Why Sonny and Nieva Lim are my favorite Kinoys*

They are probably within two to three degrees of separation of any Pinoy in Wellington

FROM AN average of one a month for caterings and once a week for churchyard sales, Sonny and Nieva Lim have provided sumptuous handa for more than a hundred birthdays, binyags, weddings and other anniversaries, and definitely more than 500 churchyard sales of their Pinoy turo-turo, kakanin and Ilonggo delicacies after every Filipino  mass in the Wellington Region for at least the last ten years.

This they have done without much fanfare, announcements or tooting of their own horn.  They have gone about letting their product and service speak for themselves, using word-of-mouth more than anything else, and in the process earning for themselves quite a reputation as the Pinoy caterer and food service provider of choice in this part of the world.

Just one of the many offerings of Sonny and Nieva's catering outfit.

And truthfully, their expertise doesn’t need much help in promotion : the precise formulation and mixing of their ingredients and the effort of love that goes into every dish make the satisfied (and well-fed) celebrants and hosts of their catered event, their personal signature.

Their previous base of operations was Capitol Bakery, a store-cum-cafe located at the heart of a tourist spot called Petone, but they have recently chosen to focus their efforts on catering and events management.

One senses from the sense of purpose and military-like efficiency that characterize much of their work that they feed our kabayan with kare-kare and bagoong, puto and dinuguan, menudo, adobo and all kinds of pancit more as a devotion to their calling than anything else.  Although they have a lean staff of two or three, the husband-and-wife team can often be seen at other Pinoy events like Independence Day, Queens Birthday and Pinoy-themed basketball tournaments, peddling their wares on their own and cleaning up by themselves afterward.

The one dish that sticks to my mind as it is one of their specialties is the pork sisig that combines the juicy succulence of pork cheeks with their unique tangy style of sauteeing, I’m no culinary expert, but week in and week out, this dish never fails to impress.

But you don’t have to take my word for it, kabayan.  When you’re in Wellington and homesick for Pinoy cooking, just look them up via +64274495037, or e-mail them at tibiao@xtra.co.nz.  Your tummy will not regret it.

And that is why Sonny and Nieva Lim, among many, are my favorite Kinoys.

Thanks for reading!


*Kinoy is a contraction for Kiwi-Pinoy, a non-racial term for Pinoys who live, permanently or otherwise, in New Zealand.

9 thoughts on “Why Sonny and Nieva Lim are my favorite Kinoys*

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