SoShiok app gets rousing response

This article was first published in The Straits Times on Jan 22, 2014.

FOODIES hungry for round-the-clock updates on good eats have been turning in droves to a new digital resource.

Since its relaunch last Thursday, The Straits Times SoShiok food app has been the top app in the Food and Drink category on the Apple App Store, receiving over 21,000 downloads from both old and new users of the app within the first four days.

The free app - currently for iPhone users only - is developed by Singapore Press Holdings' (SPH) news portal AsiaOne and named after its food website, The Straits Times SoShiok (www.soshiok.com). It will be available for iPad and Android phone users soon.

Food lovers can access a comprehensive range of content from the popular Taste pages in the newspaper's Sunday Life! section, as well as food news and reviews from the other English newspapers published by SPH.

The section's food writers have also chomped their way through Chinese New Year goodies, for a feature called The Best Undiscovered CNY Snacks - now available only on the app.

So far, the top three most popular sections on the app are Where To Eat, Reviews and Recipes. Where To Eat features restaurant listings and allows users to look for eateries in the vicinity with the Nearby function.

Those hungry for the latest restaurant reviews from food critic Wong Ah Yoke, or Hunger Management recipes from food editor Tan Hsueh Yun, can also use the Reviews and Recipes sections. Users can use the "Chope" function to make restaurant reservations.

Reviews and news stories from other food writers, such as The Business Times' Jaime Ee and Debbie Yong, and The New Paper's Yeoh Wee Teck, can also be found on the app.

AsiaOne's webknowledgist Natalie Lim, who helmed the project, said: "The SoShiok app has seen robust growth in just less than two weeks. We already have a number of food review submissions from users in the app's User Reviews and Photos section."

Life! and Sunday Life! editor Helen Chia said: "We are encouraged by the good response and will continue to work on the app to make it the indispensable guide to dining in Singapore."

For undergraduate Francine Chen, 24, who is currently studying at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, the app helps her stay in touch with the bustling food scene here. "This app keeps me updated on what's happening in the Singapore food scene and gives me ideas on what to cook when I want a taste of home. When I read the Chinese New Year snacks story, it made me crave bak kwa (barbecued pork slices) and pineapple tarts."

euniceq@sph.com.sg

The Straits Times SoShiok app can be downloaded for free at the Apple App Store for iPhone users. E-mail your feedback to soshiok@sph.com.sg