Singaporean cuisine is a mixed bag of exotic elements which resulted from a colorful blend of several ethnic groups and their respective food. And Singapore’s history as a seaport with a considerable immigrant population was a major contributor to the vibrant evolution of Singaporean food.
The imprints of Malayan, Chinese, Indonesian, Indian, Peranakan, Sri Lankan, Thai, English, and Middle Eastern flavors are quite evident in the vast array of Singaporean foods available today. Yet, many Singaporeans view their food as something crucial to their national identity. Among them is Mr. Sonny Goh of Sophie’s Bistro.
Sonny sees his native cuisine as a unifying cultural fiber, adamantly believing that eating is actually Singapore’s national pastime. Actually seeing him at work in the resto’s kitchen will confirm—it’s somewhat an obsession for him to cook and serve hearty Singaporean meals. Plus, a short chat with him will most likely end up as a lengthy discourse about his country and his food. It is, however, with good reason that he does.
Singaporean dishes are a hit the world over. In 2011, four Singaporean dishes were picked as among the 50 of the world’s most delicious foods in a worldwide poll by 35,000 people conducted by no less than CNN International. These are the Hainanese Chicken Rice (13th), Chili Crab (29th), Katong Laksa (44th) and Roti Prata (45th). And Sonny proudly serves these delights at Sophie’s Bistro.
The thing about Mr. Sonny Goh is that he even adds his own unique flavour into the already distinctive multi-ethnic dishes. He’s got stuff there that can actually boggle the mind and make you think again about the depth and diversity of Singapore’s food.
“Sometimes, we’ll eat multiple times in a day”, he says, “That’s how much we love our food”.
Fish Ball Soup
Black Pepper Crabs
Any Filipino, however, would likely be drawn to the array of food offered at Sophie’s Bistro—from the colorful stir fries, to the tediously prepared noodles to the idiosyncratic curries. No matter what nationality, actually, will usually find appreciable whatever Mr. Goh’s kitchen has to offer. Seeing an Englishman, an American, a Korean or Chinese individual or family dine at the bistro is becoming a common thing.
Like many loving dads out there would, Sonny just had to name his business after his daughter.
After a nourishing, scrumptious, Sonny Goh-style Singaporean meal, there’s another thing offered at the Bistro which somewhat comes like an ace hidden up a sleeve: coffee. It’s served through a gizmo that’s seemingly pulled out of a sci-fi movie…or a mad scientist’s lab. Perhaps Mr. Goh recommends it as the best thing to cap the Singaporean bonanza, but then again, it could be an integral part of his magic.
Sure, one might say he’s had better noodles, or better chicken, or crab somewhere else. It would be an opinion that’s quite off the course though. For how can one really establish a point of comparison where there is no point of reference. Although Sophie’s Bistro serves Singaporean, there’s nothing quite like Sonny Goh’s Singaporean.
G/F, CJRS Parkview Bldg. Rodeo Drive,
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