Toddy and Jojo Flores
The story behind Griffintown's newest establishment is simple. Two of the hardest working brothers out there, Jojo and Toddy Flores, alongside Julian Somera and David Pendon set out to accomplish a vision of making Filipino meals more available to the Montreal public, and that's just what they did. Flavors from the motherland of the Philippines are layered down on the table to ensure that your experience at Junior is as satisfactory as being in south east Asia.
As soon as you sit down, you immediately notice the array of the condiments on the table which, as we found out, take the meal to a whole other level. The musical ambiance makes you feel at ease in a fast paced, busy, little spot -- you won't be hearing your everyday radio hits in here. After all, two of Montreal's most active DJs are behind it! Filippino cuisine is influenced by it's past heavily. Many cultures blend in to make what is known as Pinoy cuisine, making a melting pot of various flavors and techniques to give you a truly unique approach to a meal.
After trying pretty much the whole menu, we noticed that we hadn't said much to each other other than asking to pass a sauce or thanking the waiter for dropping us off a new dish faster than we could finish the previous one, always a sign of a good meal. Everything was spot on and left us wondering when the next time we returned would be. Our table came to a pretty unanimous decision that the chicken Adobo took home the first place dish. That dish consists of braised chicken in a coconut sauce, which took me back to south east Asia in a heartbeat. It was a tough call because everything else tied for a close 2nd. The fish, the fried pork and pork Adobo, the noodle dish and greens were all amazing. Not to mention, Toddy graciously told our table that the menu is on the rise and will be getting some new additions shortly.
Since this spot is only open in the evenings, the kitchen crew spends their day's preparing every element so that your food can be made for you upon order and delivered to your table in the time you want it to take. I think what I liked most is that Jojo and Toddy took our orders. Not only did they take the time to explain to us every item and make recommendations, they took the time to hear us out and get our feedback, which is beyond crucial for a new restaurant. You're always looking to improve, which means you gotta keep your ear to the street! The drink menu is also very on point and filled with craft beers. Toddy recommended the house pilsner, which was awesome and locally brewed.
All in all, they came, they saw, they conquered. And it shows...
A vision and some hard work really does pays off. Junior Filipino is here to stay. Don't just check it out, dive in to it! It's the most satisfaction you will get out of trying something that is probably new to you, as it was to us. They're open Wednesday and Thursday from 17:30 to 23:00, Friday and Saturday until 00:00. You can even expect a DJ set or two over the weekend. Check out their FB page for future announcements and surprises.