Italian invasion

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Foodies be warned, the New World Saigon Hotel, will be serving up some serious Italian food this month.

From March 21 to 27, the hotel is preparing a special menu courtesy of Italian chef and world traveler Samuel Zucca. The Italian born chef has traveled and cooked throughout Germany, Australia and Bangkok. Starting in 2006, he worked as an executive chef at Pendalasco's in District 1.

Now, he's bringing genuine Italian cuisine to a town where pizza is often served covered in clamshells or laden with chopped corn.

"Italian cuisine is a product of wonderful tradition developing through many centuries," said Zucca, adding that that tradition began during the 4th century BC.

The cuisine is varied, highly regional and specialized. Zucca has prepared a menu that reflects the country's rich culinary diversity.

"We will cook some specialties from Tuscany, traditional pasta with minced meat marinade from Emilia Romagna, and Parmigianino Reggiano - one among the most delicious Italian cheeses from Parma," he said. 

Zucca's selections will include traditional starters like Antipasto Misto, Minestrone, Insalate and Frutti di Mare.

The meal will be served buffet-style, with an added twist. Three live cooking stations will serve up fresh pasta, risotto and grilled specialties. 

For his own part, Zucca has promised a surprise pasta special from his home town of Venice.

From Monday to Sunday, the Italian buffet will open daily from

6 p.m. until 10 p.m.

The price is VND1,029,000 (US$49) per person, not including tax and service charges.

The week-long buffet offering will culminate in a gala dinner next Saturday, March 26.

 "We will be offering an elegant six-course set menu paired with elegant wines from Marchesi de Frescobaldi," said Zucca.

A live pianist will provide live accompaniment to the feast.

The gala dinner is priced at VND2,310,000 ($110) per person, excluding tax and service charges. The price includes six complimentary wine pairings and a welcome cocktail.

Tickets can be purchased at the hotel's reception through Saturday afternoon.

Customers can obtain further information by calling New World Saigon Hotel at (08) 3 822 8888 or by sending an email to Guests are also welcome to stop by the hotel at 76 Le Lai Street, District 1 with any questions.

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