By Alexis Yap
WHEN a good friend that’s hard-to-please just couldn’t stop raving about a new place he wants you to try, you don’t decline. His name is Glen and his invitation for me to try his new favorite place was urgent.
Dining at this refreshing new joint was easily the highlight of my week mostly because I got to catch up with old friends in a nice, cozy, quiet corner at the Asia Town IT, Park. Literally located at the back corner of the Asia Premiere Residences and barely a couple of months old, Soho Park has gained so much praise from its new fans who, as early as now, swear by its good food, excellent service, and upscale, modern interiors. My friends Glen and Sam, a couple who live in the same building are probably their biggest fans and endorsers! They’ve tried almost everything on the menu and they just couldn’t wait to have me join the club.
Robert Leonhardt, owner and chef at Soho Park has nothing but good intentions when it comes to his food. His basic principle is to serve unpretentious, honest food cooked the right way – his words exactly. And it’s quite evident in the food they make. A good example would be the Crusty Baguette that goes perfectly with their three homemade dips: artichoke tapenade, smoked eggplant, and hummus.
Their Tomato Bruschetta is a beautiful assembly of toasted sour dough that is topped with chunks of the freshest, locally grown cherry tomatoes, some artichoke, and of course, basil. Their version of this popular, bistro staple covers pretty much all the flavors, color, and texture required to tell your brain you’re having a “food-gasm”. If you like bruschetta, give theirs a try. You’re definitely in for a treat.
They also make a mean salmon dish, seared pink and put on top of some delicious parsley risotto. They even throw in a couple of breaded, deep fried squid, a nice complement in the flavor and texture department.
The carnivores that will order the Crispy Tender Pork Belly will get something out of the usual inch-thick pork belly we’re familiar with. And they don’t kid when they use the words crispy and tender together in one phrase. You’ll see.
Glen and Sam were already raving about the bistro’s bathroom before. Some guests have even joked about having their food served there next time. But what really caught my attention was the framed quote by Coco Chanel that hung on the wall, some words of wisdom from an iconic fashion revolutionary. It read, “Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” And then, all of a sudden, it all made sense to me. Soho Park is beautiful probably because of its sheer honesty.
With rice bowls that start at P85 (yep, you better believe it!), this new joint clearly aims to serve and please everyone even those who like to splurge and indulge on a USDA New York Strip Steak that comes with a higher price tag.
And as if they haven’t impressed enough, Robert promises he’s got more tricks up his sleeve, introducing an express lunch menu, daily specials, a fresh salad bar, Sunday brunch, and even afternoon high tea, all in the coming weeks.
Soho Park is open daily from 6 a.m. to 4 a.m. and serves all-day breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They are located at the ground floor of Asia Premiere Residences, Asia Town IT Park, Salinas Drive, Lahug, Cebu City.