Laidback Sonny’s Pizza in Boat Quay is a slice of New York-style heaven – with Italian elements – that ticks all the right boxes.
It’s easy to walk by Sonny’s Pizza and totally miss it.
This pizza parlour along Circular Road is as nondescript as they come, sandwiched between the far flashier eateries and watering holes Boat Quay is known for.
And with just five pizza options on its menu, the diner is also easy to dismiss. But that’ll be a mistake. Here at Sonny’s, less is really more.
What’s particularly interesting about Sonny’s Pizza is that its chef-owner comes from a fine-dining background. Sonny, whose real name is Son Pham, has worked in fine dining kitchens around the world, including stints at Michelin-starred establishments such as Noma in Copenhagen, Tokyo’s Ryugin, and Amelia in San Sebastian. He was most recently working at Le Comptoir in Hong Kong, before moving to Singapore to start his own gig.
Transitioning from tweezer-plating to selling pizzas by the slice was, Sonny says, a fun process. It took him a few months of trial and error before he felt that his pizzas were good enough to be served to anyone.
The pies at Sonny’s Pizza are a hybrid of New York and Italian Neapolitan styles. You get New York’s familiar large slices here – large, wide, with a thin yet crispy crust you can fold to eat on the go. But you get the thicker, airier cornicione crust one associates with the classic Napoletana. Rather than offend adherents to either pie faiths, Sonny’s pies can appeal to both camps.
Also, Sonny uses top-quality ingredients from Italy – the flour, in particular.
As mentioned earlier, when it comes to toppings there aren’t many options. Sure, you have your usual suspects. The Classic Cheese – made with five cheeses plus a dollop of marinara sauce – is as simple and tasty as they get. NY devotees will dig the pretty authentic Pepperoni. There’s one mushroom and herb based option for the vegetarians, I’m Going Green.
The remaining two are fun takes. GM Pizza with its thick cut bacon, sausage, bechamel, and Hollandaise is breakfast – sans egg – on a pie. Then there’s more controversial Saigon Stunner with its beef sausage, betel leaves and fish sauce combination, a hat tip to Pham’s Vietnamese heritage.
Be sure to avail yourself of the sauces, too. The creamy ranch is absolutely delish, and you’ll want to squeeze the spicy honey all over your pepperoni.
For drinks, craft beer enthusiasts will be pleased to find a decent canned selection available. There are brews from Melbourne, Australia-based Deeds Brewing, Cigar City Brewing from Florida, USA, and Singapore’s own Niang Brewery, among others. Otherwise there are canned cocktails from Empirical Spirits and award-winning local cocktail bar, Sago House.
Pham envisions Sonny’s Pizza to be that casual, laidback New York pizza diner concept that partygoers along the Boat Quay stretch can drop into for a slice of pizza or two and some beer before their evening begins, or somewhere they can end their night.
But casual and laidback doesn’t mean he’s not going to apply himself to his craft. “The service may be more casual (than a fine-dining restaurant) but I keep the quality and standard function of our kitchen to a high standard still,” Sonny says. “Every day is practice and tweaking to try to improve as much as I can daily.”
“You’re only as good as your last pizza.”
Address 17 Circular Rd, Singapore 049373 (Google Maps link)
Opening Hours 12.30pm to 12am Tuesdays to Saturdays; closed on Sundays and Mondays
Tel (65) 9822 4825