As someone who likes to share the love as much as possible, it kind of pains me to single out just one place for praise in a round up of hot new restaurants. Nevertheless (and especially as I hadn’t familiarised myself with the venue when I wrote last month’s pizza round-up) that’s just what I’m about to do in the case of Pizza 4Ps.
Actually, such is the egalitarian ethos of the venture it doesn’t feel so bad to be singling it out for special attention. The brainchild of Tokyo-born Yasuke Masuko, the restaurant doesn’t sound immediately appealing to those who believe that authentic pizza should be Italian through and through. Nevertheless, the wood-fired beauties purveyed here would win the approval of the most partisan Neapolitan. Traditional creations such as a Quattro formaggi and a margherita benefit from a base that is crisp yet pliant and toppings such as the restaurant’s homemade mozzarella.
Pizza pioneers will also find much to like about some of the more seemingly outlandish items on the menu. A miso-pork or a teriyaki pizza may not be just as mama made it (unless mama was from Nagasaki and not Napoli) but the interesting taste combinations work surprisingly well.
Throw into the mix an amazing wine list, a sophisticated yet convivial atmosphere and the usual highly reasonable Saigon dining prices and you can see why this place is one of the most welcome new additions to the scene for a while.
Actually, I lied when I said I only had the inclination to wax lyrical about one restaurant this month. The other significant new addition to Saigon’s dining scene, Highway 4, should be familiar to anyone who is au fait with the restaurant offerings in Hanoi. The mini-chain has four restaurants in the capital all serving a mixture of highly palatable northern cuisine and Asian curveballs such as crickets and locusts. It remains to be seen how the restaurant will fare in Saigon, but there’s no doubting the care and passion that goes into specialities such as catfish spring rolls and smoked duck breast salad.
Pizza 4ps: 8/15 Le Thanh Ton Street, District 1; 08 3822-9838
Highway 4: 101 Vo Van Tan, District 3; (08) 3602-2069