Soho Park: beautiful plates, exciting flavors
“If you are facing Jollibee from Krispy Kreme, then Soho Park is a few steps away on your left.” I answered Doc Milan, a fellow foodie who recently called me for directions to the new restaurant that I recommended.
Although Soho is the only other establishment at the Asia Premier building in Cebu IT Park, finding it could be a challenge as it is not located along the busier streets in these parts.
It’s actually named after a NY neighborhood
The mid-range restaurant is named after the area located “South of Houston Street” in New York City. The waitstaff confirmed this as my friends and I settled in at our reserved table at Soho one Friday not too long ago. She would later add that many of their diners think that it’s owned by a local TV newscaster.
I’ve never been to that upscale neighborhood or NY for that matter, but I imagine that the restaurant is influenced by the NY foodscene in certain respects – a diverse menu, brick-laden walls, open kitchen and eager crews clad in hipsteresque flat caps and aprons.
Beautiful plates, exciting flavors
We ordered a handful that evening by the way – 2 appetizers, 3 entrees, 1 rice bowl (the cheapest at Php85) and 1 pasta (freshly made in house). And to our pleasant shock, the portions here are actually generous enough for 2-3 persons. In retrospect, we would probably be OK with just the Fresh Vietnamese Pork Rolls or a light salad and 3 mains.
The clear standouts for me that evening were the Grilled 1/2 Chicken and the Crispy Tender Pork Belly.
The latter in particular is a well-executed and earnest deconstruction of a Filipino favorite – ridiculously tender pork belly that rests on a bed of mashed potatoes, glazed carrots and celery root and then punctuated by a shard of equally ridiculously crispy pork skin. The flavorful broth tied everything together. This could be one of Soho Park’s easy bestsellers.
One could really see and taste that a lot of thought went into creating these pretty plates. Even the vegetables contributed here. The artichokes, for example, saved the grilled chicken from becoming just another grilled chicken. It added hints of earthiness and tang to the dish.
Desserts can still be improved
I would have suggested to cap the evening with another bottle of Fat Bastard since the restaurant is open until 4AM anyway. But since someone in the group would still be driving to Talisay, we ordered 2 cakes instead – red velvet and blueberry cheesecake.
Both were not as memorable as the pork belly and I feel that this is where the restaurant can still improve upon. I’m sure they can come up with more ambitious options such as perhaps an uni ice cream or a savory crepe or even a Cronut ripoff.
Well, I won’t be surprised if Soho Park will be serving an inspired (or even a better) version of the Dominique Ansel pastries. I look forward to try that next, including some items in the menu – the burger, that ube latte and one of their healthy signature juices.
Over-all, I can’t recall being this excited about a restaurant since Carnivore. Maybe, I just found a new favorite in Cebu.
Soho Park Restaurant
Ground Floor, Asia Premier Residences
Cebu IT Park, Apas
Cebu City, Philippines
Opens daily from 6AM – 4AM
Major credit cards are accepted
For reservations and inquiries: +63 32 4157715