Pizza with an Asian twist

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At Pizza 4P's Restaurant in
Ho Chi Minh City guests can order one pizza with two different styles, split half and half

With the cool weather of Ho Chi Minh City this festive season, we decided to visit Pizza 4P's last week.

It was around 8 p.m. and the restaurant was full of young local people and foreigners. My friend booked a table with a view of the wood oven and a spacious spiral staircase with stonewalls that created a "stone city" atmosphere reminiscent of ancient Rome.

Pizza 4P's offers a very creative menu. In addition to traditional pizza, this restaurant also has modern Asian versions which use unconventional Japanese sauces, seaweed, Vietnamese fresh vegetable flowers and other local ingredients such as shrimp, pork and beef.

If you are after a fusion of new pizza culture you will surely have to try the Calamari Seaweed Pizza (squid, mushroom, homemade mozzarella, parmesan, olive oil, seaweed and soya sauce), or Teriyaki Chicken pizza (chicken, homemade mozzarella, seaweed, shiso leaves, mayonnaise, olive oil and teriyaki sauce). At Pizza 4P's you can taste something Italian and something Japanese in a single pie, all smothered in homemade cheese.

For an appetizer we opted for "today's marinade" which turned out to be our beloved mushrooms, and for the main course we choose something classic and something innovative: Margherita Pizza and Quattro Flowers Pizza (pumpkin, leek flower and daylily flowers and homemade parmesan with sweet chili sauce).

To encourage customers to try the diversified dishes, at Pizza 4P's you can order one pizza with two different styles, split half and half. The simple Margherita was out favorite with its generous distribution of wonderful cheese while the Quattro Flowers Pizza gave us a taste of the exotic, the succulent homemade cheese mixing nicely with the light fragrance of vegetable flowers.

PIZZA 4P'S 

8/15 Le Thanh Ton Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: (08) 3 822 9838

For dessert my friend chose her favorite tiramisu which was very tasty and had a delightful presentation. (This dinner cost us about VND200,000 each).

"We targeted Vietnamese customers so we conducted research before opening the restaurant. We invited 50 Vietnamese people to come to taste our pizza twice a week and gathered their opinions. This menu was designed by Vietnamese people," said the restaurant's young CEO, Yosuke Masuko.

Masuko said he came to Vietnam from Tokyo three years ago to work in the financial sector. After this restaurant he plans to open an eco resort. "10 years ago I wanted to open an eco resort. That is why I came to Vietnam. Resorts and restaurants are similar businesses and I started with a restaurant first," said Masuko.

After spending one year in Hanoi, Masuko moved to Saigon two years ago and together with his wife, opened Pizza 4P's last August. The four P's acronym stands for: Platform of Personal Pizza for Peace.

Now Masuko said works with former film director turned pizza chef, Takaaki Yoshikawa, a good friend for over 20 years.

Masuko said Yoshikawa has a good time making pizza and meeting customers in Saigon. "Six years ago, we made a pizza oven in the garden (in Japan) and cooked pizza as a hobby. We also offered pizza making classes for children," said Masuko.

Pizza 4P's follows an open minded concept. Masuko said pizza lovers could submit ideas for new dishes and after tests, the most popular innovation would be added to the menu. In addition to minor fame, the winner will receive copyright royalties for as long as the dish remains on the menu.

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