St. John’s Newest Restaurant opened last night – it’s a  Filipino joint in Ropewalk Lane.

RJ Pinoy Yum is an eat-in/takeout and a variety store. Their menu is a balance of “authentic Filipino foods, and some Canadian foods as well.”

Filipino cuisine is that of the Philippines, with the ph- dropped for an F. It’s essentially a blend of Spanish, Chinese, Indian, Malayan, and even American culinary traditions, which sounds fabulous. Many of us wouldn’t know, this is the city’s first Filipino restaurant.

Filipino cuisine is known for balancing sweet, sour, and salty flavours. Often times a dish displays “counterpointing” — pairing something sweet alongside something salty. A common example is sweet cocoa rice porridge (champorado) being paired with salted and sun-dried fish (tuyo).

For dumpling lovers, RJ Pinoy Yum serves items like Dinakdakan (a spicy, crispy, pork belly dumpling), Siopao  (a steam bun stuffed with “pork asado”), and … a steam bun taco!

Other items include Gatang Kalabasa (coconut squash with shrimp), Beef Caldereta (a stew made with tomatoes, potatoes, spices, liver, olives, bell peppers and hot peppers), Pansit Guisado (a rice vermicelli and veggie dish), and chopsuey with quail egg.

They also serve what might be the Filipino signature dish: chicken Abodo: chicken marinated and simmered in vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic, fried in oil, and cooked ’til dry. 

For the adventurous eater, try kare-kare, a signature stew traditionally made from stewed oxtail, pork hocks, calves feet, pig feet, beef, and offal or tripe, with veggies, and flavoured with roasted peanuts or peanut butter, onions, and garlic. As with pho, other flavorings may be added at the table.

RJ Pinot Yum is closed on Sundays, otherwise open from mid-morning til 9pm.