) is called, Pampangeños being the collective term. Being the Food Capital of the Philippines, Pampanga also offers delectable dishes which I have come to love (next of course to Ilocano specialties :D). And because Mark and I were both craving for some Filipino food, we were sold when we saw Pampangeños.

Complimentary Soup

Filipinos enjoy family feasts, and that is what is evident in Pampangeños. It was already past lunch time but families still dot each of the tables when we arrived, good thing we were still able to score a table for two.

We were served with a complimentary egg drop soup. It was served hot which perked our tummies up. I was already eyeing for the Sizzling Beef Sisig when Mark blurted out the same when I asked him what he wanted, so I had to change my order. :p I was choosing between the grilled seafood platter and grilled chicken and thought that the first would be too much so I settled for the latter.

Grilled Lemon Grass Chicken with Unlimited Rice - AED 22.00

Served with vinegar and soy sauce, lemon, atchara, and unlimited rice, this dish would have been perfect if the chicken meat didn't lose its juiciness. The chicken was overcooked making a bit tough to chew. The rice on the other hand was on the soggy side which I didn't like.

We knew that Mark's order was coming when the sumptuous aroma of the Sizzling Beef Sisig filled the air. Sizzling hot and with vibrant colors from the fresh chilies, onions, and egg, this dish is such an eye candy. And we were glad that it tasted just as much as how good it looked. The generous serving of beef chunks were accompanied by crushed cracklings which added texture to the dish. Mark also approved of this dish that he had another serving of rice. :D

Sizzling Beef Sisig - AED 23.00

There's no doubt that the dishes were good. But one letdown, and definitely a defining factor whether a restaurant will be visited back again or not (well at least for me), is the slow serving time and the unremarkable customer service.

We felt the Filipino hospitality when the staff greeted us with a smile as she ushered us to our seats, yes, but it all ended there. It took a long while before one of the staff finally stopped and heeded our request for the menu. Then another period of waiting game began just before a different staff took our orders. Waiting for the dishes to be served took even longer.

If not for the Sizzling Beef Sisig, which Mark claimed to be the best tasting beef sisig that we've had, I'd definitely not recommend going back to this restaurant especially if you're not patient enough to wait.

PAMPANGEÑOSPampangenos Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Ground Level, Ansar Gallery
Al Karama, Dubai
United Arab Emirates
+971 (0)4 3961446
Nearest Metro Station: Burjuman (Red Line)

Filipino Food Fix at Buongiorno Café

Mark only comes to Dubai on weekends since he works in Abu Dhabi. And because he eats at their camp's restaurant every single day, I make sure that he gets to enjoy his favorite dishes even just on weekends.

Although I love to cook, there are also times when I seem to be infected with the lazy bug. And at such times, Mark's invitations on having dinner outs are a music to my ears!

Ravi Restaurant would be our usual dinner  destination when we dine out, but since Mark was craving for Filipino food, we opted for Buongiorno Café, which is just one restaurant away from Ravi. :D I was already delighted when Mark told me not to cook for dinner one weekend night, more so when he craved for Filipino food! Yay!

Filipino Food Fix at Max's Restaurant in Dubai

Living in Dubai for more than half a year now, I've already come to love the food here. But I must admit that nothing still beats the exquisite dishes that we have back home.

There are a lot of restaurants back home which offer authentic Filipino food, but I guess one of the brands that has redefined the Filipino Cuisine for today's discerning food crowd would be Max's Restaurant.

Good thing Max's Restaurant is also in Dubai! It opened some time in 2011 and has brought to Dubai a selection of world famous Filipino dishes that will satisfy your cravings for Filipino food and will surely resonate in the hearts of local diners too. It's food delivery service is actually one of my life-savers whenever I get lazy to cook. :p

And did I tell you that it's just a 5-minute walk from where I live? Uh huh! So when I got an invite to have it reviewed, I certainly obliged and tagged Mark along. :p We had our fix for Filipino food last Friday at Max's Restaurant.

With the long queue of diners waiting for their seats, the crowd, the ambience, and the vibe, I really felt like I was immediately transported back to the Philippines when we got to the restaurant. I even kept telling Mark that it's as if we're not in Dubai. :D

Seeing the diners and hearing them enjoy as they devour the food on their tables suddenly brought back a lot fond memories. Max's has become one of my family's favorite picks, well Jaoey's especially, whenever we dine out. It has also become a witness to almost every celebrations that we have back home. And it was nostalgic to somehow be "back home" here at Max's.

Mark was the more eager one when he knew that we'd be dining at Max's, so I wasn't surprised when he took charge of the orders without even looking at the menu. :p

He of course ordered his forever favorite Kare-Kare and as always, it was a hit! If he has one comment though, it would be the meat being quite few. I on the other hand, being someone who could cook a variety of dishes (delicious dishes if I may brag :p), have somehow become more meticulous when it comes to food.

Max's Kare-Kare never really appealed to me mainly because I don't like bland-tasting peanut sauce, otherwise, everything would be okay.  And it has been the same with every branch that I've been to, including here in Dubai.The peanut taste was there, it wasn't sweet too, but I thought a little saltiness would make it good. I loved that the vegetables were cooked just right and still maintained that crunch, though.

Of course Kare-Kare wouldn't be complete without the alamang (shrimp paste). It usually makes the Kare-Kare a lot delectable. But I guess luck was not on my side that time because even the alamang (shrimp paste) was a let down, well for me. It didn't taste fresh and seems like the oil used wasn't fresh as well.

But then, again, Mark enjoyed eating the Kare-Kare, so who am I to complain? I just had a couple of veggies and gave everything for him to devour. :p

I was supposed to get the Sizzling Tofu, but Mark talked me out from the idea because we just had tokwa't baboy (tofu and pork) plus arroz caldo for our breakfast, so he just ordered Beef Sisig instead.

Looking at the dish, those red and green chili slices were a nice addition as it added a play of color. The dish is definitely an eye candy. But I immediately removed them after I took a photo of the dish. Haha! I'm not a fan of spicy dishes, the pungent taste from spices I can take but I just have a low tolerance when it comes to the heat.

If I remember it right, we have Chicken Sisig in Max's Restaurants in the Philippines, so this one is new to me. Good thing it didn't disappoint. It's not a show-stopper, but at least it's not a let down as well. I love the combination of sweetness from the sauce, which as my palate suggests is seasoned mayo, plus the tangy kick from the lemon juice.

I prefer crunchy sisig over the usual soft ones, so I was glad that the pork rinds were there. Not sure if they were pork rinds really since pork is not allowed in restaurants in the UAE, but I just loved it! The crispy pork rinds plus the chunky onions added texture to the dish and worked well with the tender beef slices.

IMG_2607Max's Spring Chicken™ (Half)

Dining at Max's Restaurant of course wouldn't be complete without having what made them world-famous, their fried chicken.

Max's Spring Chicken™ is our usual order because of it's distinctive characteristic which is the tenderness of its meat, since the chicken is harvested at a young age. My photos may not give justice but this one is definitely a hit, as always! Aside from the tender meat, I love that it wasn't oily at all and the skin was so crispy.

IMG_2608Max's Spring Chicken™ (Half)

Up until now, I just can't distinguish what spices were in but it's definitely what I love and what I grew up with and is definitely what made Max's world famous and a Filipino institution.

IMG_2604Lemon Iced Tea and Strawberry Iced Tea

We also had Iced Tea for our drinks, lemon for Mark and strawberry for me. And for our desserts, we opted for the Dessert Sampler which includes, from left to right, Ube Creme Decadence, Buko Pandan, Leche Flan, and Chocolate Cream Cheese Brownie à la mode.

I've become uninterested with sweets in general when I actually started making cakes and cupcakes as we would always have a piece or two of the left over cupcakes and cake trimmings at home every time I get an order. And I would just usually have cravings for sweets just when it's the time of the month, if you know what I mean. :)

IMG_2609Dessert Sampler

So I wasn't really up for desserts during our lunch. And although the plate was an eye candy, I just had Mark finish it all. If there's one thing in the plate that I liked though, it's the Ube Creme Decadence. I'm not a fan of ube so it really didn't appeal to me at first. Mark also said it was just so-so when he first took a spoonful. So I gave it a try to check and fell in love with my first spoonful. I think I scooped too much that I got to dig into the ube halaya (purple yam) at the center of the cooked cream!

It was so good that it instantly became a favorite! Even Mark who was at first turned down just couldn't stop digging in. The mild sweetness from the cream was just right and brings out the natural sweetness from the ube halaya (purple yam). I also love the play of texture from the smooth cream, chunky ube, and ube cake crumbs.

IMG_2617Ube Creme Decadence

Over-all dining experience was good. Although there were a few misses in the food, well at least for the ones we got, service was commendable. Joy, the staff who was assigned to us, was very attentive and always checked on us and made sure that we are having a great time. The restaurant manager, Marinel Lacida, was also very hands-on. And I must say that it's not just because they knew that I'll be doing a review because every staff in the restaurant is also doing the same for the rest of the diners. I guess it's the Filipino hospitality which is very evident from the staff that sets Max's apart from all other restaurants in Dubai.

So if you want to know what made this restaurant world-famous or if you just simply need a quick fix for your Filipino food cravings, do drop by and try it out at Max's Restaurant!

For updates about Max's Restaurant, Dubai, you can visit and like them on Facebook: or follow them on Instagram: @maxschickenuae and Twitter: @MaxsChickenUAE. You can also visit their website:

Spinneys Bldg, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Road (Trade Centre Road)
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
+971 04 325 7797
Nearest Metro Station: Burjuman (Red Line)

We were guests at Max's Restaurant and our meal was complimentary, but as always, this post is sincerely written and all views and opinions are my own.

Follow @kriskamarie