You and I may be interested in iconic Vietnamese foods like pho and banh mi but many people in Vietnam are interested in trying something new. Something exotic. Something western. Over the weekend, Simon and Jeff alerted me to a New York Times story about Pizza 4P’s, a farm-to-table pizza restaurant in Saigon (aka Ho Chi Minh City). The pizza restaurant is owned by a young Japanese couple that decided to chuck a corporate financial life for culinary entrepreneurship in Saigon.
Pizza isn’t new to Vietnam as there are Pizza Huts and Dominos there. I remember seeing a California Pizza Kitchen knockoff years ago.
I haven’t been to Pizza 4P’s, which stands for “Platform of Personal Pizza for Peace”; they pledge to listen to customer preferences. Awkward and cultish sounding but all that aside, the pizza restaurant looks smart and upscale. The NYT story states that two-thirds of the daily 350 customers are Vietnamese. Those are people with money and Saigon certainly has a small population of big spenders. A number of boutiques in District 1 look like they were plucked from Singapore or Hong Kong. Yet, Vietnam’s annual per capita income is roughly $1,900.